As promised a couple of weeks ago, after sharing my food pairing suggestions for the starters and first courses, this week’s piece will include several tips and recommendations to get you through your mains and desserts.
My main course on the night in question included an impressive beef roast, prepared with a cabernet sauvignon and beef stock sauce and served alongside an assortment of grilled root vegetables. When my budget allows it, I prefer to cook using the same wine which I plan on drinking with the dish. Not only is it a rule of thumb to cook using only a wine you would drink, but by matching the two, the link between the two will highlight the wine's characteristics.
Since I was having quite a few guests for dinner, I decided to go for the more affordable Cabernet Sauvignon from the Golan series. Produced by the Golan Heights Winery, this Cab turned out to be the right choice for the evening. The flavors of the meat were enhanced by the wine and several of the guests asked for seconds. I personally prefer the more traditional pairing of full bodied reds with red meat, but at the end of the day your taste is the one that counts.
Deserts included an assortment of fresh fruits and petit fours. Personally, I feel that a glass of dessert wine is always a great way to end the meal. My favorite Israeli desert wines include: Carmel’s Single Vineyard Sha’al, Gewurztraminer, Late Harvest or the “Botrytis” by Yarden. Another one of my favorites is Tzora’s “Or” dessert wine. Produced only on selected years, inside sources tipped me off and informed me that Tzora is planning on launching the new “Or” in the near future.
Unfortunately due to the costly process involved in the production of quality desert wines the prices are relatively high. Several months ago I was introduced to the Silver, Late Harvest White Riesling (2006), by Teperberg. In my opinion, sold at around NIS 40, this is one of the best Israeli dessert wines in its price range. Produced using 100% White Riesling grapes and showing shades of light straw with gold reflections, this dessert wine offers concentrated aromas of lychees, apricots, honey and white peaches.
Slightly tipsy after a long evening of entreating, I decided to call it a night and leave the dishes for the morning. With good food, good company and, most importantly, a variety of wines to match the courses, what more can one ask for.