Thread: Dinner Party
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Old 04-04-2012, 04:06 PM
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Taylode Taylode is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Rio Vista, CA
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Default Dinner Party

Most of us have a variety of interests and hobbies besides audio. For me, I am also very passionate about food and wine. Therefore, for other like-minded audio nuts I thought I’d share some tidbits about my most recent dinner party that I hosted. To start, I must confess this was a party that had a hard time getting started because I couldn’t seem to get ready. We recently moved and it was taking much longer to get settled than I had anticipated and that caused me to bump the date out. Unfortunately, that action precluded our very own Vesuvius from attending. Sorry E we’ll get worked out yet!

As for the food, below is the menu I put together for the evening:

First Course: Cold Smoked Norwegian Salmon drizzled with olive oil, capers, and dill; seared Sea Scallop drizzled with fresh pesto; and Tuna Tartare blended with cucumber and topped with a poached quail egg.

Second Course: Grilled Radicchio & Corn Salad dressed with warm pomegranate vinaigrette.

Third Course: Grilled Hanger Steak with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a choice of Vegetable Hash, a medley of diced carrot, parsnip, and zucchini; or Grilled Asparagus.

Desert Course: An assortment of cheeses and a decadent Chocolate and Marshmallow Cake

For those of us that are wine lovers we know that wine can make an ordinary meal special or turn a simple dinner party into an occasion. Fortunately, I happen to have a friend that is quite gifted at doing just that and, even though she was jetlagged from flying back and forth between Europe and San Francisco she was able to attend my party. That individual is Debbie Zachareas who is a sommelier and owner/partner of both the Ferry Wine Merchant and Oxbow Wine Merchant. She put together all the pairings for each course and what a wonderful job she did.

Now to get the party started, we popped open a couple of different Champagnes: a Gimonnet Fleur Blanc de Blanc followed by Cuvee Laetitia. They were both really good and made a nice progression and set the mood for the party.

So while my guests were enjoying the bubbly, I got busy putting the finishing touches on the first course. This was served as a single appetizer on a long narrow plate with the scallop to the left, the tuna tartare in the center and the smoked salmon on the right. I wish someone would have been taking pictures since I always seem to get too busy. This course was paired with 2010 Cotat Sancerre Grande Cote. It was slightly sweet and paired oh so well!

The next course I wasn’t sure how well it was going to be received since not everyone is a fan of radicchio. So I was pleasantly surprised how well it was received. I originally thought that this dish might be more of a selfish indulgence but the empty plates, or the excellent 09 German Riesling it was paired with, spoke otherwise. Regardless of the reason, it was enjoyable and set the palate up for the next course.

For the main course, the hanger steak’s flavor was really nice and the 08 Allemand Cornas Reynard (love Rhone wines) really paired well. So well that we blazed through the pair and I had to open a 99 Gaja Brunello di Montalcino Sugarille. Of course, after 6 bottles of wine for 8 people (2 folks more or less abstaining) I probably would have been willing to open just about anything.

For the desert course, we had a nice selection of cheeses and a chocolate cake provided by Debbie. For these, she paired a beautiful 07 Heidi Schrock Ausbruch. Very nice!

Finally to cap the evening off, those of us that partake migrated to the patio for a nice single malt and cigar. Lagavulin and Ardbeg for the single malts and CAO Vision’s for the cigars. All-in-all, a very enjoyable evening where the food was good, the wine better, and the company the best!

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