Dinner – Homemade with Friends

Last night my friends and I sat down at the table and paired three wines with a three-course dinner.  They set the table all nice, and made all the courses from scratch.

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We also had three bottles of wine to go with the dinner: a Prosecco, a Chardonnay, and a Pinot Noir.

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Name: Prosecco
Producer: Cupcake Vineyard
Variety: Glera
Region: N/A
Country: Italy
Vintage: NV
Price: $7.49
Wine Review: “Raise a glass of this refreshing Prosecco that sparkles with fine effervescence. Aromas of white peach, grapefruit and honeydew melon lead to flavors of creamy ripe lemon, refined citrus and a toasted brioche finish. We craft this wine using some of the best Glera grapes – the official grape of Prosecco – from vineyards in the Veneto and Friuli regions of Italy, the optimal regions for growing Glera grapes for Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco. Our process centers on the charmat method, in which the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in stainless steel tanks to produce its characteristic clean finish.”
My Review: Light straw color, light bodied.  Aromas of sweet apple, peach and brown sugar.  Taste of honey, apple, and citrus.

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Name: 2015 Chardonnay
Producer: Meridian Vineyards
Variety: Chardonnay
Region: Napa
Country: USA
Vintage: 2015
Price: $7.79
Wine Review: “Aromas of caramel and vanilla mingle pleasingly on the nose, with a hint of sweet oak. Tropical fruit flavors dominate on the palate – pineapple and green apple mingle seamlessly with hints of brown sugar and butterscotch. The influence of 100% malolactic fermentation lends a creamy, buttery component to the mouthfeel. This well-balanced California Chardonnay finishes with a nice acidity that is perfect on its own or paired with a variety of foods.”
My Review: Golden color, medium bodied.  Aromas of honey, yellow plum, and nectarine.  Tastes of vanilla, tree fruit, and honey. I am not a big fan of naked Chardonnays, but this one is not terrible.

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Name: Woodbridge Pinot Noir
Producer: Robert Mondavi
Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: California
Country: USA
Vintage: 2015
Price: $7.95
Wine Review: “The bright aromas of our Pinot Noir lead with strawberry and cherry notes accented by hints of spice and toast. Round on the palate with a full finish, this wine displays rich, fruit-forward flavors, and a touch of toasty oak. Enjoy this versatile wine with light red meats, pork chops, or tortellini in a creamy tomato sauce.”
My Review: Burgundy-purple color, medium bodied.  Aromas of raspberry jam, dark fruit, oak, and chocolate.  Tastes of cherry, hazelnut, oak, and black pepper.

For our appetizer, we had Bruschetta, served on crostinis.

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We tried all three wines with the bruschetta and found some interesting flavors.  We bought the Prosecco to pair with the bruschetta, and that went the best with the dish.  The bruschetta hid a lot of the acidic component and allowed the honey flavors to shine through.  With the Chardonnay, the basil in the bruschetta overtook the wine and hid all the flavor, until the aftertaste.  There was a big hit of honey after I swallowed the wine.  When the Pinot Noir was paired, it was very acidic and hot, definitely did not go well with the bruschetta.

For the main course, we had chicken alfredo with a side caesar salad.

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We had originally planned for the Chardonnay to go with this dish, but we also tried the other two wines with it.  The Prosecco was more acidic with the dish and it overpowered the food flavor.  With the salad, however, there was more honey flavor and less acid.  When the Chardonnay was paired with the pasta, it tasted like a bruised peach, and was very hot.  The chardonnay went better with the chicken, and with the salad it had a very fruity flavor.  The Pinot Noir was not very good with this dish either, it was astringent with the pasta and salad, and very acidic with the chicken.  None of the wines we had paired very will with our main course.

For dessert, we had a chocolate lasagna.  It was composed of oreos, cream cheese, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream.

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This dessert was intended to pair well with the Pinot Noir.  When it was tried with the Prosecco, it overpowered the drink, it was very acidic and only acid was tasted.  When it was paired with the Chardonnay, the only flavors detected were the burnt oak of the barrel.  The dessert and Chardonnay were not a good match.  The dessert with the Pinot Noir was not a good match either, the wine was astringent and oaky.  At least the dessert was fantastic on its own, because it did not go well with any of the wines.

Overall, the wine dinner was very fun and informational.  While the only things that paired well were the Prosecco with the pasta and salad, and the Chardonnay with the salad.  It was very interesting to realize that somethings we thought would go well together did not go well at all.  I cannot wait until our next wine dinner to see what else does and does not go well together.

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