An Evening of Japanese Food with Bordeaux Wines

In September I had the pleasure to attend a fantastic evening of wine tasting and Japanese food pairing.

The event was organized by R&R to promote Bordeaux Wines. It was hosted at the home of Luiz Hara, aka The London Foodie, a London-based chef renowned for his Japanese Supperclub. Wine educator and writer Christina Pickard co-presented the tasting.

The London Foodie supperclub is rated one of the best in London, so of course I was very curious/excited to try it. The dinner blew my mind away! Every dish was a surprise, from the canapés (Seven Spices popcorn you can’t get enough of) to the starters (with the impressive “Deconstructing Sushi”) to the mains and accompaniments (where a simple Miso Soup can turn into your favourite dish of the night). And of course the dessert: a flourless rich chocolate cake perfectly paired with macha ice-cream.

Alongside the wonderful home-cooked Japanese meal, we attended a demonstration and tasting of “Bordeaux Shows Its Colours” – with seven white, rosé and red Bordeaux Wines chosen by Christina.

The Bordeaux region counts 8,000 vineyards, many of which are still family-owned, and have been producing wine for centuries. Dry white wines, made primarily from the Sauvignon Blanc grape, are crisp and fruity and a great matches for plain fish. The rosé wines, typically a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, are well balanced, elegant and best drunk chilled. Bordeaux red wines range from Merlot-based ones, which are soft and smooth (ideal for chicken), to the more complex and full-bodied wines made with Cabernet grapes (suitable for full-flavoured meats and game). Sweet wines from Bordeaux are delicious when served chilled, with dessert or as an aperitif.

As I am not a wine connoisseur, I genuinely enjoyed Christina’s presentation of the wines, which gave me an insight on how rich and diverse the Bordeaux region is*.

Here’s the full menu of the food and wine we tasted on the evening:

Canapés – paired with Réserve de Sours Sparkling Rosé NV and Château Le Bernet Bellevue 2011

Shichimi Flavoured Popcorn (not pictured);

Pan-Fried Leek Gyoza Dumplings;

Starters – paired with Château Méaume 2011 and Les Amants de Mont-Pérat 2010

Salmon Sushi – South American Way;

Sous-Vide Ballotine of Monkfish Liver with Shredded Daikon and Ponzu Dressing;

“Deconstructing Sushi” – Grilled Scallops with Nori Seaweed, Tobiko Eggs and Creamy Spicy Sauce on Sushi Rice;

Main Course – paired with Château Fonguillon 2009 and Château Roquefort’s Roquefortissime 2010

Teppanyaki of Rib-Eye Steak marinated for 48 hours in Miso, Sake & Mirin served with Broccoli and Green Beans in a Black Sesame Dressing;

Peach and Daikon Salad with a Japanese Mayo Vinaigrette;

Miso Soup with Fried Aubergines, Spring Onion & Sweet Eggs (not pictured);

Sea Bream Rice cooked in Clay Pot;

Dessert – paired with Ginestet Sauternes 2009

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake with Whisky Prunes served with Quenelle of Green Tea Ice Cream;

* The new guide “Everyday Bordeaux Wines 2012″ lists the best and most affordable Bordeaux wines available in the UK today, all priced between £5 and £20, and selected by a panel from the Association of Wine Educators (AWE).

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the event by R&R, no compensation was received to write this review. All views are my own.

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