Cesar Cruz Jr.
Business Mirror | November 28, 2019
“If you consider yourself a foodie and a wine lover at the same time, then a food and wine pairing makes perfect sense.”
The goal of the meal after all is give pleasure to the diners by way of the different nuances of taste and aroma derived from wine and food. And don’t forget their synergy.
With the growing number of food and wine lovers in the Metro, hotels have been curating their own special menu to cater to adventurous taste buds. Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati, recently hosted an intimate farm to table wine dinner with a rustic concept at The Gallery. The people surrounding the dining table consisted mostly of the hotel’s higher ups, the two Aussie winemakers, a duo from the BusinessMirror, and a wine educator from Enderun Colleges.
As for the ingredients of the dishes in the multi-course meal, the seasonal vegetable requirements were sourced from three farms, one of which is Malagos Farm in Davao. On the other hand, the meat and wine were imported from Australia.
The meal began with the serving of Fresh Watercress Soup with Garlic Croutons and Crème Fraiche. Its delicate and neutral taste gradually stimulated our excited palates and heated up our digestive tracks.
Next up was the organic kale salad which, was shaped like a calling card and piled two inches high in the middle of the plate, while a swirl of Malagos Mango Chèvre, Maple Glazed Pili Nuts, Buerre Noisette Vinaigrette around the plate for added textures and flavors. The kale salad was paired with Sasha Brut. The effervescent liquid rebooted the taste buds as it takes in different permutations of taste with every bite of the salad.
Heating things up was the mildly spicy seafood pasta in green curry, coconut sauce, basil oil. The Thai-inspired al dente dish complimented the luxuriously silky taste of the Sasha Pinot Noir.
For the main course, the intensity of flavors of the Rack of Lamb (served with apricots, couscous, and pearl vegetable with rosemary garlic mint) was a solid match for the commanding presence of the tannins of Sally’s Hill Cabernets and also for the bright bouquet of Sasha Pyrenes Shiraz. This is undoubtedly the highlight pairing of the evening.
A medley of bite-sized desserts, including the award-winning ube cheesecake and the adobo cheesecake of Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, were soon served. It was partnered with Sasha Moscato for its sweet taste profile.
The approachability of the different types of wine aptly personifies its winemakers Neil Robb and Sasha Fair. The father and daughter tandem, being the experts they are, have not been intoxicated by fame. These two from the Land Down Under, remained down to Earth as they introduce their brand of vino. The wines of Sally’s Paddock Redbank Winery attribute its exceptional quality of its wine to its pristine environment, as well as its non-irrigated vines. The fact that the grapes are hand-picked and hand-pressed says a lot about their winemaking philosophy.
The wonderful meal was not all the diners got. The Aussies had a generous dose of Filipino hospitality when the conversation turned to the country’s national dish. Almost immediately, a plateful of chicken and pork adobo was served in front of Neil Robb and Sasha Fair for them to pair with their estate-grown reds. The paring of the adobo with the Cabernets and the Pinot Noir won their nod of approval. To cap their meal, mango daiquiris were laid before the Aussies as they have been curious about the world-famous Philippine mangoes.
“You can’t keep a good thing bottled up for long”, this writer thought,” be it Sally Paddock wine or good old fashioned Filipino hospitality.”
Cesar Cruz Jr.
Cesar studied communication arts at the University of Santo Tomas. He writes articles in the Lifestyle Section of Business Mirror as a lifestyle writer. He manages Pancit Malabon, his own restaurant at Banawe St.