The Avani hotel’s outlet Dicey Reilly’s provided an interesting evening of Chilean wine tasting, with many of Pattaya’s wine aficionados on hand to sample the wines. The venue was the Dicey’s refurbished terrace.
The format was interesting with five wines to be judged, with one wine offered with a round every 30 minutes. The wines were two whites and three reds and all came from the Yali Winery in Chile, handled in Thailand by Siam Winery and represented by the vivacious Koolapatporn Intarasing (who could sell refrigerators to Eskimos).
As well as the different wines, Dicey Reilly supplied a huge range of buffet food items, so that the wine buffs were able to combine a wine and something substantial if they wished. With what was on offer, they all did!
At 7 p.m. Round 1 began with the Yali Wild Swan Sauvignon Blanc which I did enjoy. Starting slowly in the buffet with the cheese boards, and noting (for later) the Edam wheel, Gouda, Emmental, Brie and a Blue. The softer cheeses went well with is wine.
7.30 p.m. and we were sampling the second of the whites, a Yali Wild Swan Chardonnay. Remembering that wine tasting reflects an individual taste, the Yali chardonnay I found a little lacking in body. Consequently I chose the Piri Piri pork neck served with mustard to add a little spice to this one. In chardonnays, I like a little (read ‘lot’) of wood to give it more body.
Round 3 began at 8 p.m. with the Yali Wild Swan Merlot. If I wanted body – I just got it. This was a beefy Merlot with more tannin than grape. Something solid was needed from the buffet and I chose the South African Chakalaka chicken, which featured chicken drumsticks in a cooked rice base. It was a good choice.
Round 4 and the combatants were reeling on the ropes by this stage. The wine was the Yali Wetland Reserva Carmenere. This is an interesting wine, Carménère has a dark-skinned grape variety originally from the vineyards of Bordeaux, and which has found a particularly suitable home in Chile, and in fact is almost exclusive to Chile. After the heavy tannin of the Merlot, this was much smoother. I slowed down here and combined large pizza slices from the Forno oven.
Round five and 9 p.m. with the final wine being a Yali Wetland Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon. This was my wine of the night and if Dicey’s had offered this one earlier, I would have ignored the other four rounds and would have made a mess of myself with this beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon.
To accompany my wine, and now in the slowing down stage I pigged on a Teppan Ice Cream roll with condiments (in my case – cherries).
The items mentioned were just a few and I never managed to sample them all. Items such as live stations with roasted lamb leg, roasted Piri Piri pork neck with apple sauce, cold items included a gazpacho, Parma ham, smoked salmon, Maki Sushi with wasabi and duck breast with Thai spices, and more.
This had been a most interesting evening and the buffet probably the largest selection in Pattaya. We left suitably impressed and look forward to the next tasting which I imagine will be uncorked in June.