On tap and in the BOTTLE

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Sun-dried bananas and chilli paste are just some of the unusual ingredients that go into local craft beers

SIX LOCALLY brewed suds are to be crowned “leaders of the pack”, when the country’s first craft beer competition takes place next weekend.

Fifty local craft beer brands covering more than 100 labels will be competing to win one (or more) of the six categories in the first Siamese Craft Beer competition, which is being judged by a Beer Judge Certification Programme-certified panel.

“We craft beer makers are like wolves that have been running wild for a while. It’s time we had a leader,” says Pipattanaphon “Pieak” Pumpo, one of the competition organisers and administrator of the “Craft Brewery is Not a Crime” Facebook page.

“We’ve had many more local brands emerging over the last couple of years and many drinkers have shifted from imported craft beers to the ones made locally. At some point they wonder if the locally made craft beer is safe, has good quality and if there’s any standard to it. This competition should showcase the standard of the beers we’ve made based on the guidelines by BJCP, which is an international organisation specialising in judging beers.”

The competition is divided into six categories -wheat ale and wheat beer, pale ale, India pale ale, amber, stout and porter and an “open category”, which includes mixed styles or beers using experimental ingredients. The winners will be chosen over the course of two days at bar Let The Boy Die and project space Cho Why next Friday and Saturday.

“The scene has been dominated by two big beer brands for so long, so when craft beers were first imported to Thailand, consumers were really excited to try new things, though the prices are higher. Soon enough many of us realised that we could brew our own beers, in our own styles, and it’s much easier now than a couple of years back,” Pieak says.

He adds that almost everything has to be imported to make a craft beer, with water the only locally available ingredient.

“A few years back I had to ask my brother in the US to ship hops and other ingredients to me. It was very expensive. Now you have several suppliers, which makes it more doable. Today we’re seeing brews with sun-dried banana and chilli paste. Our own craft beer characters are definitely being developed.”

The only problem is brewing craft beer is not legal in Thailand. “There is a permit for microbreweries that allows you to sell, unbottled, on premises only, and a permit for an industrial scale but nothing in between,” Pieak says.

“So craft beer in Thailand is still in a grey area. Countries like Japan, Taiwan and even Vietnam have made quite an economy out of it. We know it’s illegal, but as long as there are people drinking it, we’ll make it.”

For updates on local craft beer community, check out “Craft Brewery is Not a Crime” on Facebook.

The competition takes place next Friday at Let The Boy Die on Luang Road, and next Saturday at Cho Why on Soi Nana near Yaowarat.

Club Scene

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Peter Heininen

Peter Heininen

Find good parties in Bangkok

Know a good joke?

The Comedy Club Bangkok on Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 is hosting an open-mic session tonight with Bangkok’s ever-more-seasoned local funnymen teaming up with guests Pete Heininen from Finland and Kay Mo from the US. The Bt350 admission charge gets you a drink and beer is Bt85 all night.

Bangkok Shutdown

The “Urban Take-over” party tonight at Live RCA involves some very deliberate dancing with the city’s hottest hip-hop and trap DJs and MCs and an outstanding sound system and lighting. The fun starts at 9. The cover charge is Bt400 and drinks are free from 9 to 10. Check out http://www.Facebook.com/ThammaTai.

Tower of Power tribute

Nine of Bangkok’s best musicians have teamed up to pay tribute to American soul supergroup Tower of Power tonight starting at 10 t Maggie Choo’s on Silom Road. The cover band aims to distil the energy and timeless sound of the brassy outfit from Oakland, California. Admission is Bt300.

Go wild, kids

Trasher is hosting an “Into the Wild” bash tomorrow at Voice Space on Viphavadi Rangsit Road, featuring the music of pop icon Britney Spears. You ought to dress like you just fell off a jungle vine. They charge Bt350 at the door and hand you a drink. Call (02) 650 6000.

