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Food

A Taste Of Baron Philippe de Rothschild

at the Wine Rack

With Christopher Reckord

Thursday, April 12, 2012    

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Colin Hylton’s Guilt Trip restaurant was at capacity, Tuesday last, as J Wray & Nephew Limited, in association with Baron Philippe de Rothschild, hosted a wine-pairing dinner to show off some of the new releases.

The Rothschild family’s involvement in the wine business dates back to the late 1800s. Today, the organisation is chaired by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, great-great-granddaughter of founder Nathaniel de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking dynasty. The organisation runs two distinct operations: Châteaux wines and Branded wines.

Châteaux wines

Châteaux wines include the renowned Château Mouton Rothschild, a First Growth, and its distinguished lieutenants, Château Clerc Milon and Château d’Armailhac. Outside of Bordeaux in an equal joint venture with Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley, California — Opus One — the first great Franco-Californian wine was created in 1979. Another really great wine — Almaviva, Puente Alto, Chile, a great Franco-Chilean wine has been produced in partnership with Concha y Toro since 1996. Both Opus One and Almaviva are available in Jamaica.

Branded Wines

In 1930, the idea of a wine “brand” was in its infancy. Nevertheless, wine visionary Baron Philippe de Rothschild created Mouton Cadet, and in essence, created the world’s first modern wine brand. An instant success, Mouton Cadet is now a worldwide favourite, delivering the riches of Bordeaux to wine lovers around the globe. With its high quality, round and fruity style, Mouton Cadet is still the bestselling Bordeaux AOC wine on the market. The organisation produces wines in other regions of France and also in Chile.

What wines were poured?

On arrival guests had a choice of the elegant, complex, well-structured Mouton Cadet Bordeaux Red 2010, the sassy and refreshing Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2010, or the soft, aromatic Baron Philippe de Rothschild Pays d’Oc Viognier 2010. Chef Colin Hylton teased the palates with offerings of trifle of watermelon and pickled watermelon rind with feta cheese and picholine olives, garlic pita crisps and crème fraiche; ackee and red herring vol-au-vents and warm Asian-spiced mixed nuts.

Next, we tasted the Mouton Cadet Bordeaux Blanc 2 0 1 0, a blend of three classic varieties: Sauvignon Blanc (65 per cent) brings fresh, fruity and floral aromas and flavours, Semillon (30 per cent) gives roundness and refinement, and Muscadelle (5 per cent). This was served with Hylton’s appetiser, the English pea bisque with tarragon, thyme, fresh Parmesan Reggiano cheese and blue corn tortilla chips with basil-scented olive oil. We moved into a tasty terrine of smoked salmon and poached chicken breast with miso carrot salad, golden raisins, cranberries, pistachios and creamed ginger vinaigrette. This was accompanied by Baron Philippe de Rothschild Maipo Chardonnay por Escudo 2 0 0 8. Grapes for this wine were rigorously selected from the best vineyards of the Casablanca Valley. It is round, full-bodied and smooth, showing perfect balance between the freshness of vanilla and tropical fruit and the power of toast and spice.

The main event was one of Hylton’s signature multi-dish offerings: Melt-in-your-mouth braised beef short ribs with “torched” pomegranate molasses, and barbecued pig’s tail with sesame seed dusting with coconut white pepper polenta. While the pairing might not have worked so well, we had this with one of my favourite red wines on the market — 2009 Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo, Chile. Escudo Rojo is the literal translation of “Red Shield” or “Rothschild”. The Escudo Rojo is a blended wine made from four different grape varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon (approx 40 per cent and Cabernet Franc ( approx 5 per cent), traditional Bordeaux varieties, give refinement and tannic power, while Carmenere (about 37 per cent) and Syrah (around 18 per cent) bring body, density and a touch of spice.

Dessert was a delightful trio of: Classic Crêpes Suzette, Bananas Foster trifle and dark chocolate pumpkin mousse with amaretti cookies.

With great food and good wines, an entertaining evening was had by all.

Chris Reckord — Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. Follow us on twitter: @DeVineWines @Reckord

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