Digging into the Cellar for an Amazing Wine Pairing Dinner



By Kori ~ November 26th, 2013.

There are as many different types of wine parties as there are wines. Through the years, we have hosted numerous wine parties. Regular readers are familiar with our regular Wine Tasting Dinners and have probably read about our Digging into the Cellar Parties, Tasting Groups, and Open That Bottle Nights.

Recently, we had the opportunity to host a wine party in a beautiful wine cave. Rather than having one of our normal tasting dinners in which we taste six wines of the same variety or type in a blind tasting, we decided to pull some wonderful bottles out of our cellar and pair them with a four course dinner.

Here’s a rundown of the food and wine pairings from the evening to give you some food ideas if you are inclined to host a similar dinner with friends:

Aperitif
As our guests arrived, we greeted them with a glass of bubbly.

2002 Argyle Extended Tirage Sparkling Wine (Willamette Valley, Oregon): 73% Chardonnay, 21% Pinot Noir, and 6% Pinot Meunier. Small, very fast bead of bubbles. Pale, straw yellow. Very aromatic with apple, minerality, and nutty notes on the nose. Apple, pear, and nuts come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Total Wine & More (Bellevue, Washington), $59; Available elsewhere, $63 to $75

Soup
For our first course, we served tomato basil soup paired with Gewurztraminer.

2011 Dowsett Family Winery Gewurztraminer (Celilo Vineyard, Columbia Gorge, Washington): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Nice nose with apple, pear, and lychee aromas. More lychee and pear as well as lemon notes come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with lively acidity. Clean and fresh. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of five)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $20; Available elsewhere, $16 to $18

Salad
For the salad course, we served a mixed green salad with candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and Gorgonzola tossed with raspberry vinaigrette paired with Pinot Noir.

2009 Brittan Vineyards Basalt Block Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon): Deep red. Beautiful with red cherry and strawberry aromas. Strawberry, red cherry, and spice comes through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and smooth tannins. Well-balanced with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $40; Available elsewhere, $35 to $47

Entrée
For the main course, Mom (LaGayle) prepared prime rib, gratin potatoes with asiago cheese, and braised kale paired with two different wines, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

2005 Leonetti Cellar Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington): 85% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark red. Gorgeous nose with cinnamon and black plum aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a very long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Compass Wines (Anacortes, Washington), $75; Available elsewhere, $80 to $90

2005 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. Dark, dense purple. Nice nose with aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, earth, and caramel. More black fruit, earth, and licorice come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and high, dry tannins. Well-balanced with a very long, silky finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $120; Available elsewhere, $190 to $380

Dessert
We topped off the dinner with creme brulee paired with Riesling Ice Wine.

2010 Milbrandt Vineyards The Estates Riesling Ice Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): Medium gold in color. Very aromatic with honey and apricot on the nose. Honey, apricot, and white peach come through on the palate. Sweet and medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $25 [375ml]; Available elsewhere, $26 to $30

It was a fabulous evening of delicious food, amazing wines, and great friends. Cheers!


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Oregon Wine, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Riesling, Sparkling Wine, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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