Selecting Event Wines

At the Wine Rack

Christopher Reckord

Thursday, November 01, 2012

As we commence preparations for the festive season, some of you might be hosting clients or friends and family for a dinner or cocktail party-type event. The question of which wine to pour will invariably be asked.

Just this past week I assisted Chef Oji Ja Ja with some wine selections for this year's Salut! To help make the selections, here is the information that needs to be considered:

* Menu — the wines need to complement the food that is being prepared for the event.

* Time of day/year — light, more refreshing wines are served in the day and during warmer weather.

* Number of persons / demographic — Is it a typical wine-drinking crowd or do they usually drink rum/beer — in other words, novice wine drinkers or serious?

* Budget — wines are available in Jamaica from around J$500 to over J$100,000 per bottle, so it's important to get an idea of how much the client would like to spend.

* Interesting selections — With so many selections now on the market, some events require us to select something other than the regular Merlot and Chardonnay.

Wines Selected and Why:

After reviewing the menu and considering all the other factors, we settled on a light-bodied white wine and a light-to-medium-bodied red — both light-bodied because of the time of day and the delicate food.

2010 Quickfire "Top Chef" Pinot Gris: The people at Bravo TV's show Top Chef asked Terlato Wine Group — owner of five premium California wineries — to craft two elegant wines that are refined, well balanced and food-friendly. Initially, they produced a Quickfire Napa Valley Chardonnay and Quickfire Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. They have since extended the line to include this Pinot Gris and other varietals. The 2010 Quickfire Pinot Gris is grown in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California. On the nose we found hints of orange blossom, melon, pear, and spices. A haunting honey aroma lingers in the glass. With every sip this wine was lively and fresh with a mouth-filling, creamy texture and crisp persistent finish. Pinot Gris is also known as Pinot Grigio.

2009 Castle Rock Pinot Noir Carneros: The 2009 Castle Rock Pinot Noir is produced from grapes grown in the region of Carneros, one of the oldest and most prestigious Pinot Noir regions in California. This elegant and light medium-bodied wine offers aromas of cherry and herbal spice. On the palate the wine gives complex layers of cinnamon, spice, black cherry, sweet vanilla oak and floral notes, with a long velvety finish. Smooth with a silky texture and mild tannins, this versatile wine pairs well with lamb, chicken, veal, salmon and light pasta dishes.

The wines complemented the brunch and were enjoyed by all in attendance.

The Menu

Organic mixed green salad with passion fruit vinaigrette

Baguette Crostini

Ackee and roasted vegetable ragout

Parsley pesto crusted snapper filet

Grilled Portobello mushroom with oven-roasted tomatoes

Christopher Reckord — Businessman, Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to

Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord






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