Food & Wine: Upcoming Tasting Dinner (Cabernet Sauvignon Blends)

By LaGayle ~ March 24th, 2008.

It seems that many people really place importance on what foods that they have with their wines. I agree that a wine changes in taste with foods that are served with it; however, I personally do not think that one has to go overboard with a lot of fancy gourmet meals to enjoy a good wine. This coming Friday evening we will be hosting #59 in our series of Wine Tasting Dinners. At this tasting dinner, we will be comparing six Cabernet Sauvignon Blends in a single-blind tasting. Single-blind means that we know the varietal but not the individual wines, producers, or prices.

Of course, we always think of red meat with red wine, and at Wine Peeps, we do like our steak—highly seasoned steak! I’ve recently learned that salt softens the tannins in the wine, so now I realize why our steak is so good with young Cab-based wines. I prepare the meat 24 hours ahead of time with an assortment of seasonings and spices, and as a result the wine and steak really do bring out the best in each other.

Here is our menu for Friday night, which is typical for one of our tasting dinners featuring wines with some body and tannins like a Cab-based wine. We’ll begin the evening with a sparkling wine as an aperitif, usually a brut. Then dinner begins with sipping tomato basil soup from a sherry glass. The soup will be followed with a mixed green salad. The main course is a beef tenderloin steak cooked on the grill, green beans seasoned with red onions and roasted red peppers, and rosemary/garlic sweet potatoes. Our dessert will be a German chocolate treat topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Below is the dessert recipe:

German Chocolate Pie
From Gingerbread and all the trimmings, a cookbook from the Waxahachie (Texas) Junior Service League, Inc., submitted by Gay DeHay.
(I’ve modified the recipe; therefore, in italics to the right of the original, I’ve put what I do.)

1 stick oleo (1/2 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread—gluten and dairy free. Note: If a regular butter or margarine is not used, be sure to use a product that can be used for baking.)
9 squares or 1/2 package German Chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour (I use a gluten free flour.)
3 beaten eggs (3/4 cup Nulaid ReddiEgg—egg substitute)
1 teaspoon vanilla (1 teaspoon pure almond extract)
1 cup pecans
Whipped cream (Cool Whip)
Shaved chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine and melt together oleo (buttery spread) and German chocolate. Mix sugar and flour; add eggs (egg substitute) and chocolate mixture. Add vanilla (pure almond extract) and pecans last. Grease pie pan (I divide the batter equally into 8 small ramekins that have been sprayed with Pam and arrange them onto a cookie sheet.) Bake for 25 minutes. Serve with whipped cream (Cool Whip) and garnish with shaved chocolate. Serves 8. If baked as a pie, serves 6-8.

If you’ve never attended or hosted a wine tasting dinner, you ought to try one. They are great fun, and we’ve found them to be a great way to learn more about wine. Next Monday, Kori will give you a tasting dinner report and her reviews and a ranking of the wines from Friday’s tasting dinner.

Filed under: Cabernet Sauvignon, Food & Wine, Red Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners

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