Californian wine gala dinner lives up to its promise

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Once again, the wine-dinner at the Royal Grill Room & Wine Cellar of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort on March 9th was fully booked and it lived up to its promise.

Californian wines were the highlights at this event and its exquisite taste was underlined by Chef Walter Thenisch’s culinary art.

Royal Cliff’s general manager, Christoph Voegeli, welcomed the guests, amongst whom were Panga Vathanakul, her husband Chan and Son Vitanart, and introduced guest speaker David Millière, a French sommelier who lives in California.

John Crawford, David Millière, Manantana Chaisamut and Christoph Voegeli.John Crawford, David Millière, Manantana Chaisamut and Christoph Voegeli.

David grew up in wine country, being from the French wine region of Rhone, whilst his parents came from the Burgundy region.

The sponsor of this event’s wines was Canpac Beverage Ltd., whose sales manager, Suphunnee Chaimipak, was amongst the guests.

The first delicacy was golden baked goat cheese with grilled Peckham pear, grapes and endives salad laced with roasted nuts. For me it was one of the best dishes I ever tasted. A Chateau Sauverian, Chardonnay 2006 of the Alexandria Valley was served to this dish. A light fragrant wine, fitting perfect to starters.

Michel Jansen, Ingrid and Harkus Stalder.Michel Jansen, Ingrid and Harkus Stalder.

Pan-seared Pacific scallops on a flavored celeriac mash and jalapeno emulsion followed. Again a great taste and the wine, a Chateau St. Jean, Fume Blanc, Sonoma 2006 complimented this dish well.

A seared Margret duck-breast was served next, accompanied by a shallot compote on Roselle reduction.

The meat was beautifully cooked and it melted on the tongue. The first red wine served, a Beringer California Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 had a wonderful taste; mild and smooth to drink. A perfect combination.

Otto Gerth, Christoph Voegeli, and Dieter Reigber.Otto Gerth, Christoph Voegeli, and Dieter Reigber.

Since it was a Californian wine-dinner, a steak, a beef tenderloin, was not to be missed. This, too, was served with a red wine, a Chateau St. Jean Pinot Noir, Sanoma 2007. For me the second best wine of the evening after the California Collection.

A sweet temptation with dark chocolate, blueberries and vanilla crème bruille ended this sumptuous meal. Lucky for me the wine served to this dish was not sweet but a very tasty Chateau Souverain Merlot, from the Alexander Valley 2005.

Near the end of the evening, Panga Vathanakul presented gifts to guest speaker David Millière and Suphunnee Chaimipak, and expressed her gratitude towards them.

Vorakamol Uta, Suphunnee Chaimipak and Pisit Suwankomaen.Vorakamol Uta, Suphunnee Chaimipak and Pisit Suwankomaen.

Hubert and Ria Zanten, Yvonne and Willem Stevent.Hubert and Ria Zanten, Yvonne and Willem Stevent.

Andrew Barnes, Thanakiat Keawwapee, Alan Heath and David Darby.Andrew Barnes, Thanakiat Keawwapee, Alan Heath and David Darby.

IB and Kanikar Ottesen, Sudasawan and Kurt Lawrence.IB and Kanikar Ottesen, Sudasawan and Kurt Lawrence.

Christoph Voegeli, Elfi Seitz, Chan Vathanakul, Vitanart Vathanakul, David Millière, and Panga Vathanakul.Christoph Voegeli, Elfi Seitz, Chan Vathanakul, Vitanart Vathanakul, David Millière, and Panga Vathanakul.