Most wine aficionados start their experience trying out different foods with different wines. After a while they show some more interest and participate in a few wine tastings. Then as they gather even more experience they start to really understand the purpose of wine and go back to food and wine pairings with a new attitude. This time it’s here to stay.
After all wine is meant to be drunk with food. Ultimately the best experience of wine is when you pair it perfectly with a food dish. But it doesn’t stop there. The way you plan the whole evening will shape the whole experience, not only the main dish, but the succession is an important factor.
An easy way to prepare the whole thing. All the food is served around one specific time. Usually you want to have an appetizer before-hand. The idea is that you don’t have to worry about plating the dishes for each guest in particular, so you can cook heartier foods.
Pastas and stews are great dishes to serve at this type of wine dinner party. Also rice dishes and roasts work very well. You can easily garnish them with beans or corn, it’s really up to you. The best thing is that you let each guest create his unique pot. It might actually be worth noting every combination you see on the table, you will find surprisingly delightful things.
Unlike a Family-Style Dinner the Multi-Course Pairing Dinner is the pinnacle of elegant dining. You can either bring everything yourself or prepare all the food and ask each of your guests to bring a bottle of wine each while letting them know what types of wines they should be looking for. This is an elegant dinner, you serve each course separately and enjoy each dish without being bothered by other palates.
You’re probably wondering how are you going to prepare all these different food dishes. First of all remember that no one expects you to be Superman, it’s ok if some time passes between dishes. Also try to choose dishes that you can at least half-prepare beforehand – like slow cooked stews and soups. Finally use simple dishes and build up to one complicated dish near the end. It’s no use to try and make 7 masterpieces since you will overwhelm your guests anyway.
Generally it’s a good idea to start with the classics. There are many examples – Port and Stilton cheese, Cabernet Sauvignon with grilled steak – are but a few examples. These tested ideas make for strong basis when building your repertoire.
As you gain more experience you can start experimenting. It’s perfectly acceptable to botch some of your recipes because you went against the classic ideas, because if out of 5 pairings you stumble onto one good one than you’re a richer chef with a better understanding of just how wine works.
Plan The Meal:
It’s a lot more fun to get your guests into the game by asking them to pair the wines to the foods you make. Not only does this take work off your back, it keeps them engaged and results in a better experience.
If, for some reason, you don’t like to cook or feel intimidated by the number of guests, or maybe you just have extensive knowledge in wine pairings, then do the opposite. Ask each guest to bring a dish and have them tell you about it so you can plan the wines perfectly.
A note of excellence on your part, bringing in a restaurant-like feeling to the dinner party. Print menus in bold fonts and style, write in French, get wild. The idea is to provide each guest with the list of food and wine pairings you are about to serve, as well as the order in which they will be served to prepare them for what’s coming.
These ideas are meant to bring you and your guests closer to each other so you can enjoy a wonderful wine dinner party together. Don’t have the attitude of wanting to brag with your cooking know-how, instead live the experience with each of your special guests.
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