It’s that time of the year again – overindulgence is pretty much a necessity and eating/drinking out becomes a regular occurrence. With that in mind, I was thrilled to attend a dinner at Le Pont de la Tour last night, matching some amazing dishes to Cono Sur’s great selection of wines, explained by the enthusiastic Alvaro Marcos Garcia.
To begin the evening, we enjoyed a glass of crisp Cono Sur Sparkling Brut alongside some tasty canapés while Head Chef Tom Cook gave us advice on how to get Christmas dinner perfect this year. *Top tip – remove the legs of the turkey and cook them separately from the rest of the bird to keep the breast meat nice and succulent!*
Just before we sat down to dinner, we had a taste of Cono Sur Los Gansos Chardonnay 2012. This unoaked white is delicate with flavours of ripe peach and tropical fruit – the perfect pre-dinner wine!
Once settled, out came course number one – smoked salmon and trout paupiette, caviar crème fraîche, herb salad and lemon dressing paired with one of my favourite wines – Cono Sur Vision Riesling 2011. The racy lemon citrus and grapefruit flavours in this wine cut through the creaminess of the dish beautifully, and the full-bodied texture of both the wine and the food made this an excellent match!
The second course consisted of grilled halibut, pommes galette, buttered kale and a red wine jus. I was initially a bit apprehensive about the red wine jus (‘with fish?’ I hear you yell), but it really worked alongside the charred flavours of the meaty halibut, and with Cono Sur Reserva Pinot Noir 2010 and Cono Sur 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2008 to enjoy it with, we were spoilt for choice.
The main event of our Christmas dinner was turkey and, clearly taking his own advice, Tom’s didn’t disappoint. The juicy roast turkey was served alongside brussel sprouts, Alsace bacon, and potatoes in duck fat with two different vintages of Cono Sur’s Ocio Pinot Noir – 2008 and 2009. Complex and full of black fruit, with hints of marzipan and sweet spice, the 2008 was intense enough to stand up to the rich flavours of the full turkey dinner.
The final course was my personal favourite – white chocolate and passion fruit bûche de Noël. Not only was this dish delicious on its own but matched to Cono Sur’s Cosecha Noble Late Harvest Riesling 2011, it was a peaches and cream sensation (and I’m not usually a ‘pudding person’!)
If you’re in the Shad Thames area, I recommend you pay Le Pont de la Tour a visit – their wine cellar is definitely something to see and the food is outstanding.
If you’re currently stuck for Christmas drink ideas, Cono Sur wines are widely available in the UK and are incredibly versatile and crowd pleasing. For details on stockists, check out their website (play the Wine Pairs game while you’re there – I’m addicted).