A California Wine Icon comes to Sheraton Pattaya

Beringer Wines and the Cuisine of Chef Pichit Make for a Memorable Evening

by Mick & Di,

The Food Lovers

thefoodloverspattayatoday@msn.com

The sunset terrace at Sheraton Pattaya was transformed into a Californian set (complete with Hollywood sign) to stage this latest vinous-gastro event featuring the wines of the Beringer Vineyards from the Napa Valley, California. Sheraton Pattaya wine dinners are always high flying affairs and this night was no exception. A selection of five vintages had been carefully chosen to pair with Executive Chef Pichit Plaibua’s special menu.

Said to be the epitome of modern, classic wines, Beringer has been the Napa Valley benchmark producer since its establishment in 1876. Their winemaking legacy of more than 130 years is reflected in an acclaimed portfolio of wines which are collected worldwide. It is worth noting that if California were a nation, it would be the fourth leading wine-producing country in the world behind France, Italy and Spain.

Wine and food lovers gathered at sunset for the first pairing of the evening, a chilled Beringer Founder Estate Chardonnay 2012 accompanied by the most delicious canapés enjoyed with the backdrop of Sheraton’s privileged panoramic vista out over the bay.

Dinner was called and once settled we were served the pre-starter of olive, Gruyere and tomato brioche, cheesy focaccia and pretzel twists accompanied by a sundried tomato pesto. An absolute scrumptious basket of artisan breads and zesty pesto but restraint was needed – we had five more courses to go. The first of which was promptly served: cured hamachi (yellowfin tuna) with avocado, harissa yoghurt, duck crackling, caviar and basil oil powder. Now we’ve eaten yellowfin tuna sashimi-style before but never cured and it was absolutely incredible, soft and tender with the freshness shining through plus the addition of the other embellishments, especially the harissa yoghurt and duck crackling it was a beautiful, dramatic dish. The Chardonnay made for the perfect combo to pair with the tuna. Pear and apple on the palate with a hint of citrus, it was a marriage made in heaven.

The next course presented Swiss chard and duck served cannelloni fashion. Attended by earthy wild mushrooms and a rich foie gras pop, it was another inspirational dish. The wine coupling was a Beringer Zinfandel 2012. Medium ruby red in colour with soft tannins and fruity aromas, it did indeed make good friends with this flavoursome dish.

The third course highlighted roasted lamb loin. Cooked to the perfect manner of pinkness, for our taste, and served with the thyme-infused aubergine the nutty lush           fava beans together with the added sweetness of balsamic honey and crunch of sea salt, it proved another hit. The selected wine for this course was our favourite of the evening, a Beringer Founder Estate Merlot 2012. A medium bodied, fruity wine with light oak notes and fine tannins married well with the sweetness of the lamb.

Beringer Founder Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 was the next pour of the evening to be served with the main course, slow-cooked Wagyu short rib escorted by parsnip puree, spring vegetables and rosemary. This renowned beef benefited by being heavily marbled and cooked slow and steady to bring out its natural flavourings. Partnered by the ruby red Cabernet Sauvignon with its fullness and vanilla oak finish the room gained a much quieter ambiance as this point as we all appreciated the high quality beef and wines before us. Comfort food par excellence indeed!

Our fifth and final pouring of the evening comprised a Beringer White Zinfandel 2013. With a hue of pale rose and an aroma of strawberries and rhubarb, it was a delicate, slightly sweet wine with a soft finish. The significant other for this course was an orange and Grand Marnier soufflé with a vanilla citrus and lime mousse escorted by a green tea biscuit. An exquisite melodious offering which sweetly brought our pageant of dishes to a close.

This outstanding evening of feasting and imbibing not only demonstrated the degree of high chefery in this kitchen but the team effort that is needed to produce these affairs. The evening concluded with the entire room applauding Chef Pichit, his brigade and the serving staff for executing and delivering such a superb dinner. Innovative cuisine with a confluence of luxury overload and fine wines is always going to be a dinner to remember.

Elements Restaurant

Sheraton Pattaya Resort

437 Phra Tamnak Road, Pattaya

Open daily from 6 am to 11 pm

Tel: 038 259 836

www.sheraton.com/pattaya

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