A divine DeVine evening

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The Royal Cliff deVine Wine Club June 27 dinner featured Chilean wines from the Santa Carolina vineyards, a winemaker which most members at the dinner were not familiar with.

However, in its native Chile, this wine label is well known, founded in 1875 by Don Luis Pereyra Cotapos and named after his wife Carolina.  The wines became recognized internationally since 1889 with a gold medal in Paris, and these days are exported to over 80 countries.

(L to R) Robert Schnabel, Royal Cliff Grand Hotel Resident Manager, Dr. Iain Corness, Maria Gequillana, PR & Marketing Communications Manager of the Royal Cliff Hotel Group, Pratheep S. Malhotra, Managing Director of Pattaya Mail and Walter Thenisch, Executive Chef of Royal Cliff Hotel Group.(L to R) Robert Schnabel, Royal Cliff Grand Hotel Resident Manager, Dr. Iain Corness, Maria Gequillana, PR & Marketing Communications Manager of the Royal Cliff Hotel Group, Pratheep S. Malhotra, Managing Director of Pattaya Mail and Walter Thenisch, Executive Chef of Royal Cliff Hotel Group.

Representing Santa Carolina was a suave Frenchman Hugo Acket, the Sales Manager of Vanichwathana, the importers of the Santa Carolina brand wines.

Matching the food and the wines was, as always, the province of Executive Chef Walter Thenisch, and Hugo Acket also said how difficult this is, as the palates of so many people can be very different.  Those who indulge in fiery chillis have a very different concept of flavor, for example.

Representing Santa Carolina was a suave Frenchman Hugo Acket, the Sales Manager of Vanichwathana, the importers of the Santa Carolina brand wines.Representing Santa Carolina was a suave Frenchman Hugo Acket, the Sales Manager of Vanichwathana, the importers of the Santa Carolina brand wines.

The dinner was called, “Santa Carolina: Worldwide Recognition of Excellence” and began with smoked Patagonian cod loin in a sweet and sour fruit salsa.  I found the smoked cod very pleasant, and it was accompanied by a Vistana, Sauvignon Blanc (65 percent) – Semillon (35 percent) D.O. Valle Central 2013.  This was a light wine, with a surprisingly long finish, especially for a wine as young as this.

Antonello Passa, General Manager of Royal Cliff Hotel Group gives a warm welcoming speech to the guests who attended the wine dinner.Antonello Passa, General Manager of Royal Cliff Hotel Group gives a warm welcoming speech to the guests who attended the wine dinner.

The second course (of five) was one that met universal acclaim – pan-seared Pacific scallops on sautéed vegetable julienne with saffron cream sauce.  The wine here was another white, a Chardonnay D.O. Valle del Rapel, 2011.  This wine was full-bodied (the winemaker having spent some time in Australia) and also a very popular choice.

The main course was a slow roasted premium lamb rack with vegetables taken with the Carmenere, Reserva de Familia D.O. Valle del Rapel, 2010.  For me, this was the wine of the night.  Full bodied, strong tannin, great finish and I would guess at around 1,500 baht in the wine shops.

The Royal Cliff deVine Wine Club dinner featured Chilean wines from the Santa Carolina vineyards.The Royal Cliff deVine Wine Club dinner featured Chilean wines from the Santa Carolina vineyards.

And still the courses kept coming, the next being a spiced fruit bread with baked goat cheese and Tête de Moine (a type of cheese manufactured in Switzerland.  It was invented and initially produced more than eight centuries ago by the monks of the abbey).  This interesting course was taken with a Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon D.O. Valle del Colchagua, 2011, fairly traditional Cab Sav.

The dinner began with smoked Patagonian cod loin in a sweet and sour fruit salsa.The dinner began with smoked Patagonian cod loin in a sweet and sour fruit salsa.

The finale was a chocolate fudge with raspberry and almond crumble.  A Suvignon Blanc ‘Late Harvest” D.O. Valle del Rapel, 2009 was the last wine, slightly sweet and demi-sec to my palate.

It was another interesting wine dinner, introducing another vineyard for the members.  You can contact the wine club through [email protected]

Hugo Acket (left), Sales Manager of Vanichwathana, and Suchart Suksawad (right), Beverage Manager of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group.Hugo Acket (left), Sales Manager of Vanichwathana, and Suchart Suksawad (right), Beverage Manager of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group.

(L to R) Saman Jisakul, John Van Der Marel, Louisa Vander Marel, Frans Kouwenberg, Gerard Lemmers, Rudolf De Vos and Amporn Sriboonrueng sit down for a culinary and wine experience.