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Monday, December 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
HAYFIELD MANOR HOTEL WINE SOCIETY
Aperitif: Cotes de Provence, Domaine Houchart 2010
Pan Fried Bantry Bay Scallops, Tomato and lime salsa, Beetroot Jelly, Caper and Sultana Dressing served with a Chateauneuf du Pape white, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2009. Famille Quiot.
Orchids Home Smoked Breast of Duck, Duck liver and Foie Gras Parfait, Fruit Bread, Orange Dressing served with a Cotes du Rhone Villages Sablet, Chateau du Trignon 2007, Famille Quiot.
Seared Loin of Venison, Confit Yam, parsnip, Parsley..... served with a Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Exceptionnelle, Domaine du Vieux Lazaret 2006, Famille Quiot.
The Cheeses (Cooleeney Farmhouse, French Brie, Bandon Vale Vintage Cheddar, Cahill’s Farm Irish Porter Cheese) served with Chateau du Trignon Vacqueyras 2007, Famille Quiot.
Baked Cheese Cake with Warm Tropical Fruits...served with a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Chateau du Trignon 2008.
This was the promising menu ahead of last night’s first Wine Dinner of the Hayfield Manor Wine Society . The promise was indeed delivered, thanks to the superb wines, introduced with wit and inside knowledge by Jean-Louis Smyl of the Famille Quiot, and thanks to the superb food prepared by Executive Chef Graeme Campbell and his team. And a big merci also to Sandra Biret-Crowley, the sommelier at the hotel, who worked so hard to bring the whole event together.
|Yours truly with sommelier Sandra|
Started in the bar with a big welcome from Joe and Marcus of KarwigWines and soon an introduction to Jean-Louis who told me the family has five vineyards in the general area. It was from the most southerly of these, Domaine Houchart, that the aperitif came from, a lively and fresh 2010 rosé.
More introductions followed as we moved from the bar to the Vine Wine Cellar and our tables and here Jean-Louis told us about their white Chateauneuf, made from Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Roussanne. Very supple and with quite a decent finish and a pleasing match with the excellent scallops.
Now we were on to the Smoked Breast of Duck, embellished by well chosen accompaniments and further enhanced by a splendid Cotes du Rhone Village from the highly regarded village of Sablet, set in the hills, and a big favourite of Jean-Louis.
And then came a high point of the evening. The Venison was superb and the wine match was made in heaven, well made in Domaine du Vieux Lazaret actually. This was a Cuvee Exceptionnelle, not made every year. They decided to make one in 2006 and we benefitted from the choice last evening. Inviting aromas, soft and round on the palate, no shortage of spice as you might expect with Grenache and Syrah to the fore, and a long finish.
The village of Vacqueyras is one of the eight crus of the southern Rhone and it was the family’s Chateau du Trignon that the 2007 came from and it proved a terrific match for the line-up of cheeses.
Beaumes de Venise, another small village, is just down the road and here our wine journey for the evening would finish. Quite a decent red is produced here but we were treated to the well known AOC Muscat Beaumes de Venise, a sweet end to a sweet evening as it went down very well indeed with the Baked Cheese Cake.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Portuguese Wine dinner at Donnybrook Fair
The Restaurant @ Donnybrook Fair concludes its popular series of wine dinners for 2011 by welcoming Portuguese winemaker Nuno Mira do Ó from Companhia das Quintas to host a wine dinner on Wednesday 30th November at 7.45pm. Nuno will introduce wines from estates located in the Douro, Beira, Lisboa, Bucelas, Palmela and Alentejo regions. The wines featured on the night will be paired with a delicious four course menu, specially designed for the occasion. The evening is priced at €60 per person / €100 for two.
Nuno´s wines are frequently awarded with medals in international competitions, and high scores in the international press. Companhia das Quintas is one of Portugal´s largest wine and spirits companies with seven different wineries spread across the country. The group has a passion for creating estate-grown top quality wines, based on the best Portuguese grape varieties and showcasing characteristics of each terroir.
Join us in The Restaurant @ DF on 30th November for what promises to be a fantastic night of delicious food and fine wines!
Booking Details (Limited places available):
DATE: Wednesday 30th November TIME: 19.45
COST: €60 per person / €100 for 2 people
LOCATION: The Restaurant @ Donnybrook Fair, 1st Floor, 89 Morehampton Road, D4
T: 01 614 4849
Monday, October 17, 2011
From sauerkraut to PX: the alpha and the omega of my meal at Electric last night. And there was quite a lot of good stuff in between as well.
The cathedral’s shadow in the near distance by the river, the lights twinkling in the trees outside and reflections galore as the Friday traffic rolled up and down the Mall were all part of the view from this comfortable upstairs room, a busy buzzy spot, where the welcome (we were met downstairs) and the service are friendly and efficient.
Nobody hanging around your table but they do keep an eye on things and, for instance, pop over with more water when they see you running down and put out a bowl of warm water if you are eating anything sticky.
And I was. My starter was Bodice & Cabbage: roast pork ribs with sauerkraut & chilli (€7.00). I’ve had this before so knew what to expect. It is just terrific: tasty meat with well made sauerkraut livened up by the chilli. If you haven’t tried this, I’d recommend it. HN enjoyed her Pan-fried brie with basil, Serrano ham, tomato and mint chutney (€ 8).
My main course was the Veal Bolognese with penne pasta & parmesan (€14). I rarely go Italian so was doing this for research! It was a very pleasant surprise indeed, the tiny minced pieces of the Bolognese (no shortage of them) perfectly complemented by the pasta. Very happy with this perfect combination.
HN and CL both went for the Ballea lamb shoulder & fillet with butternut squash, rosemary & gravy (19.50). Must admit I was a bit jealous when I saw the dishes but I was thrown a few samples of lamb and in any case the ladies were absolutely pleased with it, particularly the slow cooked shoulder. A tasty and substantial dish, the veg and sauce in perfect harmony with the meat.
Met Marambro Creek winemaker Brad Rey a weeks back when he visited Karwig Wines and so was delighted to see his Jip Jip Rocks Patdthaway 2009 Shiraz (€ 25) on the list. This lively Shiraz went down well with the lamb.
After the lamb and the pasta, we were all pretty full, so rounded off the evening in Electric, celebrating its first birthday this coming Thursday, with three glasses (between us!) of their Lustau PX (€4.50).