Put a smile on your feet

Cho Why on Soi Nana 17 near Yaowarat is presenting a fun session of movies and music on Sunday. The event begins at 4.30pm with a screening of the 1952 musical classic “Singing in the Rain”. Then the Bangkok Swing crew will get folks dancing before everyone heads to the SoulBar for an after-party with live music. You pay Bt100 and get a Leo beer.

For bourbon, talk to JIM BEAM

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Ricky Paiva and Jim Beam Citrus Highball

Ricky Paiva and Jim Beam Citrus Highball

The world’s favourite Kentucky corn whiskey has a new look and a cool new cocktail

MOST PEOPLE don’t actually attend a bartending master class to learn how to tend bar. In the case of the session earlier this week with Ricky Paiva, Jim Beam’s brand ambassador for Southeast Asia, they were there for the bourbon – and the great stories.

Paiva shared tricks of the trade at a Citrus Highball Party at the W Bangkok and regaled the fans with tales from 220 years of the world’s best-selling bourbon.

“Bourbon is definitely my drink of choice – it was even before I joined Jim Beam,” California-born Paiva said as part of his B4B (Bartenders for Bourbon) campaign to educate mixers and shakers around the region about the brand and about bourbon in general.

The booze-soaked adage is “All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.” Just as whisky has to be made in Scotland to be called scotch, bourbon has to be made in the United States earn that label. And Paiva explained there are more such “rules”, too.

Drunken US congressmen don’t remember passing any “bourbon law”, but there is one, and it requires that the spirit be 51 per cent corn distillation and matured in new, charred-oak barrels. It can’t be any more than 160 proof either. It goes in the barrel at 125 proof and picks up the rest of its kick while maturing for a minimum two years.

“Jim Beam ages it twice as long as the law requires, so all Jim Beam is aged at least four years before bottling. That gives it the smooth, rounded, refined edge,” Paiva pointed out.

The Beam family arrived in Kentucky from Germany and began producing the corn whiskey that became known as bourbon. Jacob Beam rolled out the first barrel in 1795. Since then, seven generations of the family have continued making the whiskey for the company behind the brand.

The name “Jim Beam” refers to James B Beam, who rebuilt the business in 1933, after America gave up on that ill-considered experiment in human genetic modification known as Prohibition.

So, going back to Jacob, there are 220 years of experience distilled into every bottle – along with corn, rye, malted barley, water, time, pride and passion.

“Many people have the perception that bourbon is very strong and harsh and has to be taken with cola to tone it down,” Paiva said. “But Jim Beam has a unique style – it’s a classic, palatable, medium-body type of spirit with pleasantly mellow hint of caramel and vanilla.

“It’s great on its own, as well as in cocktails, such as a Whiskey Sour or an Old Fashioned. There’s also our highlighted drink, the Citrus Highball, that’s perfect for the tropical climate in Thailand.”

Now we get to the bartending. If someone – you, for example – wants a Citrus Highball, all you have to do is fill a glass with ice, slash in the Jim Beam Original or any other Jim Beam variety you like, add some simple syrup and lemon juice and top it up with soda. It’s really refreshing and takes no time to make.

“It’s a great afternoon drink and goes well with Thai food,” said the boss. “With food, the bourbon isn’t overpowering and its slight sweetness and sour tang counterbalance the savoury taste of the meal. And the fizz of the soda cleanses the palate ready for the next flavours.

“Plus, it’s great in hot weather. If I’m having a Thai meal I’d be drinking this the whole way!”

Toasts were also raised at the Highball Party to Jim Beam’s new packaging. The bottle looks bolder in shape now and the labels have a cleaner design, with updated portraits of the distiller and a refined “rosette” logo.

The premium portfolio includes Jim Beam Black, now in a more rectangular bottle with extra fine detailing, crafted borders and refined embossing on the label.

Club Scene

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Sebastien Leger

Sebastien Leger

Find good parties in Bangkok

Who’s got a line?

