Santa Carolina vineyard was represented by their Asia Export manager Diego Garcia, a very dapper native of Chile, and obviously proud of his homeland, and the wines he was representing. The vineyard is 137 years old, and the original vines came from the Bordeaux region of France. So a little “old world” in the “new world”!
Diego Garcia is obviously proud of the wines he is representing.
The evening began outside, adjacent to the pool area, overlooking Pattaya Bay while sipping on a Santa Carolina Brut NV and nibbling on a Thai inspired Amuse Bouche from Chef Adrian, being a Pinwheel of som tam and Akami tuna with sweet papaya and coriander. How Adrian dreams up such delicacies, I do not know (and there were more to come)!
Moving indoors to The Bay’s air-conditioned section, the dinner proper began with a Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2011, a white with a great nose and a taste that lingered on the palate. I rated this as an excellent Sauvignon Blanc. Chef Adrian produced another of his masterpieces to go with the opening wine. A tartare of Atlantic salmon on a carpaccio of tiger prawns coupled with fennel, arugula salad, marinated artichokes, balsamic reduction, bell pepper and salmon roe. Speaking with Chef Adrian before the dinner he mentioned that artichoke is notoriously difficult to accompany wines, but the smoothness of the wine and the sharpness of the marinated artichoke heart blended brilliantly. The presentation of this dish was also amazing.
The wine carried over to a luminescent green soup, a Romaine lettuce veloute with Bouchet mussels and Atlantic sea scallop. A palate teaser that had the diners looking for more.
Chef Adrian produced some amazing dishes, making this a wine dinner to be remembered.
The next wine was a French oak barrel-matured Chardonnay Barrica 2009, again pleasant drinking with just a hint of oak which was mated to a ‘scaffolding’ Turban of Dover sole with pistachio mousse and saffron-anise emulsion with young asparagus, basil potato puree and a vine tomato.
A breather of a spectacular pomegranate sorbet over dry ice with crushed fresh summer raspberries was accompanied by a Merlot Reserva 2010, again a pleasant wine, but young and not outstanding as yet.
The main course of an Australian angus beef grilled fillet with Puy lentils and cabernet sauvignon chanterelles, pearl onions, mushroom duxelles and smoked bacon was served with two reds, a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2010 and a Carmenere Reserva Familia 2007. The former a little young again, but the Carmenere was superb. A full bodied wine with a wonderfully long finish. (After the dinner, I spoke to Diego Garcia and Georges Barbier, the local agent for Santa Carolina wines, and they indicated that the Carmenere will be available for a little over B. 1,000 a bottle. Look for it. You will not be disappointed.)
This spectacular pomegranate sorbet over dry ice is served with crushed fresh summer raspberries.
And so we approached the final wine for the evening - a Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest 2009, a slightly sweet wine, to accompany the dessert of a Passion fruit and Valrhona chocolate terrine with banana ice cream, orange-caramel sauce and crème Anglaise, which was more than slightly sweet and probably 1,000 calories per spoonful, and was irresistible. It has been said before that one should never trust a skinny chef - Adrian W. O’Herlihy is completely trustworthy.
It was a very satisfying evening with the many different dishes from Chef Adrian’s kitchen and his sous chefs and a very good selection of Chilean wines from Santa Carolina and Diego Garcia. This dinner at the Dusit Thani Resort’s The Bay restaurant was undoubtedly a success, both from the viewpoint of the seven carefully selected wines and the equally as carefully produced seven courses from Chef Adrian. At B. 2,000 ++ it was exceptionally good value, and I mentioned to the Dusit Thani’s PR lady Vanjie Lauzon that I felt it was priced too low (so if the next one is slightly more expensive, blame me)!
The Bay restaurant, Dusit Thani Pattaya, 240/2 Pattaya Beach Road, telephone 038 425 611, fax 038 428 239, secure parking within the resort grounds.
Dover Sole was built into a ‘scaffolding’ with pistachio mousse and saffron-anise emulsion, young asparagus, basil potato puree and a vine tomato.
The main course was an Australian angus beef.
It was a very satisfying evening with the many different dishes from Chef Adrian’s kitchen and a very good selection of Chilean wines from Santa Carolina and Diego Garcia.
Coveted guests are ready to begin what will turn out to be a night to remember.
(L to R) Hartmut C. Loos, Nittaya Hongloylom and Diego Garcia from Santa Carolina wines.
(L to R) Sue Mossom, Imee Manzo, Dusit Club Manager of Dusit Thani Pattaya and Graeme Mossom.
(L to R) PMTV’s Dr. Iain Corness interviews Executive Chef Adrian W. O'Herlihy (left) and Diego Garcia (right) from Santa Carolina wines.
Jean Blank brings his expert pallet to the Chilean wine tasting.
(L to R) Stuart Daly, Kevin Johnson and Paul Wilkinson anxiously await the beginning of the event.
Neoh Kean Boon, resident manager of Dusit Thani Pattaya welcomes guests to the event.
Diego Garcia from Santa Carolina provides expert insight into the wines he represents.
Cheers one and all, for this is truly a night to remember.