25 January 2010

25Jan. in re: motor supply/baan sawan dinner
or "Oh yeah; we have a blog..."
we did a dinner last night in conjunction with motor supply bistro in which our respective culinary styles were interpreted and applied, by chefs tim of motor and alex of us, to an eight-course meal paired with a beer and five different wines. the following was served:
motor/baan dinner menu

with the peanuts (reasoning that boiled peanuts is a natural pairing with a beer and who am i to play god when it comes to nature) i paired with the victory golden monkey. i love this easy-drinking beligian tripel style. bright and smooth with a touch of spices (i get some coriander and some white pepper) and weighing in at 9%. good stuff which i currently carry.

with the shrimp&grits and the salad i chose the cristom 07 pinot gris out of my beloved oregon. the creaminess of the grits might suggest a chardonnay but i wanted to illustrate how wonderful pinot gris can be. i feel like this grape gets overlooked a lot, particularly when done in a pinot grigio style, but i think the fuller gris take on it, particularly when coming out of oregon, pairs wonderfully with a variety of food and is a great drinker on its own. since it's on the medium to full bodied side i thought it would play well with the grits' texture and its pear and flower notes would work nicely with the hints of coconut coming from the grits. its brightness worked with the bright, crisp shrimp. its acid complemented the dressing and pickled onions of the salad and that fullish body once again came into play with the hardboiled quail eggs.

with the earthy consomme and the rich, sumptuous bacon i knew i needed a red. a morey st denis or an older nuit st george would've been gorgeous but extraordinarily expensive. then i considered a nice rhone syrah but, again, pricey. australia's shirazes were an option but, again, not wanting to spend too much and finding finesse in australian shirazes is usually an expensive endeavor. i remembered being impressed by south african bordeaux blends because i find that many south african wines share characteristics of old and new world wines, most importantly for me a tendency towards leanness and acid which makes for good food wines. i found bilton estate's 2004 matt black blend of shiraz, merlot, and petit verdot. full bodied but focussed, this meaty, earthy dry wine was still bright enough to play nicely with the fatty sweet edge of the bacon and also accent the depth of the previous course of consomme.

the lime sorbet i paired with the avinyo cava rosado, a pinot noir sparkling out of spain. on its own it would be a touch sweet but when paired with the sour inherent to the lime this emerged dry with notes of strawberry and cranberry.

now. the main course of tenderloin, cod, and lobster in a citrusy demiglace was an expression of indulgence for my brother, who is quite fond of food on top of food on top of other foods. and if he can wrap one in another he's especially happy. but he's not really a wine drinker and this combination is a terror when i felt the need to pair the main course with a red. a good, rich graves bordeaux blend would've worked great but i feel like the general expectation for a main course is a red wine. working with my wine rep we settled on the domaine des tours vaucluse, a bright, smooth blend of grenache, cunoise, cinsault, syrah, and merlot from the south east of france. i was so happy with how this turned out as there was enough richness of flavor for the red meat, brightness of red fruit and acid for the seafood and the fresh fruit quality it had (as opposed to ripe or cooked fruit) played nicely with the ponzu demiglace.

and, to round it all out, the perrone bigaro moscato/brachetto blend had the richness to complement the pana cotta, its light strawberry semi-sweetness and the coffee made some good points, and the ginger and coconut aromas made friends with the cherry, strawberry, and apricotty notes.

so. that went well. i love pairing. i love the intellectual challenge of it and when/if it works out it's quite satisfying.

some of these wines will be showing up, certainly, at baan sawan. motor might pick up a few; we haven't talked about it.