by Mick & Di, The Food Lovers
Pattaya’s foodiegentsia and oenophiles gathered recently in the opulence of the Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar to enjoy the latest deVine Wine Club dinner. The host for the evening was the distinguished sommelier Fiorenzo Dogliani, CEO of the Beni di Batasiolo winery who travels the globe promoting his Piedmontese wines. For centuries the Dogliani name has been synonymous with the distinctive wines of the region. Six excellent and varied vintages had been chosen to accompany the exquisite food of Executive Chef Walter Thenisch and Royal Cliff’s culinary team. Graciously presided over by Panga Vathanakul, managing director of Royal Cliff Hotels Group, these occasions are eagerly anticipated and enthusiastically attended.
The Beni di Batasiolo winery is in the heart of the Piedmont Region neighbouring France and Switzerland in the northwest corner of Italy. In light of the colder climates, the grape varietals are quite different from their southern Italian counterparts. Piedmont winegrowers are renowned for their Barbera, Moscato Bianco, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto grape varieties.
The first pouring of the evening was enjoyed in The Bar as the sun was just dipping under the horizon as we arrived to be served a glass of Prosecco Extra Dry Spumante NV paired with a lavish collection of canapés and finger food by Chef Romano Kreutz. Moscato Bianco grapes produce a light, sparkling wine that is both flavourful and fragrant making the ideal flute of bubbly to launch deVine Wine Club’s “una notte in Italia” (a night in Italy).
We then adjourned to the Royal Grill Room where the glasses glistened and the starched napery stood to attention to welcome the guests and members of the wine club to another evening of wining and dining Royal Cliff style. The first appetizer to be served was a delicate long-poached Dutch veal tenderloin in the manner of vitello tonnato. Piquant, salty capers dotted the plate with tiny puddles of tuna mousseline and dainty flowers with spring leaves were artistically strewn across the plate. The first white of the evening, Gavi del Comune di Gavi Granee DOCG 2015, displayed a steely reserve with a surprising almost lemon custard finish.
Pan-roasted fillet of loup de mer (Mediterranean sea bass) followed, served with another interesting white label, this time a Chardonnay, Langhe La Promessa DOC 2014. The rich bouquet with more than a few suggestions of tropical fruit made instant friends with the flaky yet smooth delicacy of the fish. A brown mushroom carpaccio and porcini foam married well with the overall flavours with special mention to the sweet corn puree for its piquancy and flavour.
A crystal clear Barbera d’Asti Sabri DOCG 2013 introduced the first red of the evening. Garnet red with nuances of woods and plants its pairing of baked lamb loin fillet with root vegetables and thyme-rosemary flavoured red wine jus was a culinary romp in the countryside.
The penultimate course was a fine selection of Italian cheeses (pecorino, Gorgonzola and taleggio) with walnut bread and fig jam. The wine chosen to keep pace with these bold flavours was a full-bodied Barolo Com Eravamo DOCG 2012. Rich in colour with a complex bouquet it was a very graceful wine which loved the vibrancy of the King of Italian cheeses.
Dolce was provided by Chef Frederic Paris in the form of a square of strawberry mousse accompanied by a disc of biscuit crumb and a tall white chocolate ring filled with Chantilly cream. Paired with a glass or two of a very acceptable dessert Moscato Spumante NV it proved the sweetest, indulgent closer.
The service at the Royal Grill Room and Wine Cellar is impeccable serving the sextet of courses with skilled professionalism – the entire gastronomic event orchestrated to precision. Do check out their website, www.royalcliff.com, for future events.