I was invited to a PR evening of Bordeaux wine tasting and Japanese food matching at the fabulous The London Foodie. I always get very excited to go to Luiz’s house. It’s such a great venue for hosting parties, events and base for his famous, delectable and great value Japanese Supper Club.
The evening started with meeting and greeting some lucky guests food, wine bloggers and writers with delicious canapes and drinks. The first canape was pan-fried leek gyoza dumplings topped with bright pink pickled ginger, followed by shichimi flavoured popcorn, seasoned with a fantastic combination of 7 Japanese spices. The hors d'oeuvre were matched with a bright pink salmon Reserve de Sours Sparkling Rose NV, sold at M&S at £19.99, with berry notes it was like a bubbly party in my mouth a great start to the evening. The slightly piquant and chilli spiced shichimi popcorn was perfectly paired with the round, soft and delicate Les Amants de Mont-Perat 2010, a white Bordeaux sold by The Wine Society at £9.25. This wine is 50% Sauvignon and 50% Musadell grapes.
We were then shown to our seats and given the menu which I very quickly set on fire by accident and slightly burnt Andrew’s trousers in the process. Needless to say this incident broke the ice at our table and set off the tone for the evening with lots of laughter, jokes and good humorous conversations. After that, we were introduced to Christina Pickard, a wine connoisseur and consultant, who paired all the evenings Bordeaux wines to each of Luiz’s Japanese beautifully crafted dishes.
The first course Salmon Sashimi South American Way, a delicate sashimi served with a Japanese vinaigrette and avocado mixture in the centre of the bowl. This dish was paired with a citrosy fruity Chateau de Bernet Bellvue 2011 Graves (50% Semillon, 40%Sauvignon, Blanc 10% Muscadelle - at a great value of £9.99 from Sainsbury’s.
Ankimo, sous-vide Ballotine of Monkfish liver, a very smooth pate like consistency, the monkfish liver was presented with shredded Daikon and Ponzu dressing. I am not a fan of liver, but I must confess I loved this Japanese delicacy! I also heard that it is listed amongst of the World's 50 most delicious foods complied by CNN. Sous-vide is is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times. I have covered this in a previous post. The matching wine was Chateau Maume 2011 Bordeaux Rosé a 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Franc at a very reasonable £7.49 from Majestic and www.fromvineyardsdirect.com . A very berry, fruity and easy drinking wine. It could actually been drunk by itself – my third favourite wine of the night, after the second (below) and the sparkling wine.
Deconstructing Shushi was served on pretty seashells. The grilled scallops with nori seaweed, tobiko eggs and creamy spicy sauce on sushi rice were superb, limey, zingy and fresh. The scallops were cooked to perfection. My second favourite wine of the night was the Roquefortissime 2010 Chateau Roquefort Bordeaux Blanc (90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon, aged 10 months in French oak barrels - £12.99 from Waitrose. Oaky and creamy a fantastic match to Luiz’s dish. A bit more expensive than the other wines, but worth it!
Teppinyaki of rib eye steak marinated for 48 hours in miso, sake & mirin served with broccoli and fine green beans in a black sesame dressing. Is my favourite dish I’ve eaten it before at Luiz’s Japanese Supper Clubs. It's a show stopper! It’s a complex marinate of miso, sake and mirin with sugar and the superior meat quality that makes this dish so appealing. Side dishes included a fresh peach and daikon salad in a Japanese mayo vinaigrette; a fantastic sea bream rice cooked in a clay pot , which Luiz mix the freshly cooked fish with the rice at the table, with ginger and spring onions; and miso soup with fried aubergines, spring onions and sweet eggs. The perfect matching wine was Chateau Fonguillon 2009, Montagne Saint-Emilion, 70% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec at £7.99 from Tesco it's a great value red wine! This wine is a party of all red Bordeaux grapes in a bottle.
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So it all culminates to a grand finalle! The crown jewel of any meal : Desert! and Luiz didn’t disappoint with his flourless chocolate cake with whisky prunes served with a quenelle of green tea ice-cream. His homemade creamy and quietly bitter green tea ice-cream is exquisite a great match to the rich chocolate cake. It is divine! Desert wine was the rich, creamy, spicy and rather intense Ginestet 2009 Sauternes 2009 consisting in 80% Semillon, 10% Suv, 10% Muscadelle - £10 from ASDA. I am not a desert wine person, but I would have paired this wine with a strong cheese not with a rich and sweet desert. I think is a question of taste.
This evening has once again made me aware of the importance of wine and food matching which I am very keen to learn and explore. A good wine & food matching can make or break a dinning experience. This press event was an excellent showcase of the affordable, food friendly and everyday Bordeaux wines which I wasn’t aware of. For a list of everyday Bordeaux wines available in the UK click here.
Thanks to Bordeaux Wines UK and The London Foodie for the invite to an exceptionally educational evening of wine, food and great company.
Follow on twitter: @TheLondonFoodie and @BordeauxWinesUK
Thanks to the lovely Jeanne, aka Cooksister, for letting me use some of her fabulous pictures of the evening and for the hand modelling in the gyosa canape image.
For other views on the evening: