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Old 02-23-2009, 05:56 AM   #1
 
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Default Wine/Cheese/Bread Gift Basket ideas needed

Friday is my dad's birthday, and I'd like to make him a gift basket with a bottle of wine, a block of cheese, and a loaf of homemade bread. For the bread, I'm thinking I'll do either a basic French Bread loaf or a Parmesan Peppercorn French loaf. I need tips on which one I should do, and what wine/cheese pairings will go best with the bread. He likes red wines better than whites, and I'd like something decent without breaking the bank. As far as cheese, I don't have a fancy cheese shop in my area but I can go to the nicer cheese section at Wegman's (so it won't be Kraft).

Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:26 AM   #2
 
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I would go for a Malbec. Had this the other night and it was nice!
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Old 02-23-2009, 07:19 AM   #3
 
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I'm no help with cheese, but inexpensive red wine is what I do.

Jacob's Creek has a reserve label, maybe 12-15 bucks a bottle for a shiraz. It's lovely; I've had that a couple of times. Other Jacob's Creek wines are good and inexpensive, notably their Shiraz blends.

Another good Shiraz (you should be seeing a theme by now ) is Firefly. This is exceptionally good for how low the price is. If you hunt, you can usually get it for less than 7 bucks, but retail is usually 8 or so. This is my go to red wine. Absolutely love it. We actually bought a case once, something I'd never done before. Not all places carry it, though; look for the black bottle with the red swirl on the neck. There's also, shockingly, a picture of a firefly on the label.

If you're not sure about Shirazs, look at Ruffino's chianti. Not as inexpensive as the Shirazs, but still won't break the bank (12 bucks or so, IIRC), and very good.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:06 AM   #4
 
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In my opinion, there's no better combo than brie and cabernet. You could also throw in some honey, chocolate, and grapes. Yumm.....now I need to go shopping.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
 
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You usually can't go wrong with a Chianti and like Michelle said you can find one for around $12 or so.

If you go with a Chianti how about an Italian cheese assortment? Small wedges of reggiano parmesan, pecorino romano, grana padano.
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Last edited by goldy; 02-23-2009 at 08:28 AM. Reason: ooops forgot to mention cheese and bread :)
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
 
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A really nice cabernet we had was Liberty School. It was rather surprising because we weren't expecting it to be so smooth.

Brie and Cab are also my fav wine/cheese combo.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:25 AM   #7
 
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I also think you should add some grapes.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:34 AM   #8
 
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I would do a classic french loaf, since the parmesan Peppercorn may clash with the cheese.

A small log of goat cheese is always nice.
Maybe a hunk of Parmigiano or Pecorino.
Brie is always good. Also, a nice sharp cheddar.
I am a big fan of gouda or smoked gouda too. I can find all those at the supermarket. I suggest you get 3 or 4 different ones with a variety of textures. See what looks good at your store.

Oh, and might I suggest no-knead bread. I have made it several times with spectacular results. I would use more salt than the recipe calls for - maybe 2 teaspoons.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:38 AM   #9
 
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geeky, I was thinking of mixing in some soft cheeses too but would they hold up in a basket?
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:49 AM   #10
 
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Cheese: Asiago or Asiago Fresco

There's supposedly a Parm cheese in Italy that's runny and has maggots literally jumping off of it. Sounds abhorrent to me. But the locals and cheese enthusiast tourists love it. If your dad is such a guy he might like it. Don't know where you'd find it in the states though.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:57 AM   #11
 
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Huge fan of the no-knead bread! It's amazing.

I had a really great Chilean pinot noir a little while back. I believe the brand was Porta and the vintage was 2005 or 2006. If I remember, the bottle was less than $15. It was wonderful.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:35 AM   #12
 
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Are y'all talking about the whole Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day thing? Because my husband and started doing this a couple of weeks ago after having a loaf of this bread at my sisters, and we were floored. We haven't bought bread at a store since and invested in a good bread knife yesterday, since we've needed it for the first time in ever.

There's a book, too, which is totally worth it. Tons of different varieties of breads, and I can't wait to try more of them!!
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:39 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT View Post
Are y'all talking about the whole Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day thing? Because my husband and started doing this a couple of weeks ago after having a loaf of this bread at my sisters, and we were floored. We haven't bought bread at a store since and invested in a good bread knife yesterday, since we've needed it for the first time in ever.

There's a book, too, which is totally worth it. Tons of different varieties of breads, and I can't wait to try more of them!!
I never heard of that. What I posted is a similar idea, a wet dough you don't knead that rises slowly, but it is enough for just one batch.

I may have to look at the 5 minute thing.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:56 AM   #14
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I also think you should throw in some chocolate! Preferably dark! Yummers!

Go with some soft cheeses. You can stick them in right before you give it to him.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:10 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geeky View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT View Post
Are y'all talking about the whole Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day thing? Because my husband and started doing this a couple of weeks ago after having a loaf of this bread at my sisters, and we were floored. We haven't bought bread at a store since and invested in a good bread knife yesterday, since we've needed it for the first time in ever.

There's a book, too, which is totally worth it. Tons of different varieties of breads, and I can't wait to try more of them!!
I never heard of that. What I posted is a similar idea, a wet dough you don't knead that rises slowly, but it is enough for just one batch.

I may have to look at the 5 minute thing.

Oh my dog, do it, you'll love it. We have two bowls for our stand mixer, so we just use the bread hook and one of the bowls for bread dough and cover it with tin foil when it goes in the fridge. We have fresh baked bread near about every day now. We're still sort of learning the process (we're are NOT big bakers, or even really big cookers... my husband moreso than me) but it's delicious even when it's not perfect./
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Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:41 AM   #16
 
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Geeky, I was thinking the same thing about the parmesan peppercorn possibly clashing with the cheese.

Those bread recipes sound really great, but now that I've got my breadmaker working again I'll probably just use that. I'm so lazy that I love that all I need to do is put the ingredients in and press start - I don't even have to shape the loaf myself.

Thanks everyone for all the recommendations!
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:21 AM   #17
 
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Fat B@$tard (sorry for the symbols, trying to get around the filter) makes an absolutely wonderful shiraz.

If your dad has a good sense of humor he'll get a laugh out of the name as well.
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:48 AM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meryn View Post
Fat B@$tard (sorry for the symbols, trying to get around the filter) makes an absolutely wonderful shiraz.

If your dad has a good sense of humor he'll get a laugh out of the name as well.

Second that! I've not had it much, only once or twice, but it's pretty good. And I have some friends with decent taste in wine give it a thumbs up.

And the name is delightful.
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Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being “PC,” you’re not being forward-thinking or unique. You’re buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and you’re keeping those systems in place."
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Old 02-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #19
 
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Another Brie/Cab fan!

I would also include a good olive oil & some fig jam!
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