After a couple of years having the International Wine and Food Society President’s Dinner at Peninsula’s Old Manila, the board decided on a change of scenery and settled on Tivoli at the Mandarin Oriental after some members started hearing rumors of a resurgence of this bastion of Manila’s fine dining scene. Although we were there this evening for a board meeting, we took the opportunity to try some of the proposed dishes for the President’s Dinner and see how they would match with some of the wines chosen for the dinner.
During the meeting proper we had some canapes with Champagne.
Cocktails - Salmon and Chicken Mousse by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Although I arrived a bit late, a glass of Dom Perignon 1996 was saved for me. Much like other bottles of this wine I’ve had, a real beauty of a Champagne. Layers of flavor but still so youthful. This will live a long, long time. This particular bottle had a slightly exaggerated lemon candy flavor, though. Still, one of my favorite Champagnes.
The Dom Perignon was followed by a Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV. This dry, raspberryish bubbly is consistently one of the best NV rosés available.
Champagnes Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé NV and Dom Peringon 1996 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
After a brief and rather uneventful meeting, the more serious business of dinner commenced. Wine service was a little chaotic, although through no fault of the waitstaff, but rather because of the eagerness of some to taste the wines. As always, there were many wines volunteered and brought for the dinner, far more than our group could possibly enjoy.
An amuse of what seemed like liquid foie gras topped with bits of candied fruit was served first. Although the flavor was good, I thought the texture was strange.
Foie Gras Amuse Bouche by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
The first white wine served was the Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser 2011 from Canada’s Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. As explained by Bernie, Ehrenfelser is a German grape crossing of Riesling and Silvaner. Although served a bit warm, it was a good, rather oily wine with lime and pineapple flavors. The next white served was a François Carillon Bourgogne Chardonnay 2010. Not a particularly distinguished wine. A little stony and lemony.
François Carillon Bourgogne 2011 and Cedar Creek Ehrenfelser 2011 from Okanagan, BC, Canada by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Most of us had finished the Ehrenfelser before the food came so it was the Carillon which we had with the Scallop and preserved lemon tartar, mushroom salad and mulled wine reduction. Although it worked just fine with the scallops, the tuna roe garnish became very fishy with the Chardonnay. With the excellent sweet and creamy white onion soup and smoked salmon dumpling, however, the wine was a fine match.
Scallop and Preserved Lemon Tartar, Mushrooms Salad and Mulled Red Wine Reduction by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
White Onion Soup and Smoked Salmon Dumpling by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Although a sorbet was was supposed to be served, a suggestion that a gazpacho shot be tried instead was made. Everyone thought this was an excellent idea.
Gazpacho by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
A slew of reds then followed. A soft, cedary and minty Chateau Figeac 1998 was first followed by a Bernard Baudry Chinon 2008. This was intended for the main course. The Chinon was a suitably big wine, very dry, and showing blood, leather and iron on the palate. Although rather monolithic at first, 2 hours in the glass rounded it out nicely.
Fiegeac 1998 and Baudry Chinon 2008 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
The main course of Boudin Noir Epicé with Celeriac, Granny Smith Marmalade was another hit with everyone. Hearty and full-flavored, the Chinon certainly did it justice. There were suggestions, however, that perhaps the amount of apple be reduced as it was rather strong.
Boudin Noir Epicé, Celeriac and Granny Smith Marmalade by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Several Jadot Burgundies then made an appearance. First was a Pommard 2009. Light and juicy and very easy to drink. Strawberry and some caramel notes after it some minutes in the glass. Next was a Chambolle-Musigny 2003 which, I and some others thought, was the best wine of the night. Very ripe on the nose and palate. Almost jammy but not quite there. Rather rich. Blueberry and cherry. Could conceivably be mistaken for a New World wine. Excellent. Last was a Chateau des Jacques Clos de Rochegrès Moulin-à-Vent 2010. This was a serious, creamy and chocolatey Beaujolais.
Jadots - Clos de Rochegres Moilin a Vent 2010, Chambolle-Musigny 2003 and Pommard 2009 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
Although the dinner was pretty heavy, owing to the soup and boudin, we still had some space for a chocolate dessert. Although very good, as suggested by Bernie, adjustments should be made so that aside from the white chocolate ice cream, chocolate paté, and chocolate panna cotta, there should also be a dark chocolate component.
Chocolate Panna Cotta, Chocolate, Paté and White Chocolate Ice Cream by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
This was paired by what some wine critics consider the wine par excellence for chocolate, a Docteur Parcé Domaine du Mas Blanc Banyuls 1993. Somewhat similar to port. this had flavors of prune and fig and did go quite well with the dessert.
Banyuls 1993 by jaylabrador.winesteward, on Flickr
It was good to see Tivoli making some exciting food. Although neglected in the past as a venue for a special dinner, I believe the quality of the food it is putting out now definitely makes it deserving of consideration.