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Jenise

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Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jenise » Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:22 pm

My friend Annabelle and I are doing a wine group dinner. The wine requirement, per couple, is two different bottles of California pinot noir by the same winemaker (regardless of winery, vineyard, etc). I'll be taking a pair of William Selyems. People bring whites for an hour of appetizers and catching up on each other's news.

We'll do five courses, essentially. The appetizers, thanks to me staring at the name 'Bar Tartine' on the cookbook by that popular San Francisco restaurant and thinking Tartine Bar, will be a DIY Tartine Bar. We'll provide crusty baguette slices and an array of toppings. All do-ahead work, no last minute stuff, nothing hot or passed, so great for us as hosts.

Then guests will sit down to three courses with a flight of four wines each, in pairs. Annabelle wants to concentrate on 'local'. I don't think she's put a mileage limit on that but her idea of that would probably span San Diego to San Francisco. She lives 60 miles north of Los Angeles and you can see the ocean at Oxnard from their home. So, coastal California, not Bakersfield. :) We have one participant who won't eat lamb and another who won't eat red meat. We sometimes serve red meat but make a separate meal for Dennis. With pinot noir, I'm thinking we can come up with a menu that would skip red meat and negate that extra effort.

The way I approach matching food to wine is to create a list of compatible flavors, then I try to figure out a way to stick them in the dishes. Here's my initial list:

Mushrooms
Fennel
Tomato and tomato leaf
Thyme
Bay Leaf
Beets (which Annabelle hates)
Raspberry
Cherry
Cinnamon and Cumin (especially in RR)
Asian spice (though less common in CA than OR)
Poultry
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
and Mushrooms

The question: are there any major items I'm missing?

I'm thinking lentils for earthy flavors, maybe, especially if we cook them with fennel and tomato to create a bed for a piece of grilled halibut or something, so we can include a seafood course.

Nothing else has been decided, though I've pitched a third course of quail (they're running around outside Annabelle's house, doesn't get any more local than that), lightly braised, button mushrooms, sauce with crème fraiche, served on a savory waffle made with pistachio flour (from Santa Barbara, I have some) and chunks of fresh avocado (from her house we look down on several five acre McMansions which are also avocado farms).

And I think a good vegetarian starter/salad course could involve a mushroom and chard tart (quiche) on fresh greens.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jeff Grossman » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:08 am

Well, you might reasonably add:
a saddle
school paste
shoe polish
Band-Aids
nail polish remover


Jeff :mrgreen:
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Fredrik L

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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Fredrik L » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:47 am

Mustard!

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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Howie Hart » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:10 am

Smoked salmon, bacon
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Hoke » Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:50 pm

Salmon. Doesn't have to be smoked.

Smoked trout.

Something a little different, but delicious with Pinot: Guinea hen.

Rabbit!!!

A simple but sublime (and very Burgundian) dish is eggs scrambled in red wine with mushrooms.

Tart cherry sauce.

First course could be a charcuterie plat: and there you can go with local very easily.

Re mushrooms: lots of things you can do, of course. If you go with a charcuterie plate, Chef John Ash has a recipe for a mushroom pate (make well beforehand, and freezable) that can be used as a spread or as a flavor magnifier.

Mostarda---buy or make one on your own, with local fruit.
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Barb Downunder » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:23 am

Orange, so California. So goes]with fennel. Gentle acidity.
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jenise » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:30 pm

Hoke wrote:Salmon. Doesn't have to be smoked.

Smoked trout.

Something a little different, but delicious with Pinot: Guinea hen.

Rabbit!!!

A simple but sublime (and very Burgundian) dish is eggs scrambled in red wine with mushrooms.

Tart cherry sauce.

First course could be a charcuterie plat: and there you can go with local very easily.

Re mushrooms: lots of things you can do, of course. If you go with a charcuterie plate, Chef John Ash has a recipe for a mushroom pate (make well beforehand, and freezable) that can be used as a spread or as a flavor magnifier.

Mostarda---buy or make one on your own, with local fruit.


