The deVine Club celebrates another Wine Spectator award

Friday, 08 February 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 6 By  Dr. Iain Corness

When you mention “wine tastings”, the image of long wooden school forms with breadsticks and water and an attendant spittoon comes immediately to mind.  Now, undoubtedly at the ‘professional’ events this is needed to keep a level playing field.  Competition for, and winning, gold medals can seriously affect the viability of a winegrowers future.  However, there can be another side to all this.

A few months ago, the Royal Cliff’s deVine Wine Club hosted a very different style of wine tasting, featuring the Stonefish wine label.  Eight stations around the perimeter of the ballroom with different wines.  No long forms, no breadsticks, no spittoons and plenty of finger food.  It was a ‘rave’ event.

Proudly holding the Wine Spectator Award are (l-r) Somchart Boonmawat F&B Director (Grand Hotel), Panga Vathanakul (Managing Director), and Christoph Voegeli (General Manager & deVine Club Acting President).Proudly holding the Wine Spectator Award are (l-r) Somchart Boonmawat F&B Director (Grand Hotel), Panga Vathanakul (Managing Director), and Christoph Voegeli (General Manager & deVine Club Acting President).

With the Royal Cliff securing yet another Wine Spectator award (the ninth consecutive year - a world first) the hotel decided to celebrate this with another wine tasting event, in the same format as the Stonefish event last year.

However, this time many wine suppliers were invited to showcase their better wines, and the deVine Wine Club members and guests were given the opportunity to try around 50 different wines.  In addition, Executive Chef Walter Thenisch put on a spread which included live cooking stations with duck, roast lamb and baked snowfish and a tomato soup with a splash of gin!

With eight wine stations, each with around six to eight labels, it was impossible to try them all, without being carried out on a stretcher feet first, but the following wines impressed: Ambrose Wines - Mapu Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Chile); Canpac Beverages - Rosemount Diamond label Chardonnay 2009 (Australia); BB&B - Sileni Sparkling (NZ); Vanichwathana - Sauvignon Blanc Robertson Winery 2011 (SA); and Wine Dee Dee Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Australia).

Wine appreciation is always an individual feeling, but for me at least, the Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc 2012 was the stand-out.  Clean and refreshing with good nose and wonderful long finish.

Congratulations GM Christoph Voegeli and his team, as well as Executive Chef Walter Thenisch and the kitchen brigade.  A truly wonderful evening.  Thank you.  (P.S. When’s the next one?)

Panga Vathanakul, MD of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group leads her executives in welcoming their guests to the extraordinary award celebration.Panga Vathanakul, MD of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group leads her executives in welcoming their guests to the extraordinary award celebration.

Panga Vathanakul takes a short break chatting with Michael Kovac, long staying VIP guest from the UK.Panga Vathanakul takes a short break chatting with Michael Kovac, long staying VIP guest from the UK.

Enjoying the fruits of their labour are Executive Pastry Chef Horst Rautert, Executive Chef Walter Thenisch and Klaus Bodo Hund (Royal Wing Suites & Spa Resident Manager). Regular guest Decker Oskar Paul Alfred (2nd right) joined in the celebrations.Enjoying the fruits of their labour are Executive Pastry Chef Horst Rautert, Executive Chef Walter Thenisch and Klaus Bodo Hund (Royal Wing Suites & Spa Resident Manager). Regular guest Decker Oskar Paul Alfred (2nd right) joined in the celebrations.

Vipavee Wuthichat (Resident Manager of Operations), together with Vitanart, Panga and Vathanai Vathanakul convey their best wishes to Mr Ackerman (2nd left) who celebrated his 97th birthday that evening.Vipavee Wuthichat (Resident Manager of Operations), together with Vitanart, Panga and Vathanai Vathanakul convey their best wishes to Mr Ackerman (2nd left) who celebrated his 97th birthday that evening.

Hundreds of deVine Club members and guests attended the extraordinery evening to congratulate the Royal Cliff on yet another outstanding achievement.

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