Celebration of Culinary Artistry & Oenological Mastery
Luxury resort Half Moon and premium wines and spirits distributors CPJ hosted a remarkable celebration of culinary artistry and oenological mastery. The Italian-influenced Delmare restaurant on the Eclipse side of the hotel’s property saw wine enthusiasts and gastronomes gather for an exclusive wine paired dinner on Friday, November 17, that showcased a selection of premium wines from celebrated Italian vineyard owners Fantinel, represented by winemaker himself, Marco Fantinel; and perfectly complemented by a delectable feast courtesy of the restaurant’s Italian chef Claudio Facchinetti.
On this sumptuous journey through Italy’s vinicultural landscape, attendees savoured the elegant harmony between wine and food. The featured wines included the refreshing effervescence charm of an extra-dry Prosecco, the aromatic allure of Tenuta Sant’Helena Sauvignon and the elegance of the Sant’Helena Pinot Grigio. The remaining pours were La Roncaia Eclisse, Tenuta Sant’Helena Collio Rosso and the Rosé Millesimato Brut paired with dessert. Each sip effortlessly transported palates to the vineyards, offering a taste of the country’s rich viniculture.
Menu selections included the amuse-bouche of blue pointe oyster and hackleback caviar. Piedmont stuffed homemade pasta with sausage, oyster mushrooms and burrata provide the comforting embrace of traditional Italian cooking. Braised shoulder lamb with basil sponge and yogurt sauce and a bignè al caramello of puff choux filled with salted caramel mousse, toffee crunch and vanilla bean gelato served as dessert. The food and wine combinations were a match made in epicurean heaven.
The debate is still ongoing as to the pièce de résistance for the evening with taste lines drawn on the succulent oven roasted monkfish fillet: a delightful marriage between the rich lobster-like texture of the monkfish and the vibrant acidity of the La Roncaia Sauvignon, creating a symphony of flavours that tantalised taste buds. Meanwhile, the roasted watermelon carpaccio herb crusted tuna with crunchy prosciutto and salsa verde paired with the Tenuta Sant’Helena Sauvignon was fragrant and savoury. These seafood delicacies showcased Facchinetti’s expertise in delivering both classic flavours and innovative culinary twists.
The evident passion emanating from Fantinel as he shared insights into the meticulous winemaking process before each pairing kept guests enthralled with the dedication that goes deep into the heart of Italy’s winemaking traditions. Wine notes included the impact of soil type, temperature and location on wine taste. As well as harvest time, bottling, aging process and the quantities of no more than 20,000 bottles of each wine manufactured yearly to maintain the quality of their wines while also using single-vineyard grapes.
“The food was amazing, in the sense that it’s not something you would find all around, there was research on the ingredients, technique and the match of the wines. We were lucky as the chef is Italian and from the region where the wines are being produced. It was as if there was soul in the air as the energy between the glasses and the dishes was good. This was good and unique, and I appreciate it a lot,” Fantinel said.
Facchinetti meanwhile spoke on the thought process on deciding the evening’s menu.
“I’m from the Collio region in Italy and I know the wines well. I wanted to keep the menu simple and to infuse with foods I knew growing up. This worked out well as the response from the guests was phenomenal,” Facchinetti said.