OK, once again I found myself “cooking for the cause”–blending my day job @ Social Capital Inc. with my interests in food and wine. A logical combination, given the central role food and feasting plays in cultures around the world. As Michael Pollan said in Omnivore’s Dilemma, “A community’s food preferences reflect one of the strongest social glues we have.” In this spirit, about 20 friends, neighbors and supporters came to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of good company and conversation.
I promised our guests to post the menu with recipe links, so here it is along with a few comments about the food and wine.
Preliminary Nibbles, Part 1
Spicy Dip & Chips
Wine Pairing: A Pair of Picpouls
2009 Domaine Felines Jourdan
Picpoul Blanc is a white grape varietal featured in these Picpoul de Pinets from the Languedoc region in Southwestern France. This refreshing wine made a nice pairing for pesto.
Preliminary Nibbles, Part 2
Tomato & Mozzerella Skewers with Balsamic-Basil Dipping Sauce
Wine Pairing: 2009 Chateau La Moutete Rose Reserve 2009
Thanks to Pairings for donating this pairing, and their help with putting together the other pairings as well. The recipe link above also has info on the very tasty rose.
This salad recipe from Food & Wine has fast become a spring standby for us!
2009 Guidobono Roero Arneis
Arneis is white Italian grape native to the Piedmont. It did well with the difficult to match asparagus, with a big assist to the wine-friendly cheese in the dressing!
2007 WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Gamay Noir
This Gamay is a very special wine–there were only 5 cases available in MA, all @ Pairings, and that supply has dwindled rapidly. Made with the grape featured in Beaujolais, but with a style more like pinot noir, the wine is delicate but complex, cherry fruit and interesting spice. That spicy element worked nicely with the chicken, which definitely had some kick! (another Food & Wine recipe worth trying)
Served with Chipotle Cream and Sweet Potatoes Mashed with Sage-Cumin Butter
Wine Pairing: 2007 Helix Columbia Valley Merlot, from Reininger
OK, Food & Wine gets credit for the ideas behind the first two courses, but the pork & sweet potatoes are my creation–and a pretty good one at that. A medium bodied Merlot will often be a good match for pork, this one has more of a spice element to it as well as big fruit, which helped it pair with the cumin and cilantro flavors.