November 10, 2015
Dueto Gastronomic Evening in Estudio Gastronomico, Marbella.
I don’t need to be invited twice to anything involving food or wine so happy days when the official presentation of Dueto, an evening of fine wines and haute cusine came my way.
Under the masterful guidance of The Wine Academy’s Pancho Campo and chef Aitor Perurena from Estudio Gastronomico, 30 or so hand picked guests were guided through four fantastic dishes and eight amazing wines.
First up was my favorite food ever, a mighty slab of foie gras, not good for the heart I know but good for the soul for sure to be totally correct it was Miscuit of foie with lime and essence of violet and cava, mmmmm I hear you murmur. This dish was then cleverly teamed with one of two wines, first a Strevi 2011 Moscato d’ Asti from the Bodega Banfi. On its own I found this wine a little too perfumed, lychee, lavender etc but when combined with the foie… well it took on a whole new dimension, simply wonderful with the sweetness perfectly complimenting the artery busting fat of the Foie, and most peoples favorite. Also teamed up was an Amontillado AB. Now I am sure we all remember the disastrous sherry that lurked in every drinks cabinet in the Mother country, and to be fair on initial tasting this reminded me of Christmases long past, slightly salty with hints of yeast, yet this combined with Mr Goose’s finest was my favorite although possibly slightly too overpowering for the dish… Different strokes for different folk.
Next up was a Carpaccio of Prawn with salmon Eggs and a Coral concentrate combined with a Botani Moscatel de Alejandria 2011 from the Bodegas Jorge Ordoñez and an Atrium 2012 Chardonnay from Torres. Again the Moscatel a little too girlie to be taken seriously on its own, but excellent with the strong fishiness of the salmon eggs. This dish was excellent but the texture not to everybody’s liking. Now to the Chardonnay, well this wine hasn’t had the best press of late mainly down the Essex under classes thinking its a great name for their latest child, that’s going to kill any product in my book and in a very short space of time. Chardonnay, it has to be said can be one of the finest grapes going when treated with respect, but sadly there are too many poor wines out there produced for the masses. This example however was superb and the first of the wines we tasted that I would be happy quaffing through the night.
Pulpo, or octopus if you wish. My, I have had my share of this mollusc sliced up on a wooden board a la Galicia more resembling a carefully sliced Goodyear after 30 laps of Silverstone, something that has stopped me ordering it for some time. Well this penultimate dish was Pulpo with an amazingly subtle Goats Cheese Infusion and vegetables. Stunning is the only superlative to use! The overall balance of flavours and texture was a true delight. Freixenet, the big boys of the cava world and their Elyssia Pinot Noir and Alconte Crianza 2008 Tempranillo from Bodegas y Viñedos Montecastro were next up on the wine front with the cava and its tiny bubbles coming out on top for me. Goats cheese and good cava! Hello!…
The Montecastro… Well I can’t remember so I guess it was uninspiring to say the least.
If you like Truffles, as I do, then the Beef (Tenera Melosa, from the Greek to be Honeyed) had been cooked for an incredible 19 hours and of course you could have cut it with your thumb such was it’s tenderness, the truffle glaze only coming through on the palate once the flavour of the beef had subsided. Sublime. That was the best piece of beef I have tasted since being treated to a 300€ Kobe filet. I digress… The wine, wow! The Ramos Paul, straight down the hill from Ronda was truly a great wine and I have already booked my day at the vineyard to pick up several cases of this beast. This was my favorite wine of the evening and managed to find a spare full bottle to share with the owner of the Bodega as the evening drew to a hazy end. To be fair, this wine will improve no end with another 5 years in the cellar. The final wine of the tasting, an Alonso del Yerro 2009 Tempranillo was amazingly the best to drink with the beef dish where as the Ramos Paul for me was much more a sitting by the fireplace wine, to be savored all on its own without the distraction of any food.
Well I hope you weren’t bored to much by my culinary pontification but if you like your food and wine I am sure you will understand.