Tuesday, October 16, 2012

7th Heaven with Chateau Margaux and a cheese souffle at the Makati Shangri-la

A historic wine dinner at the Makati Shangri-la

Even in a never-endingly eventful Travelife of dinner after dinner practically every night, somewhere in this amazing world, this was certainly a most enjoyable evening.

We were at Red, the fine dining restaurant of the Makati Shangri-la, for a historic and perhaps never-to-be-repeated-again Chateau Margaux dinner for just over 60 persons.

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Red, by the way, is closing for a renovation at the end of the year, so -- as Alex Lichaytoo of Bacchus said tonight -- this evening's Chateau Margaux dinner was probably one of the last great dinners at Red, as we know it today.

Duo of butter poached Brittany blue lobster
and Japanese scallops, celery puree and soy bean

Served with Chateau Margaux Pavilion Blanc 2009


The Chateau Margaux 1996 being poured

I'd received a copy of the wines to be served and the menu beforehand, and I'd attended tonight basically for the wines.

The wines were all from Chateau Margaux and some of them were among the most highly-rated wines on the planet, from one of the most estemeed wineries in France. Just getting this selection together -- if you can do so at all -- is practically impossible.

So it truly was a historic dinner in terms of wine.

Wild boar raviolo
with sweetbread and green beans fricassee

Served with Chateau Margaux Pavilion Rouge 2006

The menu looked very nice as well. And I knew lots of the people who were going, so I assumed it would be a fairly interesting evening.

So, of course, I went. I arrived at 730 pm and walked into a foyer full of pretty important people from all walks of life, enjoying champagne and cocktails.

Fortunately I knew a lot of them, and in fact, a handful were literally a blast from the past of a couple of decades ago. It was so nice to see them again.


Then I was assigned to Table # 2, which was a really fun table. I don't know if it was the wine or the company, but I laughed all night and had so much fun.

And I can let you in that I went home in a fairly inebriated state, giggling practically all the way home after having had a lot of the Chateau Margaux 1996 which had received 100 points from Robert Parker.

We had several pours of the 1996 Chateau Margaux at our table, and someone had whispered that that bottle alone would have cost US$1500 -- so, in a sense, that alone justified the cost of the dinner to everyone. It was priced pretty steeply by Manila standards, but the seats had filled quickly and there had been a long waiting list.


And, interestingly, the 1996 Chateau Margaux was fantastic -- so smooth and crisp to the finish, with a very complex aroma -- and it was the main reason why a lot of people attended the dinner tonight.

But I really also enjoyed the 1989 Chateau Margaux, which we had with a cheese souffle as a pre-dessert. I think this was because of the way it was paired with the most appropriate dish for it.

The 1989 Chateau Margaux with a cheese souffle was an excellent pairing which sent me to seventh heaven -- way more than the pairing of the tenderloin with the 1996 Chateau Margaux. This was the last wine for the night, as well, and served right after the 1996 Chateau Margaux, so you would ordinarily think that the 1989 Chateau Margaux would look like just an afterthought after the highlight of the night.

But it didn't turn out this way -- at least not for me.

Later on, Clifford Lichaytoo of Bacchus asked me which I liked best out of all the wines. I told him I really liked the 1989 Chateau Margaux, drunk with the cheese souffle. He said to me: "The 1996 is still too young, whereas the 1989 is perfect for drinking exactly now."


The conversation was so enjoyable as well. Unfortunately I can't blog about that.

It was such an enjoyable evening and a very big meal, especially after I'd just had a 12-course Chinese lauriat for lunch. I can't remember a night -- at least in recent memory -- when the wines were better or when life was sweeter, in a never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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