The Rib Fest Table
Food and wine bring people together. Here is a perfect example. It was barely a year ago that Bean, Vivian, Ed, and I met through the Northwest Wine Academy. Shortly after that, we began getting together for food and wine pairing experiments. Since last summer, we have become fixtures at each other’s tables. Now, we are celebrating birthdays together. Just as we did last Saturday for my husband Roger’s birthday.
Menu planning for this event could not have been easier for me. These three folks who have known my husband for less than a year were able to get him to reveal the favorite at home dishes he’d like to eat on this occasion. I find that impressive. When I ask what he wants for dinner, I don’t get any specifics. Not even a hint.
- Spinach Salad with Candied Bacon prepared by Ed paired with Walter Dacon 2008 Roussanne
- Costco Ribs, as requested by the hubby, contributed by Vivian and Ed paired with Sheridan Vineyard 2005 Syrah
- Risotto and Roasted Veggies prepared by the Missus and
- Smoked salmon, smoked tomatoes, smoked mushrooms, and “Seattle Slugs” prepared by Bean paired with Mount Baker Vineyards 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon
- Tiramisu paired with Moscato d’Asti
I love that these friends of ours took such great joy in soliciting a menu from my husband. Then they went on to plan, purchase, transport, prepare, and contribute food and wine to a dinner to celebrate the most important person in my life. It was a wonderful evening that we will always treasure.
So, are you feeling inspired to invite friends to your table to share food and wine? I bet it will be a night you won’t soon forget.
"Seattle Slug" aka Portabello Piece
It’s easy enough to pick up some ribs from Costco! Unless, of course, you don’t have a membership. As Vivian learned from this experience, however, chances are we all know someone who does.
The risotto is prepared by tweaking my recipe, Risotto for Wine Lovers. Simply substitute 1/4 cup of pesto for the garlic cloves, and use beef stock rather than chicken.
Bean’s preparation for salmon can be found on her blog, Fairbanks Fantastic Foods and Feasts. Her ”Seattle Slugs” can be duplicated by making her recipe for Portabello Pieces.
Tiramisu has long been one of Roger’s favorite desserts. I learned to make a traditional version from Iole Aguero. She provides authentic Italian recipes and teaches with passion. Classes with Iole can often be found in Seattle at the PCC Natural Markets and Blue Ribbon Cooking School. It’s great to have Tiramisu in your party repertoire, because it needs to be assembled the night before.
At Roger’s request, we opened a bottle of the Walter Dacon 2008 Roussanne this evening. It is his favorite white wine. We are grateful that Vivian was willing to transport this back from the winery in Shelton for us!
Not being a rib eater, I turned to Bean and Vivian for a suggested variety to pair with the hubby’s eagerly anticipated meat fest. Taking their advice into account, we opened a Sheridan Vineyard 2005 Syrah to go with the ribs. Only they can tell you how the two paired. However, I can tell you this Yakima Valley Syrah is terrific with roasted leeks. Vivian somehow managed to save a splash of the Roussanne for her ribs, and said the two were delicious together.
Since we enjoy experimenting with food and wine pairings, we also opened a bottle of Thurston Wolfe 2006 Petite Syrah. This turned out to be Roger’s favorite red wine of the evening.
Continuing on in the spirit of experimentation, a bottle of Rex Hill 2005 Jacob-Hart Vineyard Pinot Noir made its way onto the table. After all, Pinot and portabellos are a classic pairing. This Oregon wine offers bright cherries on the nose and palate.
The Mount Baker Vineyards 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon was a recent purchase of ours. We bought a magnum of this wine during a recent visit to the tasting room after Roger learned that the winery still had this vintage available. Back in 1999, he had brought a bottle of this Washington Cabernet Sauvignon to a dinner party I hosted, and the wine still haunted him! The wine has aged remarkably well, and it was wonderful with the risotto. Then we tried it with roasted tomatoes and, discovered a match made in Heaven!
We always seem to have a bottle of Moscato d’Asti in the fridge. Serve it with Tiramisu and you have a classic pairing.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to open as many wines as we did to have as much fun. Experimenting with wine and food pairing just makes it more interesting!