Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bacchanal Blanco - 11 people, 5 courses, 10 wines/cocktails

Tonight we gathered with some good friends for a Bacchanal Blanco - white dinner, white drinks, white everything!

First Course - Appetizer
  • White Bean Dip
Cocktail Pairing
  • Ramos Gin Fizz (gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, and soda water)
Exhausting start to the evening if you were one of the folks making the Gin Fizzes - a whole lotta shakin' going on! This cocktail is light, refreshing, and very frothy! The white bean dip was perfect with pita chips and bell peppers.

Second Course - Soup
  • Creamy Cauliflower Soup with White Truffle Oil
Wine Pairing
  • Italo Cescon Veneto Pinot Grigio 2009, Italy
This Italian Pinot Grigio was the perfect pairing with the soup. Interesting, because the last time I tried this wine I didn't find it as appealing as I did tonight (it could have been an earlier vintage, which may account for the difference).

Aroma - perfume, a little sweet
Taste - light with good acid, dry, pears

The cauliflower soup was fantastic - creamy and extremely fragrant with truffle oil. Excellent course and wine pairing!

Third Course - Salad
  • Winter White Salad (apple, fennel, celeriac, leek with creme fraiche dressing)
Wine Pairing
  • Marc Deschamps Les Champs de Cri Pouilly-Fume 2006, Loire Valley, France
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc according to several web sources. It absolutely smells and tastes like one to me.

Aroma - fragrant
Taste - fresh, lychees (like a muscat), dry

This was a nice wine with the salad, which was so interesting in itself!

Fourth Course - Main Course
  • Chicken with Gorgonzola and White Asparagus
Wine Pairings
  • Hahndorf Hill Winery Pinot Grigio 2009, Adelaide Hills, Australia
  • Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio 2008, Collio, Italy
  • Principessa Perlante 2008, Piedmont, Italy
This wine won The Penguin Good Australian Wine Awards 2010 Australia's Best Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio, and Silver Medals from the National Cool Climate Wine Show 2010 and 2010 Small Vignerons Awards.

Aroma - light honey and fruit
Taste - crisp, citrus, tingly on the tongue, dry

This wine was absolutely perfect for the chicken, Gorgonzola, and white asparagus! I really, really enjoyed this wine!

The second wine we had with dinner was the Italian Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio 2008. It was rated 91 points by Wine Spectator and was named #79 in their Top 100 wines of 2009.

Aroma - tight nose
Taste - heavier-bodied than the last wine, and not as crisp

I really didn't prefer this wine after tasting the last one with dinner - it's so hard not to compare this wine with the last because I loved the last one so much.

The third wine we had with dinner was the Principessa Perlante 2008 from Piedmont, Italy. It is made by the Vigne Regali winery from Cortese grapes grown in the Gavi sub-region of Piedmont.

Aroma - floral, a little honey
Taste - a little citrus, a little sweet, some bubbles

A nice wine! I was done with the main course by the time I tried this wine, so I can't say how the pairing tasted.

Fifth Course - Dessert
  • White Chocolate Coconut Macadamia Nut Rice Krispy Truffles
Wine Pairing
  • Poema Cava Brut N.V., Spain
This sparkling wine was recommended by the wine staff at Whole Foods as a good dry wine to go with the rice krispy truffles, which we knew were going to be quite sweet.

Aroma - fruit, a little honey
Taste - light fruit, dry, bubbly

Sparkling wine and white chocolate rice krispy treats - yum!

After-Dinner Liqueur
  • Paolucci Limoncello, Italy
Limoncello tastes lemony with a tart finish. It's quite strong!

After-Dinner Wines
  • Hahndorf Hill Winery Shiraz 2006, Adelaide Hills, Australia
  • Perrin & Fils Côtes du Rhône Villages 2007, France
I have to admit that with the "white" theme going on tonight, we might not have any red wine! Luckily, our wonderful host pulled out two bottles of red after dinner.

The Australian Shiraz was rated 93 points by The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2010 and a Silver Medal at the Australian Cool Climate Wine Show 2009.

Aroma - fruit, smoky
Taste - dark fruit, soft to moderate tannins, smoky finish

A very nice wine. I'd love to visit this winery!

The second after-dinner red wine was a French Côtes du Rhône, which earned 90 points from Wine Spectator.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - dark fruit, tart, moderate tannins

A very nice finish to the Bacchanal Blanco!

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