Welcoming guests to a food and wine pairing dinner

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by phoebe, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. phoebe

    phoebe

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    Several years ago, Food and Wine magazine published a very effective way to *****strate how food affects the taste of wine in a dinner format. Briefly, you give guests a small amount of two whites and two reds, each with growing complexity. Then you start with a simple garlic, olive oil and parsley pasta and taste the two whites. One will usually taste much better than the other. Then add sauteed mushrooms and the white that tasted good before usually doesn't taste as good as the other. Add a taste of the first red, but that doesn't taste right either. Then add a tomato-based sauce, and the whites taste bland while the first red works and the second is too overwhelming. Then add lamb shanks, and . . . well, you get the drift. After the guests have gone through small tastes and sips of all the steps, then serve them regular portions and a salad, and they can pick which wine they want to drink with the meal itself. Most opt for the most complex red, but some go for the lighter red or even a white; it's up to them and their taste buds.

    OK, my question is, since food, wine and taste are all going to have a lot demanded of them, what should we do with the guests when they first arrive? We've done this party twice, and both times just seated everyone and launched into the tastings. But it does seem a little abrupt, and I end up feeling a little like a cross between a drill sargeant and a kindergarten teacher--at least until I've had a bit of wine :D . So how would you folks begin the evening?

    P.S. I've been trying to type "d-e-m-o-n-s-t-r-a-t-e" above where you see asterisks. But the program keeps replacing it. What gives?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Most forums to maintain an age appropriate language have built in censors. Swearing automatically gets starred too. Apparently, d-e-m-o-n is a trigger word.

    Some forums support HTML code where a workaround is to insert an escape code for a letter. The word displays normally, but the code foils the censor that looks for words in plain text. This forum doesn't support that hack.

    Phil
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    I would begin the evening with, hrm... some low alcohol Spatlese or similiar German. :)
     
  4. cape chef

    cape chef

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    I would not start with a Spatlese, to much residual sugar to start the process.

    If I may recommend you should start with Champagne (Brut) Dry, Clean, Crisp and with enough complexity to stimulate your taste buds. Good acid will cleanse your palette. I would simple serve some excellent quality oysters with a soft citrus mignonette.(with respect to Kuan )
     
  5. phoebe

    phoebe

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    Thanks guys, for your replies.
    Phil, yeah, I figured that out. I guess it's time to break out the thesaurus. :D
    Kuan and CC: I think I prefer the Champagne idea (for one thing, it would probably get rid of the teacher/DI edge I tend to get when I'm in charge of something like this :eek: ). But neither David nor I care much for oysters. Sorry!!!! :( I probably should hang my head in shame, but it's just the truth. Any other suggestions for a bite or two to go with the sparkly before we get down to "work"?
     
  6. pinot

    pinot

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    .yes , most definitely Champagne , or more interestingly a local equivalent.

    Maybe with some good fresh goats curd and cured salmon.
     
  7. cape chef

    cape chef

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    I like this idea with an addition of a little brunoise of apple.