It was another full house for the 10th anniversary of Ranjith Chandrasiri’s spectacular wine club at the Royal Cliff, now called the deVine Wine Club. With Stonefish wines and Executive Chef Walter Thenisch’s food this was a dinner that could be nothing but divine!
The reception wine was a Shell Bay Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, and there were some members who looked as if they were happy to stay there with the happy reception wine all night. Very palatable and easy drinking, but there was better waiting in the Grill Room and Wine Cellar.
Members toast to the club’s 10th anniversary.
The first course was an interesting salad of smoked snowfish with rock melon, water melon and crispy garlic, teamed with a Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Although a very young wine, it was very refreshing and very popular, though for some members of the deVine Club, the next white, a Stonefish Chardonnay 2009 was even more quaffable. This accompanied the pan-seared US scallop on a peach salsa with avocado cream. It tasted just as good as the description!
Chitra Chandrasiri displays the Flying Finix bottle she designed.
At this juncture, the first of the reds came out, with the Stonefish Merlot 2008 being drunk with an interesting glazed pork belly with a wine poached baby pear.
The main course was an incredibly tender slow roasted black Angus beef tenderloin and was accompanied by two more reds, as described by the deVine Club president, Ranjith Chandrasiri, as the premium ‘Reserve’ Stonefish Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 and the Stonefish ‘Reserve’ Shiraz 2004. The members seemed split on these two wines with my straw poll being 50/50 between the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Shiraz.
The final wine for the evening was one of my favorites, the botrytis Reserve Semillon 2006, known as the Flying Finix. This wine has an amazing connection with Pattaya, with the unique label etched into the glass, and designed by Ranjith’s artist wife Chitra Chandrasiri. The unusual spelling of the name comes from the fact that when the wine went for registration, “Phoenix” had already been taken, as was “Fenix”, so the final spelling had to be “Finix”. If you can find a bottle anywhere — buy it!
The 10th anniversary of the wine club at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort was another ‘tour de force’, up to the usual high standards to which the deVine members have become accustomed.
In the absence of Stonefish MD Peter Papanikitas (touring Europe) Stonefish wines were represented by the Wine Dee Dee Company, with its chairman, Anirut Posakrisna, in attendance.
Ranjith Chandrasiri, President of deVine Wine Club & Deputy General Manager of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group, addresses the gathering.
Some of the luminaries for the evening, (L to R) Carol Grodzines; Boudin Tamthai; Panga Vathanakul, managing director of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group; and Rajeev Pawa.
(L to R) Geoffrey Robinson; Suphaporn Robinson; Anja Schoof & daughter; Hans Schoof; and Chitra Chandrasiri are all smiles during the anniversary event.
Bruce Hoppe (left), from Emerson Electric (Thailand) Ltd. and Helmut Buchberger, past president of the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya enjoy sampling some of the white.
(L to R) Choopong Payotorn, F&B manager at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel; Veerasak Phongsai, head waiter; Vichai Poo-alai, restaurant manager of the Royal Grill Room & Wine Cellar; Stefan Beutler, asst. executive chef; Horst Rautert, pastry chef; Walter Thenisch, executive chef; Ranjith Chandrasiri, president of deVine Wine Club & deputy general manager of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group; Patt Srinoi, managing director & Anirut Posakrisna, chairman of Wine Dee Dee Group have put on a great night for all.