May 22, 2013
BYOB Dining: My Suggestions
BYOB and fine dining, what to bring? If you are planning to dine at a BYOB restaurant like Goosefoot or Ruxbin in Chicago, or any BYOB establishment in your community and need some guidance as to what wines to bring, here are some of my personal suggestions:
Appetizers and 1st few courses- Champagne, Proseccos, Cavas, or Sparkling Wines are the perfect way to start the evening off with a glass of bubbles to quench your palate! You will also want to heighten your dining experience with a wine that pairs well with a variety of appetizers and also the 1st few courses. The carbonation and acidity in these wines allows for food pairing flexibility with items such as seafood, fish, chicken, salads, pork and cheese.
Since the next few courses will more than likely be additional seafood or fish dishes, a Rose is always a very enjoyable option. Rose’s are typically dry, refreshing and are made from different red grape varietals such as: Grenache, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Rose’s are served chilled and go typically very well with Salmon, Tuna and Pork courses because there tends to be hints of strawberry, cranberry and pomegranate notes that enhance the distinct flavors of these 3 proteins!
For the main course, to be safe, I would bring a richer style of Pinot Noir, like an Etude or Gary Farrell Pinot Noir. These particular Pinot Noirs are more dense & concentrated in body and texture and would stand up very nicely to heavier proteins such as duck, lamb and beef. The reason I would not choose a Cabernet or a Syrah is because the tannin level in these wines are a bit too high for most main course items served in fine dining BYOB restaurants. Unless, these restaurants are serving a Rib Eye or a New York Strip Steak for the main course, I would save your Silver Oak or Cakebread Cabernet for a Argentinean BYOB place like Tango Sur!
When is comes to the cheese course and desserts, you can kill two birds… by bringing a bottle of Ruby Port, like Graham’s Six Grapes, which goes beautifully with pungent cheeses like blue or gorgonzola and it also pairs perfectly with chocolate! If the cheese selections are lighter and creamier in density & texture, then a Late Harvest Riesling or a Sauterne would pair well and also would work nicely with fruit based desserts.
Keep in mind that these recommendations are intended for a party of 4 or more people going to dinner! If it’s just you and a guest, then a bottle of bubbles and a bottle of Pinot Noir should pair nicely with all the courses, except maybe dessert. In that case, after 2 bottles of wine for 2 people, you just may be ready for some coffee with your dessert instead of another glass of wine- only a suggestion!
Cheers to you, Brad Wermager