Despite a fairly formal table setting, the pub manager Russell Woolley emphasized that the event would not be formal, but laid back.
The wines were supplied by Ambrose Wine and Spirits represented by the delightful Waraporn and Jirawat, and featured five wines from the Australian Hardy’s vineyards.
Orawan Arkunken and Olga Kvetkina are certainly enjoying the evening.
There were many items which showed that this was indeed a ‘different’ wine dinner. The first being a catalogue of the wines themselves, complete with notes from the vineyard, plus space for your own personal tasting notes. The catalogue also indicated the food courses to go with each wine.
(L to R) Orawan Arkunken from Dicey Reilly’s chats with Neoh Kean Boon, resident manager Dusit Thani.
One excellent idea was the coasters for the wines, each having a different wine name imprinted on them. This was a much better method than the more usual numbered wine glasses, in my opinion.
The reception wine was a Hardy’s VR Classic Cuvee 2008, a happy little sparkler to go along with the small talk and some interesting canapés including a grilled eggplant filled with ricotta cheese and pesto.
The main was a premium marbled Australian beef tenderloin with caramelized cabbage and potato wedge.
With everyone seated, the Operations Manager Dylan Counsel welcomed the guests and introduced a musical trio which played jazz standards as background music for the dinner.
Arin expertly serves the wine.
The first course was an ocean fresh three way seafood, featuring Blue fin tuna, crumbed (crunchy) crab claw and pan-fried scallop. This was matched to a Hardy’s The Riddle Chardonnay 2010. I enjoyed this medium-dry wine, though I am not convinced that “The Riddle” comes from solving the problem of successfully blending different wines together (in this case it was 100 percent chardonnay anyway). “Riddling” is used in winemaking to take impurities out of the bottles by regularly turning the bottle on a frame called a riddle. But I could just as easily be wrong!
The next wine was a Hardy’s The Riddle Shiraz Cabernet 2010. This was a very smooth wine but did not show much of a finish. This was matched by a three way duck from the kitchen of Chef Luis.
A break was planned before the main course and Dylan Counsel appeared on stage again, to run a very light-hearted wine quiz. With everyone standing, a question was posed and those getting it wrong had to then be seated. Regular wine dinner attendees, such as Vinnie de Vries, did well until the penultimate round, with the final contestants being two Russian ladies! Of course, they may have been helped by the Marriott’s Russian coordinator. Who knows? But it was all good fun, and a welcome change from the solemnity that wine tastings can be.
Waraporn from Ambrose is a stunning young woman who can speak about her wines with authority and without referring to notes at all.
The final run-down on the wines was given by Waraporn from Ambrose wines after the quiz. A stunning young woman who could speak about her wines with authority and did not refer to notes at all. Ambrose Wines should make sure they keep this young lady.
The main course came next and was a premium marbled Australian beef tenderloin with caramelized cabbage and potato wedge taken with a Hardy’s Nottage Hill Shiraz 2009. For me, the Nottage Hill series represents good quaffing picnic style wine, and this 100 percent shiraz was dry and full bodied.
The final wine for the evening was another Nottage Hill, a cabernet sauvignon this time, bottled in 2009. This was paired with a selection of imported cheeses including a very flavorsome Danish blue.
From there it was mix and mingle and hope the dining partner was sober enough to drive home!
At the end of the night, I spoke with Dylan Counsel, the operations manager and asked did the word “series” mean there were more to come and he replied in the affirmative. After this enjoyable dinner, it certainly is pleasing to know there’s more to come!
Dicey Reilly’s, 218 M10 Second Road, Pattaya, tel: 038 411 771, fax: 038 429 926, www.diceyspub.com, secure parking in Royal Garden Plaza, but remember to get your parking ticket validated by the Dicey Reilly’s staff.
(L to R) Jittima, Kallayanee, Thanaphat, and Waraporn prepare the evening’s wines.