Folks in need of a good laugh should arrive at the Comedy Club Bangkok on Sukhumvit 33/1 tonight armed with scenarios for Drew McCreadie and his squad of skit |improvisers to weave into hilarity in a “Whose Line?” session starting at 8. The Bt500 admission gets you a drink and beer costs Bt85 for the rest of the night.

No mistaking Sebastien

French superstar techno-house DJ Sebastien Leger returns to Bangkok tonight, hitting Live RCA. The founder of the Mistakes Music label has handled production and remixes for Justin Timberlake, Kylie Minogue and a hundred more artists. The cover charge is Bt500 and that comes with a drink if you’re there before 10.

Kontraband kraziness

Striking up on the third Saturday of every month, Kontraband is back tomorrow at the Dark bar on Ekkamai Soi 10. This time around DJ Stuart is spinning his crunchy selection of footwork on the rumbling sound system. Also on the deck are DeLorean, Azek and Will. It’s Bt200 to get in and they hand you an Absolut shot.

Night of the Ram

Dutch trance spinner Ram is back by popular demand tomorrow at Live RCA with new tunes sifted into an electrifying two-hour set. Admission with your first drink costs Bt650.

Show your age

Whiteline on Silom Soi 8 is hosting a “Dope as Funk Party” tomorrow night with some seriously old-school music to relive your heyday. The main room has DJs Arin, Luck-E and Tommy Nori playing hip-hop, ’80s and funk and the Grind Room offers soul classics and ’90s R&B with DJ Nemo Cools and friends. They’re asking for Bt300 at the door.

A cut above the rest

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Hams from all over Europe are up for tasting in the special promotion.

Hams from all over Europe are up for tasting in the special promotion.

Hams from all over Europe are up for tasting in the special promotion.

Hams from all over Europe are up for tasting in the special promotion.

The open kitchen at Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant

The open kitchen at Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant


Restaurant assembles delicious hams from across Europe to satisfy taste buds of most discerning carnivores

Meat lovers yearning for a feast can indulge in a selection of fine cured ham from all over Europe at Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant’s “Around Europe in Eight Hams” event until September 25.

Located on the 37th floor of the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G on Silom Road, with trendy decor, exquisite cuisine and an impressive wine list, Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant is the perfect venue for a relaxed dinner with the city sky¬line providing a stunning backdrop.

Guests can choose to dine alfresco on the terrace or in airconditioned comfort.

For a limited time, French Executive Chef Sylvain Royer is offering a culinary journey with a selec¬tion of premium quality cured hams served as delicious cold cuts.


The choices include two French hams; Jambon de Paris, a delicately spiced and lean slow cooked ham which usually slow cooked for seven to eight hours in a vegetable soup stock and wrap in its skin. Originally from Paris, it is considered the best Parisien style ham, and is available at Bt300 for 100 grams.

Another is Jambon de Bayonne (Bt3,050 for 100 grams), a sweet tasting airdried ham from southwest France which holds Protected Designation of Origin status.

Only two breed of pigs may be used. Most will be a pie noir breed of Basque pig that is allowed to roam free in the forests and hills. They are fed on acorns, chestnuts and natural cereals for a balanced diet. The ham is salt cured for 10 days, then air-dried for at least seven months.

Full-flavoured hams from Spain; Jamon Iberico de Bellota and Jamon Pata Negra, are also available, at Bt650 and Bt850 per 100 grams respectively. These two hams are cured from two to four years and are regarded as two of the world’s finest hams.

Produced across Spain, especially in the southwest regions, the hams are made from free-range pigs that wander freely among oak forests feeding on acorns which give the meat its exquisite flavour. The ham itself has an intense flavour with a note of sweetness, a little nutty but not too salty.

Other special cold cuts include Prosciutto di San Daniele, a prized Italian ham only produced in the hilly Friuli Venezia Giulia region around the town of San Daniele. At Bt300 per 100 grams, the ham should be bone in with rosy red meat that is nicely marbled with white fat. It is usually air-dried for at least 20 months to yield a sweet and aromatic flavour and is best served with bread, mild fruit such as melon or fig and slightly aromatic white wines.

The ham is also recognised by its typical guitar-like shape.

Black Forest ham from Germany is also on the menu. It has a distinctive aroma which is created by gentle smoking over fir and spruce wood, and is available at Bt350 per 100 grams. As well, the succulent Ardennes ham from Belgium, which is produced using the rare Mangalica breed of pigs from Hungary, is offered at Bt500 per 100 grams.

Rounding off the selection is the Mangalica ham from Hungary, priced at Bt650 per 100 grams. A chef’s recommendation, this rare delicacy is made with meat of the Hungarian breed of domestic pig which has a thick woolly coat similar to sheep. Sensational and hearty, the rich and strong ham has a pleasant chestnut taste.

Little porkers

>> Around Europe in Eight Hams promotion is being held at the Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant at Pullman Bangkok Hotel G on Silom Road until September 25.

>> The restaurant is open daily from 6pm till 1am. Call (02) 238 1991 and (096) 860 7990.


Club Scene

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Pangina Heals

Pangina Heals

Find good parties in Bangkok

Spinners on the Lam

Enjoy a night of eclectic sounds at Studio Lam on Sukhumvit Soi 51 tonight. Bangkok’s best spinners – Boogie G, Dangdut Banget, and special guest NK Chan from Giant Swing – will take turns delivering sensational flavours of modern funk, boogie, disco, electro and more. Entry is Bt100 before 11pm and Bt200 thereafter.

Rietze set to Glow

German spinner, Florian Rietze, is manning the decks at Glow on Sukhumvit soi 23 tomorrow. As half of the Mjutah duo, the renowned producer and DJ is packing some deep house and electronic sounds for Bangkok fans, supported by DJ Jack Haze. Entry with a drink is Bt250.

Party in the House

Trasher is back with its latest party concept tomorrow at GMM Live House on the 18 floor of CentralWorld. Don your torn jeans and dance your heart out to the Luk Thung sounds, put together by Trasher DJs. Entry is Bt500 with a drink. Visit www.Facebook.com/ TrasherBangkok.

Easy Rider’s battle plan

Dickinson’s Culture Cafe on Phra Atit Road is hosting a techno party tomorrow. Treat your ears to some of the best tunes out of Detriot and the UK in a battle of sounds by DJs Damon Rider and GRTH. Expect some of the finest deep, soulful and uplifting tech house sounds. Entry is free. Call (089) 497 8422.

Dragging her Heals to Japan

Bid farewell to Pangina Heals, Bangkok’s most-loved drag artist, on Sunday at Maggie Choo’s on Silom Road. After two years of weekly rowdy appearances, Miss Heals is heading east to Japan for a new adventure. The “Sayonara” party entails the usual jaw-dropping performances and open bar from 8-10pm at Bt500.

It’s a mad, mad world

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Mad Club Bangkok

Mad Club Bangkok

A new club on Ratchada promises plenty of wild nights

RATCHADAPISEK ROAD |welcomes a new addition to the Bangkok nightlife scene with the opening of Mad Club Bangkok, a venue that promises to offer wild nights fuelled with crazy electronic music to party people.

The past few years have witnessed a move away from spacious clubs with dedicated dance floors with the trend turning to cosier spaces and “chill out” spots where music is enjoyed at low volume and guests sink into cushioned sofas. Mad is setting out to reverse that.

We talked to Matthew Hammond, Mad’s entertainment director, who was previously at the now-closed Q Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 11.


We thought it would be an easy name for Thais to pronounce and for people around the world to recognise. We want to do mad parties, we have mad ideas about Bangkok’s nightlife, and as we all a bit mad here, so mad people will fit right in.


Most of the existing clubs on Ratchada are not very international in their style, so we saw quite a lot of potential here for our concept. Ekkamai, Thonglor, lower Sukhumvit and Silom are the hot spots and Mad will soon become a cornerstone on Ratchada. We wanted to open something that would be inviting to Thais as well as to foreigners and tourists. Ratchada is an up-and-coming area and home to a lot of expats and international students.


We have worked with the best to completely revamp the interior with a new and trendy design; we wanted to create a cool but inviting atmosphere supported by high-quality music systems and light shows. Every detail in our club is thought through and the dramatic entrance, the large outdoor space and the VIP area all will provide for a unique and different experience at affordable prices. Last but not least, we offer lots of parking and for the hungry partygoers, there are some snacks available.


We are offering a mix of Thai and international booze, beats, and people. Of course we are catering more to the Thai segment at the moment playing EDM and hip hop by Thai DJs who are well known on the Bangkok scene but also playing the more popular clubs in Bangkok, which the international crowd frequents. At the moment heavyweights like OKB Crew, Lazerface Records, Bangkok Invaders, Quay records and Tha Beatlounge have partnerships with us and we hope to give these artists and their labels a new home out of which to operate. We are also looking to attract the international crowd to come and experience Ratchada and we offer international music as well. Our highly trained staff can speak English and we serve high-quality liquors and cocktails to satisfy the more demanding customer segment.


We are trying something new in Ratchada and the area has its own reputation. Then again when Q Bar opened in 1999 on Sukhumvit Soi

11, it was definitely not the same area it is now. It was dark, hard to find, and close to Nana, but it did not take long for people around the world to find it and recognise it as one of Bangkok’s top nightlife venues. Mad will hopefully be a trend?-setter and uplift the Ratchada area for a new nightlife experience.


Welcoming and attentive service, a wide and attractive drink selection, plenty of room to

dance but also to relax on the sofas, good-looking party people enjoying themselves. We have mad drinks, mad DJs and a mad late closing time.

Mad Club Bangkok is on Ratchadaphisek Soi 14, close to Huay Kwang MRT. The club is open Wednesday till Sunday.

Visit http://www.Facebook.com/ MadClubBKK or call (094) 441 9124.

Club Scene

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Chanudom performs live tonight

Chanudom performs live tonight

Find good parties in Bangkok

Tickle that funny bone

Laugh your socks off at the improv comedy show which returns to The Comedy Club Bangkok on Sukhumvit soi 33/1 tonight. The audience’s suggestions fuel to the performers, which can make for comedy gold right before your eyes. The night is led by award-winning Canadian funny man Drew McCreadie and other members of Bangkok’s improv comedy community. Entry is Bt500 with Bt85 beers all night.

Glam rock with passion

Theatrical glam rock trio Chanudom is set to perform live at RE 234 on Sukhumvit soi 24 tonight. The trio is made up of an actor and two musicians who got together to narrate their unique life stories through their shared passion – music. Their breakthrough hit “Bad Blood” is produced by Jay Montonn. Chanudom will be joined by Black Bastet. Entry is free. Call (02) 117 2829.

Wish comes to an end

Tonight is your last chance to enjoy Hitachino Nest beers from Kiuchi Brewery at Wishbeer Home Bar on Sukhumvit soi 69. Now in its eighth generation, the brewery was founded in 1823 as a sake brewery in the Ibaraki prefecture of Japan. The first Hitachino Nest beer was brewed in 1996. Six draught beers and three bottled beers are served all night. Call (02) 392 1403.

A night of seduction

Live out your “Fifty Shades of Grey” fantasy at a flirty night at the Vogue Lounge near Chong Nonsi BTS on Thursday. Dress to impress and get in the game in a fashionable setting fuelled by bubbly, canapes and trendy beats by DJs Maarten Goetheer and Karl Andy. Entry is free and there is a special deal on Hennessy Cognac. Call (02) 001 0697.

