Inspired by the autumn harvest, our bountiful menu celebrates both food and wine. All of the courses are matched with wines, which progress from white to red and light to more robust.
This work plan will help you stay organized as you prepare the meal:
At least one day in advance:
Stuff the dates
Make the soup and croutons
The day of the party:
Marinate the duck breasts
Cut the vegetables for the sauté
Slice the pears and make the vinaigrette for the salad
Remove the cheeses from the refrigerator
Make the crème anglaise for the cakes
Just before serving:
Warm the stuffed dates
Reheat and finish the soup
Make the galette and vegetables
Sear the duck and make the sauce
Assemble the salad and cheese course
Bake the cakes
When planning your food-and-wine dinner, keep these tips in mind:
- Our wine experts have recommended specific varietals to complement this menu. Bring these suggestions to your local wine merchant who can suggest individual wines based on your personal taste and budget.
- To stay with the theme, use grape or fig leaves to line the platters for the hors d’oeuvres and cheese.
- Set a printed menu, anchored with a wine cork, at each place setting; it makes a lovely keepsake for your guests.
- Serve the salad unaccompanied by wine. Pour the main-course wine with the cheeses.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Entertaining, by George Dolese (Oxmoor House, 2004).