Royal Cliff deVine Wine Club examines Grand Cru Classe Wines

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The deVine Wine Club, a Royal Cliff Beach Hotel initiative, held another of its top class wine dinners last week.  The Royal Cliff’s wine club has done much to promote and educate the (sensible) drinking of wine during the past 12 years.

This dinner featured Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux Wines paired with modern French cuisine as provided by Executive Chef Walter Thenisch’s kitchen.

The guide for the diners through the world of Bordeaux wines (and a tour of the Chateaus) was Berenger Le Boursicot, the export manager for South East Asia and the Middle East of Borie Manoux, a Bordeaux Wine agent.  Also present at the dinner was Panga Vathanakul, the tireless head of the Royal Cliff, Anirut Posakrisna, the chairman of the local importers Wine Dee Dee and Antonello Passa the new GM of the Royal Cliff.

The standard format of these dinners was adhered to, with five courses and five wines to be paired with them.  In addition there was a (real) champagne (genuine French!) enjoyed at the reception.

The dinner began with Berenger Le Boursicot introducing himself and his company and briefly touching on the Grand Cru Classés of Bordeaux with their five classification tiers for the greatest wines in the region.  This classification was conceived in 1855, and is still used today.  No other wine region possesses a similar system for ranking its wines with a prominent status equal to that enjoyed by the Bordeaux classification.

The first course was a smoked sea prawns on Romesco salsa with horse radish foam and pea shoots.  This was teamed with an interesting white, a Domain Blondelet, Pouilly-Fume, Loire 2011.  This wine was universally popular with the deVine Wine Club members and their guests.

The second course was set to show that you do not need to stay with the idea that only white wines can be served with fish.  An oven roasted Alaskan cod medallion was presented on a red wine brandy sauce.  This was matched to a Chateau Mauvinon, Grand Cru Classe, Saint-Emilion 2008.  The cod could have been mistaken for a snow fish, but the flakes are somewhat larger.

The third course was a Barberry Duck with butternut squash, hazel nuts and prunes, eaten with a Chateau Lafleur Laroze, Grand Cru Classe, Saint-Emilion 2007.  I found this wine very similar to the Chateau Mauvinon, with both being a majority of Merlot with Cabernet Franc.

The main course was a wonderfully tender grilled Charolaise beef with sauce Perigourdine.  This was taken with the most expensive wine of the evening, a Chateau Lynch-Moussas, Grand Cru Classe, Pauillac 2003.  Berenger informed the diners that 2003 had been a hot year, thus affecting the soil and the vintage.  This wine was 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 40 percent Merlot.  Full bodied and very enjoyable drinking and definitely teamed well with the beef.  Almost all the diners mentioned this wine as one of their wines of the night!  K. Anurut also mentioned that he had been to the chateau and was most impressed by everything.

This wine carried over to a French gourmet cheese selection, which I actually found rather mild and overpowered somewhat by the Pauillac 2003.

The final wine for the evening was designed to go with the dessert of a chocolate tart with crème Chantilly, almond crumble and passion fruit jelly.  The wine was a Sauternes 2006, from Chateau Suduiraut, Premier Cru Classe, produced with the ‘noble rot’ process.

To finish a splendid evening, some French macaroons were brought to the table, to go with the coffees or teas, and after a breather, the Dining Out team headed back out into the dreadful Pattaya traffic jams.

This had been another excellent wine dinner organized by the deVine Wine Club, with almost all attendees remarking upon the value for money, as well as being presented with some different wines and wine styles along with a very enjoyable selection of gourmet dishes.

To join the deVine Wine Club contact [email protected]

The Royal Cliff Hotels Group, 353 Pratamnak Road, Pattaya, tel 038 250 421, fax 038 250 511, www.royalcliff.com, secure parking in the hotel grounds.