…And Then There Were Bottles (or The Dinner Party)
This week, I hosted a dinner party at the Bachelor Pad, which was a great idea until I remembered it would be at the BACHELOR PAD. Not only is my apartment an acquired taste, but we had a Moroccan theme–and I’d never cooked anything Moroccan, much less thought about what wine to drink with it (insert Jaws theme here). Plus, some friends had volunteered to bring wine (insert louder Jaws theme music here), so we had some serious wildcards in the mix.
The night’s menu featured M’hamsa couscous with spicy raisins and almonds, a Brooklyn Larderstaple from the New Brooklyn Cookbook (which is a great book if you cook to impress), alongside a chicken tagine. The rich, complex flavors of tagine (created with a combination of cinnamon, raisins, saffron, and about 20 other things) made me think red wines would be best–and we certainly ended up with a wide variety–mostly Malbecs, a few blends, and of course we had some Pinot Grigio laying around for those girls who abhorr red wine teeth (and don’t really have tastebuds).
Here, the 200-word synopsis of how the wines went down, North African Desert style:
- Cupcake Vineyards 2010 Red Velvet blend was a crowd pleaser. We looooooved how smooth it was, without being too sweet. A blend of five grape varieties, this dark wine evoked the same “Ohmygod” expression you get from red velvet cake, and it was only $11.
- Francis Coppola 2009 Black Label Claret cabernet sauvignon blend was great with our main course–sitting on a pillow in absolute Moroccan style, I was transported across the Atlantic with this combo, until I opened my eyes and realized my coffee table is a base drum, and there’s a stop sign on the wall. Plum and blackberry flavors really came through in this full-bodied winner.
- We also had two Malbecs (Agua de Pedra Gran Reserva 2010 and Zolo 2010–both Argentina), both of which worked well with the meal, but didn’t stand out the way Cupcake and Coppola did. Again, we found the deep fruity flavors and hints of spice (think Welch’s fruit snacks gone hearty) contributed well to the savory experience.
To sum things up–Reds are where it’s at with sultry Moroccan dishes (insert hot bellydancer here) though some people recommend a riesling, which I could see working as well. And, in case you were wondering, the night was a total success–piles of food, lots of laughs, and a few hilarious rounds of Celebrity Heads…After which there were just empty bottles.
Morrocan Food Pairings Uncorked:
Fun Fact: drinking is looked down upon in Moroccan culture, so there’s n
o “traditional” wine for this cuisine.
Despite that, wine is grown across Morocco–Thanks, Roman empire!
Crowd Favorite: Cupcake Vineyards 2010 Red Velvet