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5 Iconic Food and Wine Pairings From the Masters Champions Dinners

Golf’s biggest names tee up for the Masters tournament on Thursday, and in true VinePair fashion we’re gearing up for the championship weekend by drooling over the Masters Club Dinner menu.

Each year on the Tuesday night leading up to the tournament, the Augusta National Golf Club hosts a dinner for past Masters champions, and the menu is specifically designed to honor the previous year’s winner. Last night, some of the greatest names in golf sat down to celebrate Jon Rahm’s thrilling come-from-behind win in 2023. Rahm drew inspiration from his home country of Spain when planning the dinner menu, which featured tapas like Ibérico ham, Spanish tortilla, and croquetas, as well as a Basque-style ribeye and Pil-Pil turbot. Keeping in line with the theme, the menu featured two classic wines from northern Spain’s Rioja region including the Imperial Gran Reserva 2012 and Contino Blanco 2020 from the historic Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España winery, also known as C.V.N.E.

For Rahm, these selections were highly personal. His relationship with Imperial Gran Reserva goes back to his grandfather, who was a delegate of the Athletic Club de Bilbao for years and whose favorite wine was Imperial Gran Reserva. Rahm’s father even gifted him two bottles of the wine on his wedding day from the vintage of his birth, 1994, personalized with the Athletic Club de Bilbao logo.

Some of the menus are hits, like Hideki Matsuyama’s coveted Japan-inspired meal, while others catch flack from their golf pro peers. (Did Bubba Watson really have to choose caesar salad, chicken breast, mac and cheese, and confetti cake for both of his wins?)

To celebrate the year’s most exciting weekend of golf, we’re recapping some of the most iconic wine and food pairings in Masters dinner history so you can indulge in the same cuisine as the pros from the comfort of your couch while they battle it out on the course for this year’s title.

Charl Schwartzel: South African BBQ and Cabernet Sauvignon

Charl Schwartzel’s dinner menu in 2012 was a tribute to his South African roots, and it’s definitely one of the most impressive food and drinks lineups we’ve seen in Masters Club Dinner history. The meal started off with an extravagant iced seafood display of shrimp, lobster, king crab legs, and oysters — paired with a Chardonnay from the Cape of Good Hope. While we prefer chasing down shellfish with bubbles, Chardonnay is definitely a good match for seafood in terms of still wines, so this seems like an appropriate start to the meal.

What really caught our eye though was the South African BBQ spread, featuring marinated and grilled filet mignon, lamb chops, chicken breast, and boerewors sausage served with potatoes, sweet corn, and green beans. To hold up to all of that hearty meat, the diners enjoyed a 2007 Anthonij Rupert Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa’s Franschhoek Valley. Might not be the best way to gear up for four days of athletic performance, but we’re here for it.

Here’s what the Masters Champions are feasting on tonight, including Charl Schwartzel’s specialities. What’s biltong? pic.twitter.com/GJZuyFtj

— Stephanie Wei (@StephanieWei) April 4, 2012

Tiger Woods: Cheeseburger and Old Bordeaux

With five Masters wins under his belt, Tiger Woods has certainly had his fair share of celebratory dinners. While they’ve remained pretty consistent over the past two decades — most include some form of prime steak — the wine selections have changed drastically. At his first-ever Masters Club Dinner in 1998, Woods had cheeseburgers and prime filet mignon paired with a 1975 Bordeaux from the esteemed estate Château Mouton Rothschild. At his latest winning dinner in 2020, the menu swapped out the French wine offerings for a more all-American approach, featuring two bottles from Schafer in Napa Valley.

Served in honor of Mr. Tiger Woods. #themasters pic.twitter.com/P9AWsWBHdn

— The Masters (@TheMasters) November 10, 2020

Adam Scott: Australian Wagyu and Penfolds Grange

While Australia doesn’t exactly have a beloved national dish — well, the menu did serve Pavlova for dessert — there’s no denying that Penfolds is a true icon of Australian wine. So when Adam Scott clinched the green jacket in 2013, the following year’s menu featured both a 2009 Penfolds Chardonnay and a 2005 Penfolds Grange, which is the winery’s most prestigious bottling (frequently selling for thousands of dollars). These classic wines were served with an artichoke and arugula salad and an Australian Wagyu Strip Steak.

Scott’s full Champions Dinner menu. pic.twitter.com/FS2QHMh10k

— Rex Hoggard (@RexHoggardGC) April 9, 2014

Hideki Matsuyama: Miso Glazed Black Cod and Junmai Daiginjo Sake

After years of predictable steak and red wine dinners, the all-star golfers were excited to honor Japan native Hideki Matsuyama after his 2021 win. The highly anticipated menu started off with a miso glazed black cod in dashi broth paired with the Hakkaisan “Yukimuro” Junmai Daiginjo Sake. Don’t worry, the menu still incorporated Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Beef alongside two California wine options.

To honor Japan’s first champion, Hideki Matsuyama’s 2022 Champions Dinner menu. #themasters pic.twitter.com/2N42mU0Zja

— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 5, 2022

Sergio Garcia: Arroz Caldoso de Bogavante and Albariño

For his dinner in 2018, Spain-native Sergio Garcia opted for a traditional lobster and rice dish. Albariño was a perfect match for this seafood-forward dish, and better yet it was a stunning bottle from legendary producer Raúl Pérez. For dessert, the golf champions indulged in one of Sergio’s wife’s recipes: drool-worthy tres leches cake with ice cream.

So excited and honored to host my first Champions Dinner @TheMasters! I hope everyone will enjoy the food. Can’t wait to sit around all those great champions and listen to their stories! pic.twitter.com/Qcs3Tmj8Oj

— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) April 3, 2018

The article 5 Iconic Food and Wine Pairings From the Masters Champions Dinners appeared first on VinePair.

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