8 Mar 2012

karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
On Wednesday I attended a special dinner at my "local" restaurant Alimentum where Stuart Smith of Torea Wines in New Zealand introduced their range of wines while Alimentum's chefs had designed a tasting menu matching dishes to those wines.
Before each dish was served, Stuart Smith talked a little about how each variety was grown and made which provided some interesting insight for wine novices like me.

Stuart Smith

Sauvignon Blanc in the glass

Here are the dishes and the accompanying wines:



Salmon, squid and ink

Salmon, squid, squid ink risotto, pink grapefruit and roast salmon broth. The fish was beautifully, just barely cooked and the rest of the ingredients offered good contrasting flavours and textures, all tasting fresh and light. The wine was the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, light and fresh, yet quite a few things going on there.
Rabbit lasagne, tarragon and mustard puree

Rabbit lasagne, tarragon and mustard purée. Another light and fresh dish with subtle and soft rabbit meat. The purée wasn't as strong as it sounds so well judged. With this we had the 2009 Chardonnay, a bit heavier and deeper than the Sauvignon but still light, another good match.
Spiced duck breast, pastilla of leg, cumin and carrot, pomegranate

Spiced duck breast, pastilla of leg, cumin and carrot purée. The menu also said golden raisins but I had pomegranate seeds. I didn't mind because they worked really well with the soft meat, best piece of duck I've had in quite a while. The wine was the 2010 Pinot Noir, also a good match as it was a little bit spicy but not heavy.
I didn't take a photo of the palate cleanser as it was the pernod foam with fennel that's currently on the tasting menu and a bit hard to take a good photo of.
Baked apple terrine, Granny Smith sorbet, Aspall's cider foam

The dessert was Baked apple terrine, Granny Smith sorbet, Aspall's cider foam. This was another brilliant dish with different textures and temperatures and varying flavours from cinnamony and sweet in the terrine to sharp in the sorbet. With this we had the 2010 Pinot Gris which while a good wine on its own was a bit too sharp with the dessert. Most people at the table agreed but that was just a minor negative point to the whole evening.
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