Make it a Valentines Day to remember
Cavit Lunetta Prosecco CI$17.95
Cavit is northern Italy’s largest source of quality varietal wines and is the largest facility in Italy dedicated exclusively to producing world-class sparkling wines. The grape variety is 100 per cent Prosecco and the grapes are handpicked and vinified using the Italian Charmat method (also known as the closed tank method) which is a process that uses a large, pressurised stainless steel tank to create the bubbles. The result is a pale straw wine with fine bubbles and a fragrant nose.
Lee Royle, Retail Wine Sales Professional with Jacques Scott says on the palate this wine is dry, refreshing with crisp fruit flavours that perfectly whet the appetite.
Chef John did an outstanding job with his amuse bouche to accompany the Prosecco – a delicate tuna tartare with wasabi fish roe studded with pine nuts for a little added richness. The fantastic burst of flavour was equally matched in measure by the burst of texture from the fish roe, and when combined with the Prosecco created a little party of bubbles in your mouth.
Roederer Estate Brut Rose CI$32.95
Founded in 1981, Roederer Estate is nestled in Mendocino County, California’s cool, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley. Roederer Estate builds upon a centuries-old tradition of fine winemaking and Roederer Estate’s sparkling wines are produced using only Estate-grown grapes from the winery’s own vineyards. This award winning wine (Wine Enthusiast awarded it 91 points; Wine Spectator 87) is made from 60 per cent Pinot Noir and 40 per cent Chardonnay.
Ross Philips, Wine Marketing Manager with Jacques Scott notes the wine’s smooth flavours and fine, persistent mousse, while Lee enjoys the combination of the elegance of the Chardonnay marrying well with the fruitiness of the Pinot Noir.
2006 Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé CI$23.95
Chateau D’Esclans is situated in the sunny Provence region of France and the Whispering Angel Rosé is the embodiment of that warm climate.
Ross says, “This is a rich and full bodied rosé that makes a perfect pairing with seafood in particular.”
Chef John served up, in the taster’s opinion, the dish of the day to try alongside the rosé: a butter poached lobster sitting atop a crouton thickly spread with Montrachet goat’s cheese, chives, a delicate poached pear and just a delicate hint of truffle oil.
The creamy saltiness from the goat’s cheese and the rich butteriness of the lobster was already a marriage made in heaven, but when the rosé was imbibed alongside the dish it created an awesome threesome.
2007 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Gelblack CI$25.95
Incredibly, the history of the Schloss Johannisberg winery dates back to 768, when the first recorded harvest by Ludwig der Fromme (Louis the Devout) yielded approximately 6.000 litres of wine. Riesling was first planted there in 1720, making Schloss Johannisberg the oldest Riesling vineyard in the world.
Paul McLaughlin, Wine Retail Manager with Jacques Scott says of the Gelblack, “The wine is full-bodied as well as fragrant with ripe yellow fruit aromas. It’s a versatile wine that manages to pair very well with a variety of flavours.” In particular, the Riesling paired nicely with the following dish from the Grand Old House kitchen: a salt and sugar cured duck breast with wine grapes poached in a rosé syrup with a gentle touch of melted foie gras as a rich yet subtle flavour enhancer.
Ross says, “Although we tried the rosé alongside the duck the pairing did not work and the rosé fell flat; however the Riesling has tons of acidity which successfully cut through the richness of the meat.”
Highlighting its versatility, the Riesling also worked well with the following dish – a tandoori style snapper on a bed of a crunchy fresh Waldorf salad. Chef John says, “Curry loves fruit hence I married the tandoori flavours of the fish with the apple and raisins in the Waldorf salad.”
Lee says, “This is a successful pairing because the Riesling is a light, aromatic wine which tones down the heat from the curry spices in the dish.”
2005 Miguel Torres Celeste Crianza CI$19.95
This is a soft and approachable great value Spanish wine made from the Tempranillo grape and was served with Chef John’s peppered striploin steak served with spiced sautéed tomatoes, orange segments and fresh avocado slices. The Crianza worked well with the meat alone so would make a fine pairing with a simply grilled steak.
2006 Peller Estates Vidal Icewine CI$27.95
In 1958 Andrew Peller first arrived in Canada from Hungary and opened his first winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, moving east to Ontario in 1969. Ice wines are the winery’s signature wines. The Vidal Ice wine is fermented at a cool temperature to retain fruit concentration, producing a delicate gold coloured wine with an aromatic bouquet of lemon marmalade, carmelised oranges, golden pineapple and a touch of honey.
Lee furthers, “This is a rich, medium to full-bodied wine with explosive flavours of honey, golden pineapple and brown sugar.” Chef’s John’s creation of a caramalised nut torte served with a poached pear was yet another marriage made in heaven, both the food and wine playing off each other’s sweet caramel virtues.
Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Rosé CI$72.95
This wine needs no introduction really – a fine example of Rosé Champagne made by one of the most popular Champagne-makers on the planet.
The Nectar Impérial Rosé is a seductive Champagne so perfect for Valentine’s Day, with a glamourous intensity to the wine that shines through its colour (deep pink) and the aromatic hints of strawberries on the nose. On the palate it is fresh and creamy with savoury hints that suggest a great pairing with appetisers or simply to be enjoyed by itself.