BlackBeard’s Beers, Wines Spirits has showcased the wines of Maison Louis Jadot at the Brasserie in the past, but this year’s event helped raise money for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association during the 5th Annual Taste of Cayman Charity Wine Maker’s Dinner.
Good wine, good food and good friends all came together to support a good cause at the Brasserie Restaurant on 16 March, 2013, at the Taste of Cayman Charity Wine Maker’s Dinner and Auction.
BlackBeard’s once again showcased the French wines of Maison Louis Jadot – the largest owner of vineyards in the Côte d’Or of Burgundy – at the Brasserie Restaurant.
The event proved to be the farewell to former Executive Chef Niven Patel and the welcome to new Executive Chef Joe Mizzoni. Patel returned to his home in South Florida the next morning, but not before helping to prepare one last meal.
“This is my last supper,” he said with a laugh when greeting guests during the welcome reception.
On hand for the event was Antoine Collet, a wine specialist with Kobrand, the distributor of Louis Jadot wines. Collet told guests about Louis Jadot’s long history and about the wine maker’s six wines offered that night.
The evening started with a reception of passed canapes and a glass of the Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages, the affordable, unoaked wine that exhibits a fresh, clean taste with citrusy aromas and flavours. Like all white Burgundy wines, Mâcon-Villages is made from 100 per cent Chardonnay grapes.
Village wines are the entry level of Louis Jadot wines, but that doesn’t mean they are inferior quality.
“In every wine of Jadot, from the Village wines to Grand Cru, the grapes are hand-picked,” Collet said.
The biggest difference between Village wines and Grand Cru is that the grapes used to make Grand Cru wines all come from specific classified vineyards, allowing the wine to give a better expression of Burgundy’s unique and pronounced terroir.
“The Village wine comes from about 10 different vineyards,” he said. “You select grapes by the producers and the producers are what makes the quality. Any wine behind the Jadot label will reflect that quality.”
After guests were seated, a glass of Jadot Chablis was served with the garden green salad.
Chablis is a white Burgundy that comes from the northern part of the wine region. Climatic conditions and marl-like limestone soil combine to impart a unique character to Chablis wines, which are aged in French oak barrels and display high acidity and a mineral and citrusy aroma.
The final white wine, 2010 Mersault, was the favourite wine of the night for many guests.
Mersault lies at the centre of the Côte des Blancs, a region in the Côte de Beaune part of Burgundy. The vineyards in Mersault are known for their chalky, marl soils, which give the wine its telltale mineral finish.
The Mersault was paired with a local crab cake with garden herb and pumpkin sauce, a pairing that worked well.
The medium-bodied wine displayed complex aromas of fruit, flowers and minerality and on the palate offered intense flavours.
“It has a beautiful finish,” noted Collet.
The evening then turned to red wines, specifically from the Pinot Noir grape, with the serving of the third and fourth courses.
The third course was pan-roasted wahoo with gnocchi, cauliflower and marinated tomato over wilted garden arugula with bacon vinaigrette.
Traditionally fish is served with white wines, but increasingly lighter red wines are paired with dense-fleshed fish – like wahoo.
“If you have a fish that’s meaty with Pinot Noir that’s just a little tannic, it works,” said Collet.
The 2009 Jadot Chambolle-Musigny had a floral aroma and silky mouth feel with flavours of dark cherries and dark berries
The wahoo it was paired with had been lightly house smoked before cooking.
“The little bit of smokiness combines well with the wine,” Collet said.
For the final savoury course, a delicious and tender Niman Ranch Lamb cutlet was paired with 2009 Jadot Premier Cru Beaune 150th Anniversary Cuvee, a wine that received 94 points from Robert Parker.
Well balanced and complex with layers of flavours, this limited production wine comes from 17 Jadot Premier Cru vineyards in Burgundy’s Beaune appellation and has an aging potential of up to 30 years. Still very young by Premier Cru standards, it was nonetheless a treat to try, if only to get an idea of its potential.
The dessert course brought out Burgundy’s other red grape, Gamay, which makes the lighter-bodied red wine Beaujolais. Although a lot of Beaujolais is really made as an everyday table wine that should be consumed when it is young, Louis Jadot’s Moulin-a-Vent Chateau des Jacques is a Cru Beaujolais that can age – and get better – for up to 10 years. The 2007 vintage, with its earthy tones, was served with Brasserie’s dessert trays and paired best with the wildly inventive offering of Morbier cheese with Cayman honey caramel and almond sea salt.
Even though the Taste of Cayman Charity Wine Maker’s Dinner and Auction was separated in time – by seven weeks in fact – from the Taste of Cayman this year, it remains an important event for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, helping to raise money to cover the non-profit organisation’s operating costs.
CITA’s Executive Director Jane van der Bol welcomed guests and encouraged them to bid generously during the charity auction, which was conducted by radio personality Jay Ehrhart during the dessert course in the Brasserie’s chef’s garden.
Ten different items, donated by CITA members, were auctioned, raising several thousand dollars for the organisation.
In addition, Bon Vivant donated a door prize for one randomly chosen guest. Ramjeet Jerrybandan was the lucky winner of a certificate for a free cooking class at Bon Vivant.