We all had a wonderful evening last night. A celebration: Angela Hornett`s surprise 50th birthday party, organised by her husband Ian. Thanks for thinking of us, Ian…. as it happens it was also our chef`s birthday, so we were in celebratory mood and out came the Inniskillin! But that was another little surprise for the end of the evening….. seems like a long time ago we started with our sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, the Essenze Brut Cuvee (essence of Marlborough, get it?) an interesting variant to `still` Sauvignon which everyone seemed to enjoy with some gusto. We had first tasted a fizzy Sauvignon back in 2010 when we visited NZ and thought, what a good idea! It never really caught on, though. And it`s taken us until now to stock it. Anyway if you weren`t here last night and your interest is piqued, then you`ll just have to buy a bottle. £11.99 with 10% off if you mention this blog. How`s that for an offer! Now, as regular readers of my apres-tasting Saturday blog well know, we like to briefly touch on the food and wine matching. A lot of thought goes into getting this just right, eh Tony? then the second course came early and instead of Pinot Gris we have the Spitfire…. But no-one seemed to notice …. and the Spitfire with the Asian prawn was frankly fabulous, as was the first KC Sauvignon with the chilli roasted feta, watermelon salad (an inspired choice, I thought, playing on the more established text book match of goat`s cheese). And furthermore the Pinot Gris was excellent on its own. So everything worked out fine, in spite of our careful matching!! Yet for me the greatest match of all was the Kim Crawford Pinot Noir and juicy lamb in blueberry sauce. I remember enjoying this wine with turkey a few years ago and thinking this was the perfect food partner. Well so was the Layer Marney lamb. The cheese platter followed with the Merlot – a good match – the wine soft and fruity, set against the salty cheeses and finally the sweet and intense Inniskillin, a high point to any evening and a real treat to waken the palate so late into the evening. Incidentally the Chocolate Heaven was, well, heaven… but without wine to match on this occasion. Frankly I doubt a wine would have added to the dish or the occasion at this point. We were spent…. a truly fantastic gourmet meal. Happy birthday Ang!
Special thanks to our guest speaker last night, Tim Foggarty, who was not just informative but entertaining as well. We are great fans of the Kim Crawford brand and we`ll definitely have him back if we can. Tim, please come again [and bring that wife of yours along next time!]. Cheers and a million thanks!! Tasting notes to follow:
Guest Speaker: Tim Foggarty – Host: Anthony Borges – Chef: Tony Bell
Kim Crawford Wines, New Zealand
Essenze Sauvignon Blanc Brut Cuvee, £11.99, aperitif.
Zesty fruit flavours, of passionfruit and gooseberry, with refreshing effervescence (this one is in fact not Kim Crawford!).
Dry Riesling 2013, £12.99
An ideal aperitif, limey and refreshing, with a hint of Riesling`s petroleum aroma. Characteristically it has lifted citrus aromas of sherbet lemon, with plenty of florals (apple blossom), honey, and juicy acidity.
Sauvignon Blanc 2013, £13.99
Classic Marlborough Sauvignon, aromatic, herbaceous, zesty, and super-fresh. On the palate a fruit-salad of pink grapefruit, passionfruit, peach, lemon and lime. Attractive fleshy style.
“Spitfire” Sauvignon Blanc 2013, £16.99
Exotic style Sauvignon, displaying passionfruit, grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas. Rich and full, a concentrated blend of grassy-gooseberry-citrus fruit notes which kiss the palate with plenty of weight through a long, delightful finish.
Pinot Gris 2012, £13.99
A stylish Pinot Gris, reminiscent of apples and spiced pears, with dried fruit notes, quince jelly, honeysuckle and a lick of grapefruit. Its palate is soft and ample.
Pinot Noir 2013, £14.99
Aromas of ripe cherry, plum and strawberries, with just a hint of sweet spice. The aromas follow through on the palate, intermingled with cocoa and coffee notes. It has a light touch and lively freshness.
Merlot 2013, £14.99
A deep crimson-red colour, the aromas show ripe plums and redcurrants, with a touch of leafiness. The palate is soft, fleshy and rounded, with rich, dark berry fruit flavours and a hint of mocha sweet spice.
Inniskillin Icewine Riesling, Niagara CANADA 2012 (375ml), £65.00
A fabulous treat to finish the evening (for our 50th birthday girl): intensely sweet, yet fresh and bright with acidity. A wine brimming with aromas: a whiff of tropical fruits, lemons, limes, apricots and, honey, and amazing intensity coupled with silky richness and that sweet spot on the finish. Simply wonderful.
Chilli roasted feta, watermelon salad
Asian prawn salad
Best-end of Layer Marney lamb, blueberry sauce