Casanova visits Zico’s


If Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (April 2, 1725 – June 4, 1798), the world famous womanizer was alive today, he probably would have drunk the wine we experienced at the wine dinner held at Zico’s Brazilian Grill and Bar last weekend.

And the wine?  None other than that from the Hugo Casanova vineyards of Chile, with Hugo Casanova present in person to speak about his wines.  However, he did also mention his illustrious relative, with a wicked smile, that could only have been in his DNA.

Will the real casanova please step forward. Dr Iain Corness (left) and  Hugo Casanova.Will the real casanova please step forward. Dr Iain Corness (left) and  Hugo Casanova.

The wine dinner was arranged by Anirut Posakrisna, the chairman of the Wine Dee Dee company, to introduce the Casanova wines to Pattaya.  Now while Chile is not Brazil, it was obvious that both Hugo Casanova himself, and his export manager, Victor Aguilera, were able to cross the cultural and linguistic divide between Chile and Brazil and enjoy themselves, not with just the dinner, but with the Samba dancers as well.

The first course was a salmon carpaccio with avocado crabmeat, eaten with the first wine, a Hugo Casanova Reserva 2008 Chardonnay.  A very pleasant first course, with a very pleasant, and not overly ‘wooded’ wine, which spends only six months in French oak casks during maturation.

The second white wine was a Casanova Sauvignon Blanc and I was particularly taken with this wine.  A little more body than the Chardonnay and a very pleasant long finish.

From there it was into the first red, the Hugo Casanova Reserva 2009 Merlot.  Not a heavy Merlot at all, but again a very quaffable drop and when Anirut Posakrisna indicated that the wine would retail around B. 600 a bottle, this makes it a very powerful performer in the price/performance equation.  The wine was drunk in conjunction with a seared duck liver on a wild mushroom risotto.

Samba dancers are anything but laid back at Zico’s. Samba dancers are anything but laid back at Zico’s.

The final wine was undoubtedly the ‘wine of the night’ for both my wife and myself.  This was a Hugo Casanova Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2000.  Hugo was quick to point out that this wine should be drunk now, its life exceeding expectations, but it was an excellent red.  Enough body, a tinge of tannin and a good long finish.  This one will have an RRP of around B. 1,100 according to Anirut Posakrisna.  Taken with a very tender black peppered beef tenderloin, the wine could handle the strong beef without any problems.  ‘Wine of the night’!

It was a very relaxed and laid back dinner, though the Samba dancers were anything but laid back with their spectacular routines, and invited the guests up to dance with them.  Hugo was all smiles, and quite frankly, so were we all with the Hugo Casanova wines.