Thank you to Ivan from the Pritchard MLCC for the excellent wine and port pairings.
~ Birthday Celebration Menu 60 Guests ~
1. Sashimi Spoons One bite Ahi Tuna Sashimi with grilled Udon, soy sauce, ginger and wasabi.
Pairing: Sashimi Spoons.... this is a big flavour opener, with a lot of different textures and power notes, so I would suggest to match this with a lager beer, #8583 Grolsch Lager, or a sparkling white, either # 803361 Willm Blanc de Noir or #7451 Simmont- Febvre Brut. The lager beer has a decent double hopped Euro style to it that would stand up to the spiciness of the dish and the sparklers would contrast the "hot" nature with crisp notes. Personally, the Willm would be my choice.
2. Spanikopita Triangles made with spinach, feta, mushrooms and pine nuts.
Pairing: Spanikopita Triangles.... this is a Greek Mediterranean dish that I think has a lot of earthy tones to it. A nice white dry will do nicely here. Pick either #541185 Sandhill Pinot Blanc or #497248 Trius Unoaked Chardonnay. Two Canadian wines from opposite sides of the country. The pinot blanc has a good fruity aromatic and mouthfeel that would compliment the earthiness of the dish and the fresh melon/apple of the chard will contrast the veggie components.
3. Sautéed Pickerel Cheeks sautéed pickerel deglazed with Vermouth and garnished with Arugula Pesto .
Pairing: Sautéed Pickerel Cheeks.... nothing but a firm German style here! Being on a Canadian kick, I picked either # 234583 Cave Spring Riesling or # 142893 Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer. Here you need, I think, a bit of sweetness to balance the herb and woodiness of the vermouth. Either deliver, but again, my pick would be the Cave Spring. The water that irrigates the vineyard falls over a dolomite escarpment that literally injects the grape with minerals and flintiness. This wine loves fish textures.
4. Cheese platter with fresh Dates A variety of cheeses served with baguettes.
4. Cheese platter with dates....... a different direction. Something from the Iberian peninsula. I would go with either # 270363 Castillo de Alamasa or #7121 Tronco Tempranello reds. I am assuming that most of the cheese will be either mid or old in nature, so a mid bodied, fairly fruity red is in order.
5. Bouché pastries filled with Shitake and Porcini mushrooms
6.Lemon Almond and Gingerbread Orange Biscotti
Pairings: Bouche Pastries and assorted Biscotti.... both these dishes have earthy components, the mushrooms and the almonds, so a "earth Mother" style of wine. A burgundian type. Either #3855 Sileni Pinot Noir or #591313 Malivoire Gamy. The "barnyard", loamy nature of either of the grapes will match the flavours of the dishes but there will be enough acid in the respective wines to add a bit of a bite to the finish. Personally, the Sileni Pinot Noir is my pick... New Zealand is the "hot" area now.
7. Chocolate Sin Torte with ganache icing
Pairings: Chocolate Sin Torte..... here you will need a bit of power and sweet to round out the evening. Three picks... a nice brown ale, #512756 Morocco Ale, #271585 Fonseca BIN 27 porto, or #801209 De Bortoli Tawny Port. The ale has a nutty and slightly tart nature that would contrast the tortes. It would highlight the chocolate flavours. The ports would be ideal. If there are any cigar people there, the tawny is choice. The woody aromatic and finish matches a good Cuban any day!
9. San Pelligrino Water
Surprises: Golden Caviar and Smoked Salmon
Ahi Tuna, Pickerel Cheeks, caviar and smoked salmon from Gimli Fish