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Old 08-17-2008, 10:26 AM   #11
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So what do you think then would be the best overall wine choice?
Probably a California Pinot Noir. One from the Central Coast will have the up front fruit that makes them so appealing, and the nuances to go with the cedar tones from the planking.

Make sure you soak those planks as long as the directions suggest. You don't want them to catch fire while you're grilling!

What time is dinner????
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:28 AM   #12
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Probably a California Pinot Noir. One from the Central Coast will have the up front fruit that makes them so appealing, and the nuances to go with the cedar tones from the planking.

Make sure you soak those planks as long as the directions suggest. You don't want them to catch fire while you're grilling!

What time is dinner????
Thanks.

Probably 6:30-7:00 p.m... ? Not sure exactly what time. Any reason in particular you asK?
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:13 AM   #13
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Thanks.

Probably 6:30-7:00 p.m... ? Not sure exactly what time. Any reason in particular you asK?
Because ChefJune and I are coming over to chaperone and supervise! What are friends for?
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:17 PM   #14
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I think your menu sounds wonderful, however, I have to agree with the level of sweetness. If I were you I would swap the sweet potatoes for rice pilaf and stay with the rest of the menu as you have it. You can buy a good quality boxed rice pilaf since the rest of your menu is made from scratch. The asparagus with salmon is a great combination. I would DEFINITELY pair the meal with Reisling. This is what I serve with salmon with great success. This is my opinion.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:16 PM   #15
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A pinot noir would be good for a red as Chef June recommended. I would go with either a Burgundy or a Pinot from Oregon however. While I love California Pinots, they have a higher alcohol content than either Oregon or French Pinots, and I think are best paired with more aggressive, meatier flavors. A to Z or Erath make a decent, affordable Pinot. Most stores should sell them between $20-24.

Rieslings are the Pinot Noirs of white wine. Misunderstood and underrated. A big reason for Pinot Noir becoming so popular was the movie "Sideways". The most common misconception for Riesling are that they are only sweet wines. With the exception of late harvest Rieslings and the cheaper stuff in stores, Rieslings can be dry and extremely complex. Riesling are kind of like Pinots Noirs in that you really get what you pay for. Both wines are not like Merlots, Cabs, or Chards where you can commonly find bargains for less than $12. Both wines are harder to grow and to produce, and they really can showcase the skill of the winemaker. A couple of good ones would be Petaluma Hanlin
or Pewsey Vale from Austraila. Both should be in the $20-24 range in most stores.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:23 PM   #16
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Okay so I have revised my ideas and here is what I am thinking of doing now, let me know if this is an improvement.

Cedar plank salmon
Mediterranean couscous
Arugula salad with green apples, cranberries, gorgonzola, pine nuts, and balsamic vinaigrette

And either a Chardonnay or Shiraz.

How's that? Not too much sweetness there, except for maybe salad, which I could always cut out the apples or cranberries if that would be too much.
I really like that menu. For the wines, I would offer both. The "white with fish, red with steak" is over with, IMHO. I'll have a cabernet with a tuna steak and a Chardonnay with a Porterhouse. Who cares? It al depends on what you want to drink. Have both on the table.

Really a good menu though.
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Old 08-17-2008, 03:51 PM   #17
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I really like that menu. For the wines, I would offer both. The "white with fish, red with steak" is over with, IMHO. I'll have a cabernet with a tuna steak and a Chardonnay with a Porterhouse. Who cares? It al depends on what you want to drink. Have both on the table.
That's also true, but I think only up until a certain point. For example, if you were to drink a big Napa Cabernet with something like say, escabeche of scallops, not only would you overpower and kill all the flavor in the scallop dish, you'll actually have an unpleasant taste in your mouth from the contrasting flavors of both dishes.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:09 PM   #18
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A Pinot Noir would go nicely with your entire meal. The fish is fatty and oily enough for the red and if you went with a Burgundy it would only enhance the gorgonzola. I'd be tempted to add a bit of honey in the salad dressing as sometimes vinaigrettes and wine don't mix well...or use a reduced balsamic or even a bit of cherry juice in there too. Keeping your wine, along with your salad, fruit forward would work nicely! California pinot equates to fruity/cherry/red fruit and French Burgundy's equate to cherry but very earthy/forest floor/ok, dirt; but, in a good way.

With that being said a dry Riesling would be excellent as well...or a kabinett at least.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:13 PM   #19
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Is it accurate that German Rieslings are the best or are there good varieties from other places as well? I've tried a few Rieslings from my grocery store and I thought they were good but not great; but maybe I just did not get the right type.
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Old 08-17-2008, 05:22 PM   #20
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German Rieslings are great - Alsace, France also makes great Rieslings and Gewürztraminers and they will typically be on the dry side but still fruit forward.

You are safe with German Rieslings. If you go to a wine store (if indeed you have wine stores - they will direct you to one with your specifications in mind). We have wine stores here because wine is not sold in liquor stores. Wine is sold in grocery stores but a wine store will have the employees with the knowledge who can help. If you spend about $15 or so bucks on a bottle you should be getting a pretty decent one. German Rieslings are not cheap anymore!
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