Wine Courses Corporate Wine Events About Private Wine Events Blog!
19th May 2014

Tasting tapas in St Jean Cap Ferrat

I staged my first event under the umbrella of the Riviera Wine Academy last week at an exclusive private villa in St Jean Cap Ferrat.
It was for two charming American clients who felt the need (there really is no need!) to apologise for not knowing much about wine. That's the point of my being there! Additionally the villa manager, her assistant and the chefs also took part. A very informal and enjoyable evening! The guests were very laid-back, so the evening took place in the sumptuously appointed kitchen.
The very talented villa's chefs prepared a selection of delicious tapas-style dishes and so I chose a range of wines that would accompany them. The opportunity to mix and match between the flavours on the plate and the different wines in the glass is hugely valuable.

Given the slightly Spanish theme I elected to start off with a dry Sherry. Andalucia, the home of Sherry (a corruption of the Spanish word Jerez) is, after all, where tapas originated. Dry Sherry is one of the few wines to accompany both salty and olive flavours. Everyone loved it, which was a great delight to me. I will write more about Sherry in the coming weeks, but if your image of it is some ghastly sticky brown thing bought out of the cupboard by an elderly great aunt and served from the same bottle year after year, then think again! Real Fino sherry is as crisp and light as wine can be, with a slightly savoury fresh tang of both the sea and the yeast that helps make it.

We tried a range of wines, from crisp and fresh to full and oaky whites, a delicious Provence Rosé (the perfect wine for paella) and reds ranging from chillably fruity to full and rich. The food went from olives and artichokes right the way to sizzling steak, with lots of pungent flavours of garlic and herbs going on, so the chances to discover sensational wine and food pairings were legion.

Without ruining the laid-back atmosphere I was able to explain elements of the chemistry behind why certain flavours work together, and the guest enjoyed learning by experience. For me the best match was the earthy sweetness of a simple beetroot salad with a light, not-oaky and vibrantly fruity Pinot Noir (Pinot Nero) from the north of Italy. Just perfect.

A lovely evening and some good feedback from the clients already received.


Prev | Next | Archive | Subscribe to blog


Add comment
Your name
Your email (optional, will not be published)