Saturday, July 12, 2008

Evason Wine Tasting Dinner (Phuket)

Alain Chabanon's wines were recently chosen as some of the wines on offer at the Evason Resorts in Phuket (one of the resorts under the Six Senses group). Alain's wines are well known for being organic and of course very good. Evason is a beautiful resort on the southern tip of Phuket. Alain was invited to Evason for a wine tasting dinner featuring Alain's wines and a special menu from chef Justin Maiklem at the resorts' 'Into the Med' restaurant.

The dinner was fully booked by guest of the hotel, by people who enjoyed food and wine. As well as to learn about organic wines from the Languedoc region. The guest arrived before the sun set over the ocean. The wines were set up so that they can see & touch the bottles. And of course taste them.

With the hors d'oeuvres, the wine that was served was the Rose Tremier, Mourvedere-Grenache, 2005. The Rose from Alain is a well-structured Rose, not heavily sweet, with hints of red berries and on purpose made so that you can drink it with food.

As the light from the sun disappeared, everyone took their seat and were ready for the food and wines

The Australian chef tasted all 6 of Alain's wines before hand and decided what food would perfectly accompany each wine. The chef was very inventive with his menu.

Chef Justin, Alain Chabanon & his wine partner Pierre Metz stood up to explain the food and wines. The chef explained the ingredients and his inspirations from the wines. Alain explained the first wine we were going to have and that he would explain the other wines as they were being poured.

The first dish was scallops seared, poached and marinated on wakame, diakon and shelfish lemon grass jelly. The wine that paired with the trout was Trelans, Vermentino-Chenin Blanc 2004. The scallops were cooked perfectly (a bit raw in the center), the medley of tastes that accompanied the scallops were very refreshing and tasty. The Trelans was drinking fantastic this evening. A very complex white wine with hints of honey and citrus fruits that has an incredibly long finish. Very nice.

The second dish was troncon of ocean trout on warm potato & walnut salad with rosemary and red wine reduction. The wine that paired with the trout was Les Boissiere, Grenache-Mourvedre-Carignan, 2003. The trout was so fresh and cooked perfectly. A light but flavourful dish. The Le Boissiere an unfiltered red wine that paired nicely with the trout. It had hints of red berries and smooth tannins.

Alain & the Chef explaining the next wine and dish.

The third dish was Angus beef Tataki parmesan tempura of Enoki and sweet black vinegar glaze. The wine that paired with the beef was Campredon, Syrah-Mourvedre-Carignan, 2006. The beef was of very good quality. Cooked medium-rare which was perfect. The nice addition to the dish was the flavourful sweet black vinegar glaze (cubes). You just needed a dash of the stuff because the powerful taste. The Campredon was a deep ruby red, hints of pepper & cherries, a fantastic wine that paired well with the beef and the acidity of the vinegar.

The break before the last dish was frozen watermelon & galangal. This was the least favourite of our meal. Though the idea is nice of using exotic fruit, I thought the flavours were too weak.

The last dish was slow lamb on chickpea and morel ragu with flamed cooked aubergine puree. The wine that paired with the lamb was Le Merle aux Alouettes, Merlot-Mourvedre, 2004. The lamb was amazing. The best quality and sliced like butter. Cooked perfectly and the side dishes were a nice touch instead of something heavy like potatoes. The Le Merle was a complex wine but drinking easily and beautifully. A dark blood red colour, hints of spices and red fruits.

For dessert; apple pie with apple and maple syrup sorbet with middle eastern sweet nuts. The wine that paired with the apple pie was Le Villard, Chenin Blanc, MMI/ MMIII. The apple pie was a delicious and light end to a great dinner. A mix of tart, sour and sweet. The Le Villard was an exceptional sweet wine. It was complex but not overly sweet (like most sweet wines) and not heavy. It paired well with the tastes of tart, sour & sweet of the dessert.

The dinner was a huge success. People left feeling satisfied in terms of food & wine. Everyone was gracious in their accolades for the incredible wines that were served and the food that was perfectly paired for the wines.

(I promise to include photos of Evason Resort in the next posting)

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