The Royal Cliff’s deVine Wine Club was host to an amazing young man from the Vanichwathana Company at their recent Culinary Excursion to Bordeaux and Bourgogne wine dinner.
The fresh new face was Vanichwathana’s Wine Sommelier, 23-year-old Guillaume Celante, who worked with the Royal Cliff’s new Executive Chef Peter Held to produce matched courses and wines with a maturity well beyond his years.
In his early twenties he had already worked in Paris and had become the Head Sommelier in a Michelin starred restaurant. A great CV at such an early stage in his career.
The dinner began with a seared scallop on an avocado tartar with a mango dressing. This was a light beginning and for me I requested some ground black pepper to bring out the flavor of the avocado. This was paired with a Macon Villages Joseph Drouhin 2016, a light wine as a palate cleanser.
The next course was an eye-opener with a curried cauliflower veloute being universally popular with the wine club members. This was married to a Bourgogne Aligote Joseph Drouhin 2015, a wine with good body and finish. Veloute’s such as this are considered to be amongst the five “mother sauces” of French cuisine as described by the famous Auguste Escoffier in the 19th Century.
A little breather and a tamarind sherbet and we were ready for the main course. This was a roasted Angus beef tenderloin which literally did just fall apart with gentle pressure from a spoon. Chef Peter said this was achieved by slow cooking for six hours before presentation. This was paired with a Beaujolais Villages Joseph Drouhin 2014, a French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée wine generally made of the Gamay grape which has a thin skin and is low in tannins, and perfectly enjoyable with the Angus beef.
The next course was a real eye-opener being a blue cheese crème brulee served with a grilled pear and a balsamic shallot confit. Tantalizing the taste buds, but what wine would go with this? Guillaume selected a Moulin a Vente Joseph Drouhin 2013 (windmill in French), a red with plenty of body and an inspired partner for the blue cheese.
There was a chocolate based dessert taken with the Chateau Le Thibaut 2014 dessert wine, which unlike many wines of this genre was 12.5 percent ABV, making for a dangerous tipple at the end of a wonderful evening.
This was one of the better wine dinners for the deVine Wine Club and augurs well for forthcoming wine events at the Royal Cliff. New dishes included the spectacular curried cauliflower veloute and the blue cheese crème brulee with grilled pear. The latter was paired with a Moulin A Vent Joseph Drouhin 2013, a wine robust enough to meet the blue cheese head on!
On an historical note, French Wine producer Maison Joseph Drouhin is based in Burgundy and was founded in 1880. These days the estate owns vineyards in Chablis, the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise, as well as in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
With many of the kitchen brigade and service personnel being younger professionals on the way up, there was an infectious optimism throughout the dinner, with many club members purchasing bottles of the wines, in my opinion bargain priced, at B. 1,800.
Look for advance notice of the next deVine Wine dinner in the Pattaya Mail.