Wine and Food Matching Challenge

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Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:03 am

We have a group of six people, all good cooks, and all with good cellars, that banded together some years ago with the goal of hosting dinners in turn, that offer an opportunity to bring out the special bottles that otherwise seem to be always awaiting the right occasion to open. The host sometimes simply chooses a theme for the wines and everyone else offers a short list of possible options from their cellars to choose among. Sometimes, the host tells us what the food will be and leaves it to us to choose just the right bottle for a particular course.

I was just presented with the latter sort of choice, with the added condition that my wine would be one of two served with the course in question and the other wine was provided by the host. I then had to decide just which wine would best complement both the food and the wine already chosen, to be provided by the host. I thought the exercise might be fun for some here who enjoy food and wine pairing, so I thought I'd offer the guidelines I was given and give you a chance to tell us what wine you'd choose (not necessarily from your cellar - choose whatever you think would be a good match) and tell us why you chose that wine.

The dish will be duck two ways, a confit and a magret (breast). The wine provided by the host was a 1990 Ch. Leoville Poyferre, a rich and very hefty claret with a long life ahead, but now drinking reasonably well based on my last tasting of it.

You can choose any wine from anywhere in the world. What would you choose and why?

I'll leave this open for a day or two and then I'll come back and post my choice and my reason behind it (the host accepted my first proposal, BTW).
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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:23 pm

Bill,
You say nothing about saucing or seasoning, so I'm assuming rather unadorned meat. With duck, I prefer fruity red wines, though confit requires something a bit bolder. I'd probably try a younger Cab Franc from the Loire, a deeper Cru Beaujolais or more Grenache-heavy Chateauneuf. So, for specific wines: 2009 Baudry Estate, 2005 Clos de Roilette Fleurie or 1990 Ch. Rayas :D

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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:14 pm

Correct, a simple prep without strong sauces to deal with.

I'll drink Rayas with anything, and I have a bottle of the Baudry sitting in my 'to taste' pile. Would think the Fleurie a tad light for this task.

Departing from France is also OK - a new style big Dolcetto might be interesting, though not perhaps alongside the 90 Poyferre.
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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:49 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Departing from France is also OK - a new style big Dolcetto might be interesting, though not perhaps alongside the 90 Poyferre.

How about a mature Barolo or Barbaresco? I think of Nebbiolo as a go-to with duck. Dolcetto, not so much.
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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:40 pm

Bill Spohn wrote: Would think the Fleurie a tad light for this task.


Most Fleurie would be, Bill, but Clos de la Roilette (not labeled as a Fleurie BTW) comes from a special plot that used to be Moulin-a-Vent and bears much more resemblance to M-a-V than it does to the majority of wines from Fleurie. Their Vendange Tardive is even more structured than the normale.

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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Lou Kessler » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:46 pm

Birds & Burgundies :) 90 R.Chevillon Les Vaucrains.
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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:27 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:Birds & Burgundies :) 90 R.Chevillon Les Vaucrains.



Don't generally want to mix Burg and Bordeaux in the same course, no?
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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Lou Kessler » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:38 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:
Lou Kessler wrote:Birds & Burgundies :) 90 R.Chevillon Les Vaucrains.



Don't generally want to mix Burg and Bordeaux in the same course, no?

I wouldn't want another cab based wine, so anything different with the Bordeaux is somewhat of a challenge. A Brunello with a little age goes well with birds. Lighter Italian from Mt Etna region. Ex= Frappato based.
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Re: Wine and Food Matching Challenge

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:31 pm

Thanks for all the interesting thoughts.

I thought I'd update this (the dinner is tomorrow night).

I thought of doing another cab based wine from the same year, either another Bordeaux or from somewhere else.

I thought of Dominus, or Sassicaia, but rejected them. I am really first and foremost a student of Bordeaux and have been for many years.

I settled on going for a vertical. I will be bringing a 1982 Leoville Poyferre to supplement the 1990 provided by the host. Two excellent vintages and a chance to review two different stages of evolution was too much to pass up.

Poyferre had more or less sat on the back benches for many years. They had even managed to tank excellent vintages like 1964 and 1970 (though they shared that, surprisingly, with Las Cases). Take a look at a set of RP reviews some time. An unremitting series of scores in the 70s and 80s made Poyferre not only an also-ran, but a never-will-run-again in the minds of most claret fans.

Then in 1982, mirabile dictu, a home run out of literally nowhere. Then a lesser but still good 1983, and after that the return of the Great Slump until - 1990, another spectacular wine. Since then, much more reliability, with good wines in every good vintage (not so much in off vintages) and more home runs in 2000, 2009 and 2010.

The temptation to taste the first two great wines they accomplished while still stumbling toward former glory was too tempting and so that's what I decided to offer.

I'll post notes and let you know how it turns out.
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