Salmon! Of course (slapping head). That Burgundian dish--great idea, it goes into the hopper. Love the John Ash mushroom pate--going to look that up. Guinea hen--I get it but it's hard to find. Quail would be easier, and I don't think I'd do more than one 'bird'.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Ken Schechet

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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Ken Schechet » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:46 pm

Agree with the Guinea Hen, but if not available roasted duck is also great with pinot. Braised chicken (coq au vin) works very well. Ahi tuna is a great match. And you need some cheeses in there. Brie, Camembert, Chaumes, Gruyere, Vacherin, anything mild and/or soft.
Ken
Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can change, and wine to accept the things I can't.
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jenise » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:18 pm

Ken, the quail dish we'll do will be very much like a coq au vin so I think we have that base covered. Agreed about cheeses; failed to mention them, but my friend usually serves a cheese course after the main meal.
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jenise » Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:15 pm

Thanks to everyone for the help. The reminders of bacon and salmon really helped.

One of the dishes we decided on was braised quail. Annabelle has several coveys of wild quail living in her wild yard, so this dish will be entertainingly local. Howie mentioning bacon made me think we should go in a coq au vin direction and include lardons in the dish. We're going to serve that on waffles made with two very-California items: pistachio flour and avocados.

And thanks for mentioning salmon. When I read that I thought well there's none around except farm-raised and I won't use that. Was thinking we'd have to drive to Santa Monica for swordfish or something. But two nights ago Bob and I found some terrific fresh troll-caught King salmon at Costco. It was the best I've had in years. I presume we can get same at Annabelle's Costco, so we'll do it. We'll serve it on black beluga lentils simmered with tomato and fennel. Thanks to Barbara's timely reminder about the symbiosis between orange and fennel--we'll do a miso-orange glaze. John and Annabelle have an orange tree.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:36 pm

Why braise quail?
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jenise » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:45 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:Why braise quail?


To create a melded sauce with mushrooms and bacon. Short braise, an hour or less.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Lou Kessler » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:14 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:Well, you might reasonably add:
a saddle
school paste
shoe polish
Band-Aids
nail polish remover


Jeff :mrgreen:

English saddle goes well but never western saddle. I thought everyone knew that. :P
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Doug Surplus » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:23 pm

I've had seared duck breast over a summer squash puree with mixed sautéed mushrooms with Pinot Noir and it was a great matchup.
Doug

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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jeff Grossman » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:27 pm

Jenise wrote:
Jeff Grossman wrote:Why braise quail?


To create a melded sauce with mushrooms and bacon. Short braise, an hour or less.


How much does the bird's texture change? I'm so accustomed to giving them a quick broil (or a short stint over the coals) that I wouldn't even think to make them wet.
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Matilda L » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:40 am

When I was in Scotland a few years back, one place I stayed at served grilled salmon with a rasher of bacon as a breakfast dish. How 'bout salmon and bacon? Maybe with a nice grilled mushroom, or mushrooms roasted in butter?

Or, devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon) as one of the starters?
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Jenise » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:25 pm

Matilda L wrote:When I was in Scotland a few years back, one place I stayed at served grilled salmon with a rasher of bacon as a breakfast dish. How 'bout salmon and bacon? Maybe with a nice grilled mushroom, or mushrooms roasted in butter?

Or, devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon) as one of the starters?


The salmon/mushroom/bacon combination would be great, but our fish dish can't contain mushrooms because as we envision it now the first and third will contain mushrooms. (I personally could do an all-mushroom menu but that idea doesn't work so well for Annabelle). We don't even know if we'll be able to get fresh salmon yet. We're hoping!
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Re: Food flavors for pinot noir pairings

by Hoke » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:27 pm

You might reconsider on the fresh salmon, Jenise. If what you want isn't in season available, the on-boat flash frozen line caught salmon is pretty darn good.

I specifically remember a fantastic tasting put on by a restaurant some years ago where they featured a fisherman, single boat, who had a cryo on the boat. He'd catch, his wife would filet and cryo. We sat down to multiple small plates of this salmon with different bottles of pinot noir...and I have to say, all the winer/foodies were impressed by both the salmon and the way the the prep and sauces and pinot noirs subtly changed the nature of the dish.

One knockout dish, then new and exotic for most people, now pretty well accepted, was a plank-roasted salmon, with oak plank soaked in fruit juice prior to cooking over an open flame (and have since seen it oven roasted in a gas oven). It did not go all that well with a Santa Barbara PN (wine was too fruity/sweet), but did a great job with a chunkier, black-cherry style from the Russian River Valley.

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