* This article was also published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 19th June 2010.
My enthusiasm for learning about wine was given a boost when I was invited to a Marques de Caceres wine tasting event organized by Asiaeuro Wines & Spirits at Tiffins, Parkroyal Hotel Penang recently.
It offers an opportunity for any wine lover to taste in this fashion. In many ways this is a valuable way to educate the palate as well as to find out what’s going on further in-depth on this particular vintage.
Marques de Caceres comes from the country that has fame in the wine world, Rioja of Spain. Most of the wines rely heavily on one grape, Tempranillo, which tends to produce wines with a dusty, leathery edge to their raspberry and blackberry fruit tones.
More info of the wine can be found at www.marquesdecaceres.com
The evening begins with a canapé reception in the Javana Lounge with the serving of delightful Canapes. These colorful bites were paired with the Marques de Caceres, Blanco 2008, an amazingly smooth white wine with freshness blend of fruit flavors – grapefruit, green apples and wild flowers. The wine blends through the freshness of the seafood and meat, leaving the palate cleansed.
Smoked salmon with capers cream cheese croutes
The reception was followed by a wine-related presentation in Tiffins by Joel Martinez, the Export Sales Manager of Marques de Caceres. It was great of him sharing his expert advice on the wine and also the pairing with food.
Tiffins restaurant prepared a lineup of culinary delights paired with both red and white Marques de Caceres wines. The dinner started with the serving of the soup. The Seafood Consomme with crabmeat mini choux puff and spring vegetables was an excellent combination.
This light and amazingly flavorful soup was paired with the Marques de Caceres, Rosado 2007. This slightly acidic pink color wine with the beautiful fragrance of strawberry and raspberries left a pleasantly lingering finish.
The next wine was the Marques de Caceres, Crianza 2005. Pairing it with Duck Confit was an inspiration. The dish was beautifully presented with the roasted leg of duck served on braised red cabbage, porcini risotto cake and port-flavored duck glaze. The glaze complemented the meat very well.
Marques de Caceres, Crianza was pleasantly full bodied, and coated my palate with hints of juicy sweet fruit. This attractive ruby red wine balanced the dark fruits of black cherries and blackberries. It had hints of aromatic Mediterranean herbs, too. A splendid vintage that is velvety-soft and elegant.
Marques de Caceres, Reserva 2002 is a splendid wine with a lush bouquet full of ripe red fruits, coffee and spices. It was pleasant as well as intense on the palate.
The stunning Marques de Caceres, MC 2006 was a dark cherry wine made from mature grapes of the Tempranbillo grape variety. With its rich touch of wild blackberries and creamy vanilin spice derived from ageing in barrels, this wine is an ideal match for meaty dishes and slightly spicy food.
Both of the Reserva 2002 and the MC 2006, when paired with the Mediterranean Style Lamb Shank, bought out many flavors. The lamb braised in red wine, tomato and fresh basil was tender and when topped with goat cheese ravioli, roasted vine tomatoes and spinach, was many-layered in texture that blended well with the tannins.
The dessert and the freshly brewed cup of coffee was a perfect match to end the meal. The wonderfully sweet Caramel Chocolate Mousse was served with mix berries compote. The evening was an experience to remember, with the fine wine and the enjoyable meal.
On the whole, the dinner concluded with a high note, with everyone captivated by the selection from Marques de Caceres. The wines that were present were perfect stride with the accompaniment dishes served.
Level 1 Parkroyal Hotel
Batu Ferringhi Beach
11100 PenangTel: 04-881 1133
Website : http://www.parkroyalhotels.com/