Food

Société Mondiale du Vin in the Bush

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, November 23, 2017



My wine credo is to give every wine lover the opportunity to experience good wines from all over the world. This is why I accepted the challenge to head the Jamaican chapter of the Société Mondiale du Vin. The Société Mondiale du Vin, which translates to “World Wine Society”, is the wine affiliate organisation of the Confrèrie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

Serendipity?

At the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2017, when I stopped to sample the always-delicious treats from the Stush in the Bush booth, proprietor Lisa Binns suggested that we should do a Stush Wine Event. “Yes, for sure” was my immediate answer. Earlier in February I discovered that Croatian wines were being imported into Jamaica by former Jamaican/Croatian UN Executive Henry Thompson and his Croatian wife Ksenija. After tasting and enjoying them I found that I had to share them with wine lovers as I thought that they were excellent value for money. Months later, these two meetings finally manifested themselves as a Croatian Wine Pairing Locavore Gastronomy Experience.

 

Oversold immediately

Initially, the plan was to host only 25 members of the Société Mondiale du Vin, but when the invitations went out, the response was immediate and borderline overwhelming. We had to negotiate to add another 20 spaces. It was tight, but the energy in the room was electric and contagious. Members and their guests had an absolute blast.

 

Wine & Organic Vegetarian pairing

Lisa and Christopher Binns, along with the small team at the St Ann-based farm-to-table experience, created a delectable multi-course seated menu for the very full house. On arrival, guests snacked on Yellow Yam and Pineapple Croquettes on a Green Plantain Chip with STUSH Chimichurri Sauce and STUSH Scotch Bonnet Crème. These were served with Sparkling Cucumber Basil Lemonade or Ilocki Podrumi Traminac white wine. Traminac comes from the Sauvignon Rose/Traminer/Gewürztraminer family so it was fruity and pleasant.

As we all got seated, course 1 hit the tables — an Oyster Rockefeller-inspired Lemon Herbed Mushroom served with a Ilocki Podrumi Grasevina. Grasevina is the most widespread white grape variety in Croatia. It is commonly mistaken for Riesling but is genetically and organoleptically distinct from Riesling.

After some debate at the pre-tasting, we decided to pour the Vina Belje Pinot Crni (Pinot Noir) Select instead of the Merlot with the tomato soup course. This light-bodied Croatian Pinot has pronounced fruity notes of raspberries and sweet cherries, with hints of dark chocolate in the background. A ripe tannin structure, balanced nicely with acids, lingers in the mouth and leaves a long-lasting fruity aftertaste.

The complex aromatic Vina Belje Chardonnay Premium accompanied the delicious salad course consisting of Jerked Carrot Steak atop a savoury Ruby Goat Dairy Chèvre Raw Cheesecake with STUSH Tomato Marmalade and Arugula. Included in this dish was Cucumber and Shallots in a Mint Mustard Vinaigrette, Ruby Goat Dairy Ricotta Salata and Roasted Beets on a bed of greens with a drizzle of STUSH Mango Vinaigrette.

Immediately following the Avocado Lime Sorbet palate cleanser, the main course was served and consisted of Fresh Rustic Charcoal Fettuccine with a Mushroom Cream Sauce and Liquid Blow Fyah Drizzle with a Tomato and Roasted Shallot-stuffed Herbed Focaccia. Served with this dish was the Vina Laguna Terra Rossa, a very approachable and crowd-pleasing blend of Merlot and two local Croatian grapes — Borgonja and Teran. This summer award-winning wine was selected by British wine magazine Decanter to the category of “Top 25 wines in the world for daily summer enjoyment for £25 or less”.

Ahead of dessert, Stush served delightful, locally made goat cheese dishes. First was the plain Chèvre with STUSH Banana Preserve and Walnuts and then the Chèvre Delight with Artisanal Honey.

The final course was a STUSH version of Fritule, which is a festive Croatian pastry. This one was made with Appleton-soaked raisins and lemon zest, injected with STUSH Passion Butter or Vegan Lemon Curd, and a drizzle of STUSH Chocolate Coconut Sauce. Served directly from the oven, this course almost caused a stampede each time the chef alighted from the kitchen with a fresh platter!

As the guests departed, the organisers received an outpouring of compliments which continued to pour in the following day. To say that a good time was had by all would be the understatement of the year!

 

Christopher Reckord — Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

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