Three generations of the Delicato family have tended the vines since 1912, having emigrated to America from their native Sicily. It was not the most opportune time to start a wine business, with America in the grips of the Prohibition, but the Delicato family found that it was not illegal to grow grapes, harvest grapes or sell grapes. This they did very successfully, shipping grapes all over North America (and you can guess what might have become of them), but when Prohibition was lifted, they then kept the grapes, made wine, and shipped wine all over the country.
Director of Operations Dylan Counsel was everywhere making the event run to a timetable.
The Delicato Family Vineyards use the “King Fish” brand as theirs (not to be confused with the Australian Stonefish or Garfish labels or the Indian Kingfisher beer) and the name reputedly came from a one hour battle the elder Delicato had with a kingfish, so he dedicated his wines to the memory of the King fish. We were assured by Ryan Stewart that he actually returned the fish to the lake, though that might be one of those (Sicilian) family tales!
Director of Operations Dylan Counsel was everywhere making the event run to a timetable, beginning with the bubbly reception on the raised dais outside. The opening wine was the Opera Primat Charmat Brut and Pongsak Tiamsuttikarn, marketing and sales director for the World Class Wines Company was on hand with his sales manager Pichit Intramand digitally recording the event.
Wine dinners such as this allows the kitchen brigade some room to be creative, and Aussie Chef Luis Zamora excelled himself that evening, and more on that later.
The first course was a peppered tuna loin and scallops on a sweet corn puree and salad of fennel and spring onion. The fennel and spring onion alerted the palate that wine was coming, in the form of the King Fish Chardonnay, a dry medium bodied white wine.
The second course was a foie gras on a toasted brioche with rhubarb and wild rocket, taken with the 2009 King Fish Merlot. Another very pleasant wine and a fun presentation by chef Luis - but more was to come!
The sorbet was presented encased in ice, with a hypodermic syringe filled with tequila speared into the top. Guests were encouraged to administer their own tequila. Chef Luis assured the guests that the hypodermics were all new!
Regional sales manager Ryan Stewart spoke of the history of the vineyards.
The main course following the sorbet was a duck breast on French lentils with a vanilla bean and apple relish. This time Luis attached an orange reduction to the dish, in a plastic filler that you squeezed. The wine with this was the King Fish Shiraz 2009, a wine did really did enjoy.
The final course was an imported cheese selection from France with a goat cheese and others including a wonderful blue. Taken with the King Fish Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, it was a wonderful finish to the evening.
It was another light-hearted and fun wine dinner. The combination of the wines and the food was excellent, and Dylan Counsel’s “in depth” quiz had everyone smiling. If that was not enough, world famous magician Howard Posener was also in attendance, mystifying the guests with his close-up magic. The event (and it was an “event”) also had the usual Friday night musical trio, playing great background music for the dinner. Another astounding fact was revealed late in the dinner, that most of the King Fish wines were retailing well under B. 1,000.
Dylan Counsel, Luis Zamora, Annie and all the staff are to be congratulated on once more giving Dicey Reilly’s some palpable soul. Well done!
Chef Luis assured the guests that the hypodermics were all new!