Mövenpick picks its wines

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Choice Charcuterie.
Choice Charcuterie.

Mövenpick is in NaJomtien and very easy to access. To get there (which is actually the easiest part of the whole exercise), head towards Sattahip on Sukhumvit Road, do a U-Turn after Ocean Marina and Mövenpick is about 200 meters along on the left. We experienced road works, but just do the first U-Turn that you can after Ocean Marina. A long driveway gets you to the secure parking area. There is an elevator which will then take you up to the Lobby.

For a ‘newbie’ Mövenpick is showing itself to be very active. October was ushered in with a wine function, teamed with finger foods, with the new GM Jean-Pierre Trabut mingling with the guests (doing what GM’s do best).

The function was held in the Red Coral area (it’s not a ‘room’ – I think the architect was partaking of mind altering substances during the pencil to paper stage, but at least the chairs were comfortable).

The concept of pairing wines and food is a well tried and popular way to introduce wines to the oenophiles or even those who just like a tipple, but this is usually done as a ‘wine dinner’ which is a fairly formal way of exposing the drinkers to the drink. However, there is another way, and that is by serving finger food along with the wines; however, this really does not help the wine drinkers pair the food and the wines.

Mövenpick took this concept a bit further by presenting the different wines with the different food, best suited together. For example, the reception wine, Opera Prima Moscato was paired with a shooter of Tomato Gazpacho complete with a grilled prawn and burrata cheese. Both emanate from Spain, and indeed went well together with the slightly sharp gazpacho offset by the by the sweetness of the moscato.

After mingling into the Red Coral area, the wine drinkers were exposed to live stations, and I began with some French Oysters (Fine de Clair), shucked on the spot by a charming young lady, with the wine at hand being a Rockbrook Sauvignon Blanc from California. A second display table featured a Charcuterie which featured hand carved Iberico ham, salami and a mixed antipasto.

Cool gazpacho and hot prawns.
Cool gazpacho and hot prawns.

The Rockbrook Sauvignon Blanc had been given 84 points by the Wine and Spirits magazine. To be honest, I am not impressed by ‘scores’ as they reflect the palate of the examiner, rather than any supposed excellence or otherwise of the wines. Wine appreciation is always a very personal feature.

Staying with the whites, a Coastal Ridge Chardonnay from California (87 points if you believe in the reviewer) was chosen by me to go with some Open Face ‘bites’ with house made gravlax and pumpernickel, cream cheese and diced cucumber. These two were so refreshing, I could have stayed there for the duration.

Moving into the reds, I first began with a Rockbrook Shiraz, from the wineries in California. This wine has a reasonable body, enough to go with the roasted pork pancetta rolled and the slow roasted Charolaise beef prime rib with marrow bone and lattice chips. With Mövenpick having its own dry aging butchery, you can expect excellent cuts of the Charolaise beef.

Helen Trabut is flanked by Michael Scollins (left) and the ever so friendly GM Jean-Pierre Trabut (right).
Helen Trabut is flanked by Michael Scollins (left) and the ever so friendly GM Jean-Pierre Trabut (right).

For me, the fifth wine was the Coastal Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, another Californian wine (87 points if you like numbers). This I drank with more of the slow roasted Charolaise and they went very well together.

Mövenpick is to be congratulated for coming up with a different way of presenting wines and producing a very enjoyable evening.

Mövenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya, 55 Moo 2, Sukhumvit Rd Km156.5 Na Jomtien, telephone +66 33 078 888, www.movenpick.com/pattaya,  restaurants open from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., secure parking in the hotel grounds.

Wine connoisseur Dr. Iain Corness says, “I am not impressed by ‘scores’…wine appreciation is always a very personal feature.”
Wine connoisseur Dr. Iain Corness says, “I am not impressed by ‘scores’…wine appreciation is always a very personal feature.”