by John K. Lindgren
A wine dinner at the luxury grand Siam Kempinski’s is always a highlight of Bangkok’s culinary calendar.
Recently Brasserie Europa, the hotel’s smart all day dining restaurant, hosted a wine dinner featuring a gourmet selection of dishes prepared by executive Chef James Norman paired with fine Chilean wines from Ravanal Wine Estate imported by P.O.P. Food & Beverage Company.
The dinner fully booked and there is anticipation in the air as the guests, a new generation of wine aficionados, young professionals arrive. The elegant Brasserie Europa’s tables decked and glasses sparkling. Guests comfortably seated as the first dish appears. A melt-in-your-mouth yellow fin tuna tartare avocado cream, kalamata olives, lemon fennel salad paired with Ravanal’s best white Ravanal Reserva Chardonnay 2014. Straw color with intense banana, vanilla aromas and a hint of pineapple loaded with Chardonnay crispness and freshness.
The first red wine: Ravanal Reserva Carmenere, a dark-skinned grape variety originally from Bordeaux, which has found a particularly suitable home in Chile. Ravanal’s Carmenere is served with a mouthwatering Parsley potato gnocchi duck ragout, chives sour cream, rosemary parmesan crisps. A match in gastronomic heaven: the duck ragout, parsley potato gnocchi (pronounced ‘nokki’) parmesan crisps (‘chips’ in US English) washed down Chilean Carmenere full of ripe black fruit flavor of plums and berries. Big smiles at the tables. Behind me I hear “this is lip smacking good” in North American accent. I see smiling faces and hear wine glasses clinking
Here between the palatable dishes and delectable wines Pia Ravanal, agricultural engineer oenologist and granddaughter of the founder Teodoro Ravanal, gives a short speech about the family wine enterprise, its history, the Chilean soil, terroir and ideal climate of Colchagua Valley producing grapes of outstanding quality.
Now, the main course: Slow-cooked Australian oyster blade beef carrot mousseline and roasted, homemade ricotta, Cabernet Sauvignon sauce. Juicy, succulent Australian beef with one of the award winning Ravanal ‘Cabs’ the Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. In the glass deep red tones complemented by elegant and intense aromas of red fruits, chocolate and soft notes of vanilla. On the palate expressive with ripe and silky tannins. What a duo: Australian prime beef, Chilean Cabernet Reserva. “Cheers, compliments to the chef!” says a young entrepreneur at my table.
This memorable Brasserie Europa Chilean wine dinner ends on sweet note: Caramelized figs, mascarpone cheese ice cream, and ginger bread. A melange of flavors and textures matched with Ravanal Limited Selection 2010 in the glass. A red three grape combination of classic Bordeaux Syrah (Shiraz), Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon varieties with deep ruby hues, complex and intense, with aromas of ripe red fruits and dry plums. This Ravanal Limited Selection is not a (sweet) dessert wine – but it partners marvelously with the figs, ice cream and ginger bread.
Chapeau! Kudos to Ravanal premium wines, Chef James cuisine and Brasserie Europe’s impeccable service.
Now, all wine lovers! To avoid disappointment book early for the next Siam Kempinski Wine Dinner.
In Vino Veritas