Friday, July 22, 2011

Moroccan Dinner / Une Nuit a Mararakech - 5 Courses, 9 bottles of wine, 2 splits, 1 magnum

We kicked off the beginning of our second year of gourmet dinner club at Mel and JS's place with a marvelous Moroccan meal!


First Course - Appetizers
  • Moroccan style lamb turnovers - Lamb, tumeric, ginger, cumin, white wine, tomato paste, cinnamon, pine nuts, golden raisins, cilantro, salt, and pepper
Wine Pairing
  • Argiolas Costamolino 2009, Sardinia, Italy - $16
The wine is made from Vermentino grapes and purchased at Austin Wine Merchant. It was rated 89 points by both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, and retails online for around $16/bottle.

Aroma - light citrus fruit
Taste - light citrus, dry, a tiny bit of wood

It paired so well with the luscious lamb turnovers!


Second Course - Soup
  • Moroccan Carrot Soup - carrot, onion, allspice, honey, salt, pepper, toasted ground cumin, yogurt, and lemon juice
Wine Pairing
  • Zeal Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand - $14
I love New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, so this course was doubly enjoyable for me! This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and was named a best buy by Wine Enthusiast.

Aroma - light tropical fruit, a little spice
Taste - light tropical fruit, crisp, acidic, slightly effervescent

The soup was just delectable - the sweetness of the carrots combined with the heat of the ginger - a great balance! A very yummy food and wine pairing.


Third Course - Main Course
  • Chicken B'Stilla
  • Sweet Potato and Chickpea Tagine
Wine Pairing
  • Les Vignes d'Alexandre Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007, Rhône, France
  • Stag's Leap Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Napa Valley, CA - $50
The first wine we had with the main course was the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, and 5% Cinsault.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - dark fruit, strong black tea, moderate tannins

The second wine paired with the main course was the Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine Enthusiast rated this wine at 94 points.

Aroma - black fruit
Taste - black fruit, dark cocoa, moderate tannins, love this wine!

The chicken b'stilla was like a Moroccan chicken pot pie in a phyllo dough crust - so delicious! The sweet potato and chickpea tagine was mouthwatering. The two wines complimented the main course so nicely!



Fourth Course - Cheese Platter
  • goat cheese and Moroccan spices
  • goat cheese in red peppers
  • sheep's milk cheese
  • Moroccan olives
  • green olives marinated in red peppers
  • dates
  • garlic flatbread
Wine Pairing
  • Tenuta delle Terre Nere Calderara Sottana Etna Rosso 2004, Sicily, Italy - $50/magnum
This wine is a blend of 98% Nerello Mascalese and 2% Nerello Cappuccio.

Aroma - red fruit
Taste - red fruit, dry, moderate tannins, black tea finish, like!

This wine pairing was suggested by Austin Wine Merchant, where I purchased the magnum for $50 - it worked so well with the cheeses, olives, dates, and flatbread!


Fifth Course - Dessert
  • Moroccan Orange Cake - oranges, almonds, eggs, sugar, baking powder, garnished with yogurt/pink peppercorns/sliced oranges
Wine Pairing
  • Les Petits Grains Muscat de Saint Teau de Minervois NV, Languedoc-Roussillon, France - $11/half bottle
This wine is 100% Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains.

Aroma - honey, slightly floral
Taste - honey, sweet, yum!

A nice compliment to the cake!


After dinner wines
After dinner, we tasted some wines that were actually meant to be paired with the main course's sweet potato and chickpea tagine.


Squared Three 2006, Ribera del Queiles, Spain - $16
This red blend consists of 49% Garnacha, 30% Merlot, and 21% Tempranillo.

Aroma - dark fruit
Taste - tart dark fruit, slightly bitter, moderate tannins, good!


Bellum Providencia Monastrell 2006, Yecla, Spain - $16
This wine is 100% old vine Monastrell.

Aroma - dark raisins
Taste - dark raisins, slightly bitter with some wood

I made sure to taste this wine with the food pairing it was meant for, and it was great with the chickpeas!



Une Nuit a Mararakech - what a fabulous way to spend some time with fabulous friends, food, and wine!

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