|Chandon Wine Dinner at Ril's Bangsar|
Chandon Dinner at Ril’s Bangsar
In the past when I heard the word Chandon, a smile would tease the corners of my mouth as thoughts of bubbles, good times and celebrations came to mind. I would hear the mini explosion of a spuming bottle of sparkling and imagine the white foam of an overfilled glass frothing down my wrist. Glenn Thompson, wine maker, however changed that perception. Well, not quite changed perhaps, but modified my mental file, adding more depth to the name than I had previously conceived.
|Chandon - lucky draw prize|
A dinner at Ril’s Bangsar with the wine maker introduced me to the fact that Chandon produces both sparkling and still wines worthy of industrious exploration. Linked to the famous, Moet Chandon brand, this Australian winery, while maintaining meticulous French methods for producing their sparkling, harnesses the distinctive southern terrain and climate to produce wines with a uniquely Aussie character. Chandon alone refers to the bubbly – Brut and Rose, while Domaine Chandon is connected to the still wines – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. My wine paired dinner and educative conversation with Glenn taught me a few new facts and added a couple more favs to my finicky list of coveted consumables.
Guests were greeted with a standing cocktail. A glass of Chandon Brut putting the gathering in the mood for the rest of the evening and playing perfectly well into my preconceived notions of this effervescent party drink. Fresh, with a liberal palate and a snappy finish, this graceful drop makes the ideal aperitif and conversation lubricant.
|Amuse Bouche - Lobster Bisque|
Once seated the first course, Sashimi of Red Snapper, came accompanied with pink grapefruit, coriander and green chili pesto, extra virgin olive oil and pink Himalayan rock salt. A citrusy, strawberry and vanilla Chandon Brut Rose complemented this refreshing starter. While the crisp generous palate of the wine mirrored the citrusy fresh fish, it also cleanly sliced through the olive oil in the dressing. Coral pink with glints of bronze, this Brut Rose does well paired with food, but would also make a fine pre-dinner drink.
|Sashimi of Red Snapper|
|Chandon Brut Rose|
The second course, Seared Foie Gras, was lifted to a new level with the introduction of Domaine Chandon’s 2010 Chardonnay. Pickled acar salad, toasted peanuts and caramelized pineapple jam played well with the summer stone fruit notes in the wine. Nectarine, peach, fig, almond and cashew all glimpsed to the surface with each further bite and sip. This multi-layered cool climate chardonnay matched the equally complex structures of the food. The wine maker suggests that a yabbie soufflé or creamy crayfish risotto would also be a flawless match. My first sampling of Chandon’s still wines was a successful one. This 2010 Chardonnay is a white I will now be looking out for.
|Seared Foie Gras|
|Domaine Chandon’s 2010 Chardonnay|
A shift to a Pinot Noir, Domaine Chandon’s 2011 creation, coincided with the move to a slightly more substantial dish of Whole Crispy Quail. Served on a bed of braised daikon, drizzled with a sticky soy-anise liquor and, sided with a spiced cherry wanton and deep fried ginger shards, this plate offered enough complexity to harmonize with the increasing intricacy of the wine. A deep pomegranate in the glass, with berries and spice on the nose, and a mouthful of cherry and cinnamon, this pinot noir has a lasting palate and a place in my notebook of wines to remember to look out for.
|Whole Crispy Quail|
|Domaine Chandon’s 2011 Pinot Noir|
A big meaty dish, deserves a bold vibrant red. Australians do Shiraz well, and the Domaine Chandon version is further testimony to this claim. MB 5 Wagyu Rib Eye is sliced thick and pink on the table. Crispy chives, star anise and a ginger soy reduction bring both smoothness and zing. The peppery Shiraz almost seasons the meat, with each being gutsy enough to stand alongside each other, but friendly enough to complement rather than overpower. Cherry and plum aromas waft to the nostrils, glossy ruby shines through the glass and a wonderfully lengthy finish make this shiraz spunky bright and highly drinkable.
|MB 5 Wagyu Rib Eye|
|Domaine Chandon 2010 Shiraz|
Ril’s signature cakes are always worth guarding tummy space for. This evening, a ginger and chocolate cake was chaperoned with a clever cappuccino with the word Chandon drawn in the foam.
|Chocolate and Ginger Cake, Cappuccino|
A smile continues to light my eyes when I think of the word Chandon, only now my smile is broader as my schema is deeper and, besides bubbles alone, I’m now thinking of the many other possibilities the brand offers – still wines and food pairing at the forefront.
Reason to visit/ imbibe: Ril’s Bangsar proved themselves a worthy designer of food matches for wine and also deserve the title of being one of better places in town for steak. Besides their sparkling drops, Chandon opened my eyes to a range of still wines worthy of exploration – especially the Domaine Chandon 2010 Chardonnay, a new favourite.
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30 Jalan Telawi 5
59100 Kuala Lumpur
012 6471 491