Saturday, August 21, 2010

let's drink: marques de casa concha

last night, we attended a wine-pairing dinner at lolo dad's brasserie hosted by concha y toro, one of the top wineries in chile. their wines are now distributed in the philippines by fly ace corporation. because we had nothing else to do yesterday, wouldn't you know it, we were the first one to arrive! and guess kung sino ang kasabay namin! aba, si victoria valera! este, si gretchen barretto. she stepped out of what looked like a bus—that was probably her "trailer," which she takes with her to shoots. it's like a little house that has everything you need. gretchen arrived with patrick rosas, who has been doing her makeup for years.
we chatted her up and she told us that after dinner, she was proceeding to her taping at SOFA. her face was completely devoid of makeup and when we asked to take her photo, sabi niya, "ok lang, my face is kinda shiny?" she probably had some high-tech cream on her face that she couldn't wipe off, but she was completely un-self-consious about it. well, that cream must be working because her skin is flawless (always has been)!

anyhoo on to the dinner. after each course was served, chef ariel manuel would come out to explain why he created this particular dish for that particular wine.
the pairings were what you might call no-brainers, or rather classic pairings, except maybe for the last one, which was quite unexpected. we started with chilled scallops and shrimps with marinated salmon and mango quenelle, micro greens and aioli—paired with marques de casa concha 2007 chardonnay. this fresh, crisp white wine with citrus notes went perfectly with the light, buttery seafood starter.
next was roasted muscovy duck breast, duck leg asado puff, and seared duck foie gras—paired with marques de casa concha 2007 merlot. according to chef ariel, you can never go wrong with a duck + merlot combo.
another meat dish was up next: roast wagyu eye of rib eye, stewed beef cheek with potato purée—paired with marques de casa concha 2007 cabernet sauvignon. something rich and heavy like this requires a full-bodied wine, so a cab sauv will be the best pairing.
finally, dessert was served: dark valrhona chocolate and shaved almond terrine with vanilla almond ice cream (the ice cream chef ariel created for selecta). now you would think a dessert wine would be paired with this; instead we got the pièce de résistance from concha y toro: marques de casa concha 2007 carménère. apparently, the carménère grape is unique to chile. it was once widely planted in the bordeaux region till disease wiped it out. but before then, chile was able to import it and is the only country today that produces commercial quantities. the wine is deep and dark, with hints of pepper, vanilla, and dark chocolate—that's why it went perfectly with this dessert!

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