The 4th Bangkok Post Charity Wine Dinner
This is the season to celebrate, but it's far more rewarding when you're also giving help to those who really need it.
Chiratas Nivatpumin, Bangkok Post managing editor; Steve Briones, country manager for ING Bank; Joseph Sharad Apte, partner and head of Bain & Co Thailand; and Atiya Achakulwisut, Bangkok Post deputy editor.
And this is what happened to the 4th Bangkok Post Charity Wine Dinner held last week at Lord Jim's of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, which saw a packed house of generous diners who were there for a noble cause _ one that provided them with an opportunity to show generosity, as well as enjoy a great dining experience.
Initiated in August 2010, the dinner aims to raise necessary funds for the Bangkok Post Foundation, which over the past 30 years has supported hundreds of underprivileged schoolchildren across Thailand. The past three charity dinner events were warmly welcomed by Bangkok's philanthropic diners. They were happy to continue to give their warm support for the fourth dinner.
At the stylish Lord Jim's, guests to the dinner were treated to a fantastic seven-course menu created by the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok's legendary chef Norbert Kostner and the young and innovative chef Stefan Trepp. The gourmet menu was complemented by an outstanding French wine list composed of classified growths from Bordeaux.
Lord Jim's was the ideal choice for such a high-profile charity event and the support came from the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok team led by Ittipol Witjitsomboon, Food & Beverage director; Gourmet One Food Service (Thailand) led by sisters Nuntiya and Patcharin Hem-Ung-Gull; and Vanichwathana, one of Bangkok's leading fine wines and spirits companies.
The duo band—vocalist Renata Benvenutti de Andrade and guitarist German Vilchez, provide musical entertainment for the evening.
The pre-dinner cocktail started at 7pm when guests were treated to Champagne flutes sparkling with the zesty elegance of Pol Roger, one of the few luxury Champagne houses still owned and run by the descendants of Pol Roger. It was served with exotic Oriental canapes.
At 7.45pm, they took their seats and were welcomed by emcee Thomas Kinsperger, the hotel's F&B manager. Representing the Bangkok Post Foundation, Pichai Chuensuksawadi, editor-in-chief of the Bangkok Post and Post Today was invited next to explain about the foundation and its objectives.
Amanda Hyndman, general manager of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok also expressed her heart-felt thanks and appreciation to all guests who continue to support this event. The culinary and wine team _ chef Norbert Kostner, chef Stefan Trepp and sommelier Tiwa Yenwattana _ then introduced the evening menu and outstanding wines paired with each course to the gathering.
The smiling team of Lord Jim's service staff then marched in with the starter, muscat wine and marinated foie gras with passion fruit aspic and beetroot brioche rubik. This was paired with the finest Chateau Doisy-Vedrines, 2eme Cru Classe 1989, Sauternes, a truly rich and full-bodied wine, wonderfully pure with a sweet creamy texture and fine balancing acidity. The finish is incredibly long and precise.
The elegant Bartard-Montrachet, Grand Cru, Joseph Drouhin 2004 from Cote de Beaune was cleverly chosen to accompany the next two courses _ a sea creation of rillete of blue horse crab and New Caledonia prawns; and the paper-thin tortelli on white pencil asparagus with seasonal mushrooms and aromatic collonata. Thick and creamy in texture, the Joseph Drouhin 2004 is exceptionally balanced with distinctive peach and almond nuances.
The third course, deboned Bresse quail filled with fine mince, glazed chestnuts and celeriac mousseline, was served with Chateau Figeac, 1er Grand Cru Classe B 1995 from Saint-Emilion. This excellent classic Bordeaux blend has a fine impact on the palate, showing a very rounded and complete structure with a backbone of fine tannins and ample acidity. The main course was chargrilled rosette of wagyu beef in red-wine sauce, and this was perfectly matched with the majestic Chateau Canon, 1er Grand Cru Classe B 2004, Saint-Emilion.
This is a rich wine, full of flavour and carries the aromas of roasted meats and dark red fruits, nicely rounded off with a good frame of acidity and tannin.
The last and most impressive wine came from Chateau Cheval Blanc, the famous premier grand cru classe estate with the most modern facility in St Emilion today. The brick-red Chateau Cheval Blanc, Grand Cru Classe A 1986 has a lovely, elegant finesse with a full, creamy presence. This distinctive, beautifully balanced wine accompanied warm pecorino custard with herbs and salsify and truffle dressing, and a beautiful cheese menu delicately designed by chef Norbert.
Beautifully bringing this sequence of gourmet offerings to an exquisite close was peach, strawberry, mascarpone and crumble, cracked sugar egg and vanilla mascarpone cubes, served with freshly-brewed coffee, fine teas and soothing herbal infusions.
Hand-dipped chocolates, miniature macaroons and chocolate pearls completed the show in grand style.
Piya Jittalarn, second right, with family and friends.
About the author
- Writer: Pamela Tan