Alois Wine Dinner – no April Fool!

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Friday April 1 was more than just April Fool’s Day for some of the gourmets in Pattaya, as they descended en-masse to the Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar for a Wine Dinner.

With the wines sponsored by Natthachai Chaiyaprom of BNK Pattaya Wine Gallery, and the Alois kitchen brigade on high alert, it showed much promise, and indeed there was no disappointment registered by the end of the function.

The cocktail wine was an Italian Pinot Chardonnay, “Extra Dry”.  Made from 100 percent Pinot Chardonnay grapes, it was certainly dry, but a pleasant start to the evening.

Natthachai Chaiyaprom of BNK Pattaya Wine Gallery sponsored the wines.Natthachai Chaiyaprom of BNK Pattaya Wine Gallery sponsored the wines.

The first course was a crispy duck with a bean sprout/capsicum salad and Balsamico dressing, and although well presented, I felt the Balsamico overpowered the duck.  The wine was a Margaret River West Australian Barwick Estate Chardonnay 2007, which was very popular, with many requests for another glass, always the yardstick for popularity.

The following course was a Norwegian salmon dish teamed with a Chilean Gewurztraminer “Malvilla” 2009, which had people talking before it was even poured, with everyone expecting the sweet, fruity wines that Gewurztraminer tends to be.  Amazingly, this wine was not sweet at all, and blended very well with the delicately flavored salmon in the saffron cream sauce.

The main course was a very tender grilled Australian beef tenderloin, which was accompanied by a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere Reserva 2004.  Lacking a little in ‘nose’, it, however, washed the steak down in fine form, and noticeably improved as far as the aroma was concerned after 10 minutes of sitting after pouring.

For the next course, a baked Gorgonzola dish, the wine chosen was an Argentine Malbec Dulce Natural “Jean Bousquet” 2009.  Sampling the wine, everyone said “Oh, this is a little sweet.”  However, when the Gorgonzola arrived, this was a perfect match with the sweetness of the wine contrasting with the sharpness of the cheese.  Brilliant!

Delicious Norwegian salmon.Delicious Norwegian salmon.

The final course was a parfait and the dessert wine chosen to go with this was a French Abeillon Muscat Moelleux 2005, a light wine to just clean the palate following the Almond and Zabaglione parfait.

At B. 1,900 net, this was an excellent value for money evening, and the combination of the Argentine Malbec and the baked Gorgonzola cheese had everyone talking well into the night.  In my opinion, the wine of the night and the dish of the night.

The only sad part for me came from the question posed by a young man from a TV media group at our table who asked if “Alois” came from the Thai word “Aroy (aloy)” because the food was good.  When I asked him had he never heard of “Mr. Pattaya” Alois X Fassbind, he admitted he had not.  After a short lecture he was appraised of the reasons behind the name, but I was left with the sadness that only age can bring.  There was much talk after Fassbind’s death of a statue, or naming a street or a park.  We should not let the past deeds of men such as Alois X Fassbind be forgotten – but it is obvious we have.