Christian Ham Wine Dinner

| July 12, 2012

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, by accepting the invitation to this event. I found out the hard way, by turning up. At D’sens, the top floor of the Dusit Thani Bangkok; I found myself with a couple of big wine gurus. That’s a guarantee the wine should be good. We had aperitif “Osteria prosecco DOC vino frizzante, Mareno di Piave, Veneto, Italy” at the lounge where the view looks out to the Lumpini Park and Ratchadamri city center, it was breath taking.

We were then invited to the private dining room. I was excited to see the menu and at the same time a little afraid, because it looks like a really big dinner. The chef at D’ Sens, Dusit Thani Bangkok; Christian Ham will be creating 10 dishes for us. Khun Benjawan from fin wines will be pairing it with 16 wines. Usually a wine dinner is only 5 courses, the wines come even with the courses. I love wines, the more the better but 16 seem too much. The most I had was 12, and the last 3 made me blanked out. How am I going to get through this without getting drunk and making a fool out of myself?  Luckily I was seated next to Khun Thawatchai Tappitak a very well known wine guru, who can give me some pointers to get through.

The second and third wine was served together just after being seated. 2010 Lois Gruner Veltliner, Fred Loimer, Kamptal, Austria; a very clear light straw color, an aroma of citrus, grapefruit, apple, very refreshing. 2011 Bandol Rose, Domaine Terrebrune, Bandol, France; beautiful light peach color, unique melon and peach nose, one of the tables’ favorite.

It was paired with a very delicate dish of avocado puree, crabmeat which reminds me of the sea, and thin slices of sweet scallops on top with green apple sticks. It comes with a gelatin lobster consumme under it a fish skin that was inked to be a map, a very beautiful dish.

 


2010 Grüner Silvaner Trocken, Wittmann, Rheinessen, Germany is a dry medium bodied wine, nose of citric and tropical fruits, with a long fresh after taste. 2010 Riesling, Markus Schneider, Pfalz, Germany is a complex wine first it appeared to be dry with aromas of citrus but the finish is sweet with aromas of apricot, peach and minerals .

The smoke salmon went very well with the above two wines. The salmon came in the form of a mousse in small dashes with leeks and sweet and sharp lemon sauce, It almost tasted like a Thai dip “nampla wan with manao doong”. The mousse should taste lighter than the actual salmon flesh but this one had a more intense salmon flavor and was very creamy.

 

2010 VENÚS de Pinchinat BLANC, Domaine Alain de Welle, Var, France is made from Rolle, a grape from southern France; in southern Italy, it’s known as Vermentino. Rolle is sauvignon blanc-like but is less overpowering while still has a nice dry edge. It has a very light color; fresh, crisp, and clean.  2009 Gewürztraminer DOC Alto Adige, Alois Lageder, Italy; is very floral, it’s like putting your nose to a flower. The complex note are jasmine, lychee, and creamy vanilla.

A good pairing with the upside down tart Tatin with duck foie gras and new grown vegetables.

 

2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Salomon & Andrew, Marlborough, New Zealand; This New Zealand white was developed by Austrian winemaker Bertold Salomon with, New Zealand winemaker Christopher Andrew. The result: An amazing Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc which has a refreshing ripe guava and green grass nose and taste of cucumber with a buttery hint.

Lobster roasted with salted butter, cucumber tagliatelle and a creamy soup.

 

2011 Albarino, Pazo de Senorans, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain; first taste it appears sweet then it gets dry with a lemon zest nose a complex white.

Large sole pan fried with butter, green asparagus, roasted artichokes and virgin tomatoes.

 

2009 RED, Gernot Heinrich, Burgenland, Austria; Gernot Heinrich, the rock star of Austrian reds, has created a hip cuvée with a bold label and the catchy name Red. The blend of the region’s signature grapes Zweigelt, St-Laurent and Blaufränkisch is a sexy fruit-driven wine with bright cherry, red fruit and touches of spice. 2009 LZ Rioja DO, Telmo Rodriguez, Spain; is blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Graciano from Rioja. Nose of earthy, berries and violets. Flavors of berries and minerals, strong tanins.

Roasted pigeon, Rossini style (meat usually beef with foie gras), served with Pastilla stuffed with 14 flavors and fresh almonds. The pigeon was cooked nicely; red inside with a crispy skin. Pastilla was complex and wonderful.

When the red started to appear, I started get wine buzzed and it was kicking in fast. I turn to khun Thawatchai to give me some pointers. He said “if you add the amount of 16 glasses even at half portions most likely you’re gonna get drunk but if you can control yourself to just get a taste, you might survive.”

Beef tenderloin, was cooked just right a little bloody inside, it came with Chartreuse green Cabbage and Chanterelles fricassee. It was perfect matched with 2010 Cru Montplaisir Bordeaux Superieur AOC, Gonet-Medeville, France; flavor of ripe fruit, terroir very present, well-balanced with fine bite and intensity on the palate. It’s an aromatic and well-balanced wine with fine depth, structure and a smooth finish.

2010 Pinot Noir- Spätburgunder, Meyer-Näkel, Ahr, Germany; a very burgundian style Pinot Noir with lots of red fruit and earthiness and slate on the nose. The wine is light yet flavorful on the palate. This wine won the ‘Decanter World Wine Award 2008’ for the world’s best Pinot Noir and I would have to agree. It was one of my favorite. It was paired with minestrone of red fruits, spices, and hibiscus jelly; it was nice and refreshing and beautifully presented.

Cold vanilla cream with Roussillon apricot puree. The lightness of this dessert opens an opportunity to get a taste of the 2 next wines paired.

2007 Rocky Gully Shiraz Viognier, Frankland estate, Western Australia; There are aromas of beautiful red and black fruits with subtle notes of dry spices and hints of pepper. The Viognier adds to the wines beautiful aromas and provides an even more lush mouth feel. 2010 Urban Uco Malbec, Bodegas O. Fournier, Uco Valley, Argentina; is a lovely example of Argentina’s trademark grape. Good concentration and structure, intense plum and blackberry fruit tied up nicely with fresh acidity.

Iced nougat with kirsch, orange and jasmin sauce.

2007 Chateau de L’Ecole Sauternes AOC, Julie Gonet-Medeville, France 0.375 liter; is a bright, floral style, with light peach, quince and persimmon notes that glide through the long, creamy finish.

Chef Christian Ham did a great job in preparing the all the dishes. Khun Benjawan carefully selected the wines to match the food to get its’ full potential. The meal was so diverse in many different ways; flavor, color, aroma and origin. At the end I did try to take khun Tawatchai’s advice. But the food and wine pairing was so good I couldn’t control my temptations. I return home safely, a bit drunk and no one that I know of complained the next morning.

 

All the dishes and wines presented is avialable at D’Sens, Dusit Thani Bangkok. Tel. +662 200 9000

For special wine dinners and events like this contact fin event. Tel. +662 653 0154

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About the Author:

vasin Current: Editor of At-Bangkok.com, Managing Director at dp-Studio Co. Ltd. Past: Lecturer, Instructor at School of Architecture King Mongkut University of Technology, Architect at RNL Architect, Architect at Roth Sheppard Architects Education: School of Architecture Chulalongkorn University Bangkok Thailand (B.Arch) School of Architecture University of Arizona USA - School of Architecture University of Colorado, Denver USA (M. Arch)
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