Excellent evening with unusual wines
" a lavish dinner of three courses with three options per course "
New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington, has many fine dining restaurants however very few wine bars. With over 500 wines on offer it is no surprise that the multiple award-winning Noble Rot Restaurant is visited regularly by the Chaîne.
On this occasion, 16 members gathered for a lavish dinner of three courses with three options per course, an amuse-bouche and a serving of cheese accompanied by five wines from New Zealand, Australia, France, Germany and Italy.
The result was a superb evening of dining with the focus very much on the out of the way wine selections. The evening began conventionally with a New Zealand sparkling wine to whet the appetite. Once seated, the amuse-bouche of a choux pastry shell filled with small shrimps in a rogan josh sauce was served. Noble Rot is noted for its eclectic food which is one of its distinguishing features in the Wellington culinary scene.
The second wine was a Loire Valley Chenin Blanc, namely 2015 Vouvray by Marc Brédif - a medium-bodied, off-dry white with a touch of sweetness and lusciously full of flavour. Dishes to accompany this classic wine were gnocchi with broccoli pesto, salt-baked celeriac and miso charred fish with puffed wild rice.
Accompanying the main course was a German red: Weingut Wittmann Spätburgunder Rotwein Trocken from the Rheinhessen. A flavoursome Pinot Noir, its soft, mellow, full-bodied texture matched the three options:
- Eye fillet of beef with a braised beef cheek tart and cauliflower purée
- Fish with a saffron bouillabaisse
- Mango pickle glazed squash.
Visner di Pergola, a wild cherry wine from Italy was chosen for dessert. This presented as not only tangy but also sweet and mellow on the follow through with a lingering aftertaste.
Dessert choices were:
- Choux pastry with caramelised sesame mousseline with yuzu gel
- Almond financier with dark chocolate, passionfruit gel and star anise ice cream
- A modern take on the traditional rice pudding with a coconut sorbet and mango gel.
To complete the menu was a serving of cheese, one hard and one soft, with walnut bread and accompaniments. Sweet, aromatic de Bortoli Rosé made by fourth generation Italian migrants from the Riverina region of southwestern New South Wales in Australia was an inspired pairing.
All in all, an excellent evening in a top-class restaurant with a legendary selection carefully curated by the owners Maciej Zimny from Poland and New Zealander Josh Pointon both well qualified Sommeliers.
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