Sipping great wine with good company and delicious food is the most refined pleasure.
In partnership with Cassis French Fine Dining Restaurant and Dimatique, InClover hosted the ‘Wine, Dine and Unwind’ event. We invited VVIP guests to enjoy fine wine and food pairings and we now share some of that experience with you, dear readers, to unearth the key to great wine pairings.
Jerome Laurent, Cassis’ Executive Chef, crafted a special menu for the event. He is the first two-Michelin star chef to become an in-house executive chef in Jakarta. Deep forethought went into the menu, so that each course would complement the wines and round out the palate with the perfect balance. I found that Chef Laurent was playful with spices, not hesitating to use Asian flavors such as lemongrass, galangal and andaliman (a flowering plant closely related to Sichuan pepper) in French cuisine. There was nothing simplistic about each of the menus – indeed, every bite was a surprise and a delight.
Dimatique is a prestigious distributor of fine wines in Indonesia imported from all over the world. For this particular wine pairing event, Dimateque presented the French selection ranges from Alsace, northeastern France to Burgundy and further south to Côtes du Rhône, across the border couple of fine Italian wines.
The journey started with a glass of CremantD’AlsaceGustave Lorentz. The palate was refreshing and balanced from the blend of three grape variations: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir – an excellent choice for an aperitif. The sparkling wine lightened the atmosphere, smoothing out the shrimp and tuna amuse–bouche. The crusty shrimp lemongrass, made with lightly seared tuna and ragout served with a bitter, peppery arugula cappuccino soup, merged excellently with the creamy foam. Already an impressive beginning.
Next came the Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Chardonnay 2009 paired with Baby Lobster Green Pea. The essential fragrance of this wine was the bright citrus, a mixture of lemon and lime. It was a bit high in acidity but enveloped in a light caramel. The baby lobster, served with caviar to tone down the brightness of the wine, was absolutely delicious, the meat so tender and sweet.
The meal progressed with the Olivier LeflaiveVolnay, 2009, a medium cherry red. The aroma carried berries and earthy notes for an overall light body. The tartness of this pinot noir-based wine complemented the seafood dish. Chef Laurent had rightly selected truffle scallop as its partner. Cooked to perfection, combined with the slightly bitter baby spinach and earthiness of the truffles, the scallop dish had an alluring flavor – bringing out the toasty, earthy tones of the pinot noir.
Onto the Château Valcombe Prestige, 2010, a mixture of syrah and Grenache grapes, dressed with a cherry red reflection that disperses the spicy and fruity aroma. This full-bodied wine expressed a lively acidity. Sipping it, a medium mouth feel was unveiled that led to a long finish. Another surprise: Chef Laurent had paired the wine with black cod. The fish was so delicate and intensely rich with a buttery flavor. The meat melted into flakes in the mouth and the skin was crisp, while the tanginess of the saffron tomato marmelade and olive oil emulsion added a bright flavor. The generous character of the Grenache in the Château Valcombe Prestige made it a good accompaniment for the fish, which in turn brought out the fruity notes of the wine.
The ViteLucente Italy 2009 was a luminous dark red with highlights of violet at the edges that played tricks on the eyes. Equally impressive on the nose, the wine presented a range of elegant, aromatic impressions with the ripe scent of berries and subtle notes of roasted coffee and cocoa. The palate was rounded with a well-balanced acidity, accompanied with Stuffed Foie grass Chicken Andaliman and Macaire Potato: tender and juicy chicken breast that had been lightly roasted. The straightforward dish did not overpower the wine, instead accentuating its opulence and complexity.
The final course was my favorite pairing: Super Tuscan “Luce dellavite” with Wagyu Tenderloin Porcini served with bone marrow croquettes. “Luce dellavite” was the star of the day, a fabulous, dark ruby blend of merlot and sangiovese. A gorgeous bouquet of cherries, sweet spices, fruit, chocolate and vanilla wafted from the glass. One sip and a vibrant fruit flavor lingered in the mouth, luscious and beautifully knit with acidity, offering final notes of vanilla and pepper. The delicate, buttery flavor of the Wagyu Tenderloin Porcini emphasized the richness of “Luce dellavite”, leaving a lasting, wonderful flavor to top off a splendid meal.
Thank you to Cassis French Fine Dining Restaurant Jakarta, Dimatique and all of our respected guests for supporting us and making this event come true.
DIGO BUDHI MILYARWAN