BY CK Lam
Thanks to the wonderful event of food innovation & Dominique Portet Australian Wine Dinner, I savored six wines from Yarra Valley soils. Organized by Asiaeuro, Dominique Portet’s recent wine dinner in Penang was held at Tiffins in Parkroyal Hotel Penang.
We received a welcome from Asiaeuro Wines and Spirits wine ambassador William Chong, followed by introduction from Dominique Portet, owner and wine maker of Dominique Portet.
Dominique chatted about the Dominique Portet label which features an emblem that takes the form of an arabesque, symbolising the links and close bond between generations, families and continents. The French man is the ninth generation winemaker in a family of vignerons dating back to eighteenth century France, and is the first to establish a winery and label bearing his family name in Australia.
The Australian wines from Yarra Valley soils which included Dominique Portet Brut Rose, Dominique Portet Fontaine White 2013, Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Dominique Portet Fontaine Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2014, Dominique Portet Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 and the Dominique Portet Heathcote Shiraz 2012 were paired with creations by Chef Tan Jee Aun.
The Dominique Portet Brut Rose, a sparkling wine with blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meuniere was brought out to accompany the canapes. There was so much to taste – smoked salmon on alfalfa bush with olive oil, crabmeat with chili spread and wasabi, and vegetarian garbanzo beans with feta.
The sparkling wine with freshness and acidity went well with the canapes, especially the smoked salmon on alfalfa bush.
The cold appetizer was a pinnacle of fresh seafood flavors, with Hokkaido Scallops Crudo prepared with sea urchin, caviar, and micro cress.
The scallops taste so sweet and good; the sea urchin and caviar were abundant; and all the flavors were lifted up by lemon infused extra virgin olive oil. The dish was paired with Dominique Portet Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a white with lovely freshness and gentle creaminess.
The second appetizer was Turducken Ravioli, filled with a bounty of poultry – smoked turkey, duck confit, and chicken tossed in garlic, chilly, basil, sundried tomato emulsion and toppings of crispy skin crumble.
I love the combination – tasty stuffing, well-crafted pasta and the sauce with depth of flavor. Besides that, the strips of crispy chicken skin crumble were a perfect counterpoint to the huge ravioli which was paired with Dominique Portet Fontaine Red 2014. With a blend of 50% Shiraz, 45% Cabernet and 5% Merlot, the well-balanced red wine with soft tannins made for a beautiful pairing with the ravioli.
Next was the carrot air with orange sorbet to refresh the palate. It taps into the interest with its combination of ultra-light texture and citrusy cold-sweet sensation.
At the end of the meal before the dessert, speciality cheeses accompanied by grapes soda, biscuit, onion herb bread and plum chutney were placed on each table for everyone to share.
The varietals of blue cheese, gouda herb cheese and coulommiers were paired with the Dominique Portet Heathcote Shiraz 2012. I had little nibbles and particularly enjoyed the supple and soft, nutty flavored coulommiers.
After the cheeses, we were served with an implosion of hot and cold, sweet and chocolaty dessert: Chocolate Ball.
The Chocolate Ball is a shell of chocolate with a delicious sacher blueberry yoghurt cake topped with macadamia ice cream hidden inside. Served with sides of hazelnut caramel crunch and berries, the chocolate ball was a great round off and leaves a sweet memory.
I enjoyed the evening to the full, conversation and laughter with wine and food lovers around a delicious dinner paired with Dominique Portet wines.