Friday, May 22, 2015

Chandon Wine Pairing At EGG (Eight Gourmet Gala)

It's always a pleasure to get an invitation from the MHD and Geometry Global people, and all the more so, when the event involves bubbly in the day time.  Drinking bubbly in daylight always gives me the illusion, and delusion, that I am on holiday somewhere.  So easy to make me happy.

The venue, Eight Gourmet Gala, sounded promising, although it was located in Sunway, (brrr, driving all the way there gives me jetlag... fortunately I managed to hitch a ride to and fro, and with the amount of booze imbibed, it turned out a wise choice).  Familiar faces greeted us, and scares me to realise I've known these people for at least 3-4 years now, in the blink of an eye.

The wines featured for the day were the Chandon Brut, Domaine Chandon Chardonnay, Domain Chandon Pinot Noir, Domaine Chandon Shiraz and Chandon Rose.  A nice corner of the restaurant, with plenty of sunlight, was cordoned off for the event, and Dan Buckle, Senior Winemaker from Chandon Estates, Victoria, was our "host" for the afternoon.

His meticulous approach to wine making has seen him rise to become one of Victoria and Australia's most prominent winemakers.  With a degree in Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine) and a family history of owning a vineyard, it's no surprise that he is an expert, with vast experiences ranging from Coldstream Hills, Yering Station and Mount Langhi Ghiran.  He looks quite young, actually, for someone with so many feathers under his cap, or vine leaves under his belt.
 Anyway, Dan's approach to the wine pairing was more relaxed, and did not pair any one wine with any particular dish, but more letting us have an adventure, and explore the different permutations, with different foods, as should be the way, for I myself am not a believer that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.  Especially if the goose is partial to say, a white.

 The happy faces of some of the people at the luncheon.

The first dish was a seafood platter... Well, that's exactly what it says on the menu.  Definitely a dearth of description there, but if I had to describe it, it comprised a plump oyster, which glided down the throat effortlessly with the Bubbly Chandon Brut.  There's something about oysters and sparkling, undoubtedly, and the crisp bouquet of citrus blossom etc in my opinion made that the best pairing for my oyster.  The Rose went particularly well with the raw prawn, as the fruitiness of the berries combatted the raw marine flavour of the prawn.  The sashimi fish, with the tinge of wasabi also seemed to pair better with the Rose, although to be honest, the fish itself wasn't particularly impressive, so fortunately the sterling wines masked whatever shortcomings.

To the usual mindset, red meat (as was this Smoked Duck) is paired with red wine.  But the whole idea put forward by Dan was to explore the different nuances and subtleties in the less traditional pairings.  So, five slices of meat for five different wines placed before us.  It takes a person of strong disposition not to exercise restraint and not gulp down a glass of each with each piece of duck.  Alas, I exercised no such restraint.  My verdict was the Duck paired well with the Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir 2013, but that's to be expected.  The aromas of cheery kernel and raspberry mix almost made the chef's job easier without having to prepare any elaborate sauces.  However, having said that, I am a firm believer that sparkling wine, The Chandon Brut, goes with everything, and I would gladly waste away an afternoon sipping the Brut whilst chewing on smoked duck.

Grilled Salmon With Mint Sauce, I guess was meant to be paired with the Chardonnay, or the Domaine Chandon Chardonnay 2013.  The overcooked salmon frankly spoiled the entire experience, as the meat was way dry, and even the best of wines could only marginally salvage the dish.  However, with some stretch of the imagination, I would pair this the Rose, with the same reasoning as I paired the raw prawn sashimi.  Also the fattiness of the salmon seemed diluted with the crisp sparkling rose.  The saving grace of this dish was the lovely salmon skin.

The Chardonnay has a pale straw appearance with green hues, and aromas of lemon, pear, citrus, not as oaky as your usual chardonnays, which is a plus point to me.

Happiness is seeing that stream of frothing white lava flow from the bottle into your flute.

The pop of the cork, the slow fizzle of the white and red, on a Friday afternoon, whilst I happily instagram with a hashtag #dunjealousme.

How could it not be a good afternoon being the company of these larverly ladies?

As an encore, not in the menu, a platter of smoked proscuitto, which was specifically meant to showcase the other wine , the Domaine Chandon Shiraz 2012, a bright purple full bodied wine.  Rather heavy for afternoon drinking if you ask me, as it is meant for heavier foods like roast lamb or a chunk of steak.  It is however a drinkable drop for sure, and did go well with the saltiness of the cured meat,  and seems more "luxurious" than the Pinot Noir or the Chardonnay.

Ah, the best dish of the day, the Raspberry Creme Brulee, silky smooth, not overly sweet, and to my relief, not served with any sickeningly sweet dessert wine.  Till today I still do not get dessert wines, so I was happy just to pair this with whatever was left of my Brut and Rose, and it did actually go very well together.

To end a lovely afternoon, we went even higher... literally.... to the upstairs of the restaurant, for another phase.  STAY TUNED for PHASE 2.


Ciki said...

very nice ahpa! can't wait for part 2.. especially ur intense shaking stint :P

CHER-RY said...

Part 2 was really funny though :))) Thank you for coming again :))