Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Bailliage de la Jamaïque hosts a number of fine dining events each year where its membership and their guests are taken on a gastronomic adventure. This past weekend, Chef Colin Hylton hosted an event titled Kaleidoscope of Colours: Cuisine & Fashion at his new restaurant Guilt, located on the terrace of Devon House. Hylton presented a mouth-watering five course dinner that was paired with a range of wines and cocktails. As is typical of Colin, each dish was bursting with flavour from a range of textures beautifully presented.
In our pre-dinner meeting Chef Hylton announced that he wanted to take some risks by going against some of the typical wine and food pairings. For example, he wanted to pair Rosemary Lamb Manicotti with a dry Riesling instead of the typical Bordeaux-style red wine. With some doubt, I went and did my research only to find that Hylton was on to something, as it turns out that at a molecular level there are major similarities with compounds found in Rosemary and those found in wines made with Muscat, Gewürztraminer and ... Riesling.
We do realise that some persons will want to stick with red wines for meats; however, events like these give us the opportunity to experiment. The Rosemary Lamb Manicotti was paired with the Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Riesling. Another daring pairing that Hylton pushed for was the Valrhona dark bitter-sweet chocolate soufflé with the Hahn Winery Cabernet Sauvignon. My quick survey suggested that most of the guests liked these experiments. Here is the list of wines we had with dinner.
Chateau St Jean Gewurztraminer Sonoma County
Fragrant and inviting floral notes of honeysuckle and jasmine open the nose of this lovely wine, with highlights of sweet apple and white tea offering a balancing crispness. The flavours are warm and rich, with ripe pineapple, fresh stone fruit and soft spice lingering on the palate. The wine offers a nice amount of acidity that gives structure to the rich mouth-feel, and supports the body to a smooth, well-rounded finish.
Cupcake Red Velvet
Red Velvet blend delivers over-the-top aromas of chocolate, deep dark blackberries and luscious red fruits that follow through to the palate. Finish with a hint of coconut and creamy mocha that shows unmistakable intensity and length. Red Velvet combines Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. Each varietal adds distinct characteristics and lends structure, aroma and depth of flavour.
Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Riesling
The grapes for this wine were harvested in the cool of the morning, then gently pressed. The resulting juice was allowed to naturally settle before cool fermentation with neutral yeasts to aid in savouring the delicate Riesling aromatics. This produced a wine with the pure and delicate bouquet of ripe citrus-lime and spring blossom aromas. The palate is beautifully balanced with intense flavours, lovely juicy length and a zest lime finish.
Hahn Winery Cabernet Sauvignon California
Aromatic and concentrated, this Cabernet bursts out of the glass with aromas of black cherries and dried black currants complemented by notes of espresso and sweet oak. On the palate, flavours combining dark chocolate and blueberries are framed by drying tannins, leading to a clean finish with hints of caramelised plums and spice.
The loud chatter and regular bursts of laughter from the packed house indicated that it was a light, relaxing and most enjoyable evening at Guilt.
Christopher Reckord - Businessman, Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on twitter: @Reckord