Sparkling evening of Italian wines & dinner at Mantra

Friday, 02 March 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 9 By  Sue K

It was indeed an interesting wine and food evening at Mantra Restaurant on Friday the 17th of February where a selection of premium quality Italian estate wines, was paired with a special menu, tailored on the characteristics of the wines, by the executive chef of the Amari Hotel.

The dinner was hosted by Giovanni Oliva, sales & marketing director for Asia of Grandi Vini d’Italia Group, and the Thai importer I.W.S. that represents these wineries in Thailand. Grandi Vini is a group established in 1987, by 8 different families of grape growers and wine makers from 6 regions of Italy.

Guests peruse the menu to see what exciting food and wine will be presented next.Guests peruse the menu to see what exciting food and wine will be presented next.

The evening started with a refreshing and fruity sparkling wine: Prosecco “Jeio Bisol”, the most classic aperitif wine from Italy that the guests could enjoy with a tasty selection of canapés. It was just perfect for the lightness of the Prosecco.

The appetizer, a tart of turbot, avocado and tuna, spiced up with wasabi, was pleasantly matched to the mineral and floral Gavi di Gavi “Rovereto” 2010 of Michele Chiarlo, one of the top producers from the well known Piemonte Region.

A pan fried breast of baby chicken on thyme was the first course, and it was paired to the Verdicchio “Podium” 2009, produced by the Garofoli family. This white wine, made with 100% of the eponymous grape variety, Verdicchio, grown only on the Central Italian Region Marche, is a full bodied white wine. It has a remarkable complexity, structure and longevity, and therefore it can be easily consumed with either poultry or pork, especially if prepared in a Mediterranean style, like in the case of the baby chicken with thyme.

(L to R) Salvatore Campinone, Horeca key account executive manager IWS; Michel Conrad, commercial wine director - IWS; Chef Kai Uwe Klenz; Giovani Oliva, Asia sales and marketing director for Grandi Vini D’ Italia; and Max Sieracki, resident manager of the Amari Orchid Pattaya. (L to R) Salvatore Campinone, Horeca key account executive manager IWS; Michel Conrad, commercial wine director - IWS; Chef Kai Uwe Klenz; Giovani Oliva, Asia sales and marketing director for Grandi Vini D’ Italia; and Max Sieracki, resident manager of the Amari Orchid Pattaya.

The main course was a fillet of French deer glazed with morel crust, apple, rosemary and mash red cabbage. This was a very rich dish, and therefore the red wine to stand by this course should have had an intense nose, a great body and a firm tannic structure. It was the case of the Umberto Cesari “Liano” 2008: a red wine made in the Region Emilia Romagna, in the North East of Italy, blending the Sangiovese and the Cabernet Sauvignon. “Liano” has a nose of mature red fruits and sweet spices, a smooth and soft flavor, that combined very well with the food.

The French deer was paired with two red wines, so the second was a Tuscan wine: the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2005, produced by Carpineto. This wine is made mainly with the Sangiovese Grape and it is aged for more than 2 years in large oak barrels, consequently it has an earthy and spicy nose, rather strong tannins, that combined perfectly with the texture and the protein of the deer’s meet.

A selection of cheeses followed the main course, in combination with the Amarone “Villa Girardi”, 2007. Amarone is one of the best known full bodied red wines from Italy, and it is traditionally produced in the North East of Italy, in the Veneto Region, in a very special way. It’s a blend of 3 indigenous grape varieties, dried for 5-6 months, and then pressed. All the sugar contained in the juice of these dried grapes is fermented and turned into alcohol; that’s the reason why Amarone has normally an alcohol content of 15-16%.

Generally Amarone is a great wine for aged or strong flavor cheeses, given its intense bouquet and opulent taste of dried fruits, jam of berries and sweet spices.

This delightful dining experience terminated with the dessert: a mousse of cantaloupe melon, served with chocolate ice cream & marinated strawberries, that found a nice companion in the Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti “Nivole” 2010.”

The seven course dinner went well into the night and some guests were seen finishing up the last drop around midnight.

Keep informed of the next wine dinner with Pattaya Mail.

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