Thai and tattinger champagne delights palates
Showcasing the elegance and versatility of champagne, the island's largest distri-butor of fine wines, Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ), introduced the palate of discerning wine lovers to the French vineyard - Taittinger.
In collaboration with Montego Bay's newest and most sought-after restaurant, Mystic Thai, CPJ for the first time brought a connoisseur from the Taittinger winery to Jamaica to unplug the tops of two new champagnes in their portfolio, Prestige Rose and Nocturne Sec.
This was no ordinary introduction, and anyone who knows Mystic Thai's Kareena Mahbubani expected no less.
Mahbubani, a foodie of no mean order, and wine aficionados Nicolas Delion and Mike Turner caressed and enlightened the taste buds with crispy lamb served with chilli paste and black pepper and basil mushrooms as starters.
To balance out the acidity in the dish, Delion responded with a Brut Reserve Chardonnay, whose prominent grapes matched the weight of the food.
With each champagne, Mahbubani went the extra mile, serving two appetisers from the amazing and varied menu that has earned Mystic Thai its reputation.
"We are challenging people's perception of champagne, showing its versatility and elegance," explained Turner.
For round two, Turner pulled from his connoisseur hat, the Prestige Rose Champagne, which boasts a pinot noir character. When paired with the salmon satay and crispy vegetable, this wine produced a burst of red fruit flavours. There was no denying that the salmon was the better expression of the two meals.
Six different pairings in total, by the time Mystic Thai served a shrimp tempura in Martini glasses, with soya lemon grass sauce and spring rolls, Caribbean Producers knew the best wine for this dish was one with depth and complexity.
Selecting a 2008 Millesime vintage, the longest aged Champagne on the menu, there was no mistaking that this wine paired beautifully with the light Tempura batter.
When it came time to pair the Necturne Sec Turner admitted that this was no easy task. Mystic Thai selected chilli fish. He explained the choice saying, "Because we went from spicy in the fish to sweet in the Champagne," he revealed. Indeed there was subtle sweetness that danced in the Necturne Sec.
Basil ice cream, a first for this writer was the ultimate palate cleanser.