Chocolate Puma to debut in Bangkok

Dutch duo Chocolate Puma is set to perform live in Bangkok for the first time at Live RCA on Thursday. Dobre and Zki from Haarlem, Netherlands, have produced multiple dance hits under various group names since the early 1990s. Their biggest international hits to date are “Give It Up”, “Damn Woman”, “I Wanna Be You”, “Always and Forever” and more.

DECANTER POURS flavour of Scotland

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Member's private cabinet

Member’s private cabinet



Season Change

Season Change


Well-known wine lounge now houses city’s first exclusive Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room for whisky connoisseurs

A LITTLE SELECTIVE TASTE of the Scottish Highlands has been brought to Bangkok.

The popular Decanter wine lounge at the St Regis Bangkok hotel has recently undergone a facelift and added a Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room to treat the city’s whisky connoisseurs.

Perched on the 12th floor of the hotel, the lounge is now brighter and more welcoming with a distinct relaxed feel. Once a single room, the floor area is now divided into three separate areas for the wine lounge, a separate dining area and now Thailand’s first Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room.

Located at the front of Decanter, the new whisky room is designed with cushioned leather armchairs in the lounge with high tables and chairs along the corridor. Members can relax in the sumptuous surroundings sipping fine malts, and keep their own precious bottle of malt in one of 26 private cabinets.


“I am very delighted and honoured to play a part in offering a superior experience at Decanter for our Johnnie Walker Blue Label customers. The room offers the first exclusive Johnnie Walker private cabinets in Thailand and features the world’s best blended and single malt whiskies from the Diageo portfolio.” Paul Sirisant, marketing director of Diageo Moet Hennessy (Thailand) said at the launch event last week.

Prices start at Bt60,000 for a six months “King George V” membership, which comes with a bottle each of the brand’s King George V, XR21 and Blue Label. A one-year “Odyssey” membership costs Bt150,000 and offers a bottle of Odyssey, 18-year-old Platinum Label, Blue Label as well as an entry pass to the Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai or Beijing.

The ultimate “John Walker” package costs Bt435,000 and lasts for three years. You get the same bottles as the “Odyssey” package as well as a bottle of the rare limited edition Commemorative 1920 Edition, plus other exclusive privileges.

All memberships include complimentary monthly tasting and cocktail sessions, exclusive souvenirs, a personalised bottle engraving and privileges at food and beverage outlets at the St Regis Bangkok. While parts of Decanter may occasionally be closed for private functions and events, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room will always be open and available to members.

Along with the whisky delights, Decanter also features an exceptional range of wines, from New World producers to classic Old World vintages. Selected with care by the hotel’s knowledgeable sommelier, the extensive wine cellar includes some of the world’s most celebrated vintages as well as new and engaging labels.

“Among the world-class wine offerings at Decanter is an exceptional variety of Spanish wines to complement the new Spanish Tapas menu. Furthermore, cigar aficionados can also enjoy our carefully selected premium cigars.” Joseph Lee, director of food and beverage at hotel said.

Decanter’s drink menu also offers a wide range of blended whiskies from Johnnie Walker range, starting at Bt380 per glass and Bt5,200 per bottle. The lounge also offers Scotch single malts from the Glenmorangie Collection, Highland, Islay and Isle of Skye as well as Lowlands, with prices ranging from Bt400 to Bt2,000 a glass.

Whisky cocktails, from Bt380, are also available, such as Gold Fashion with Johnnie Walker Gold Label and bitters, Season Change with Johnnie Black Label infused vanilla bourbon tea and Jack the Ripper with Johnnie Walker Gold Label and ginger ale.

Customers can also take advantage of simple, small Spanish dishes from the kitchen while they sip their choice of refreshment.

Decanter is on the 12th floor of the St Regis Bangkok hotel, adjacent to Rajdamri BTS.

For more information on House of Walker Membership, call (02) 207 7777 or visit http://www.StRegisBangkok.com.


Elegant dining, exceptional wines

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One of Bordeaux’s top producers introduces its new varietals to Bangkok

THE NOBLE WINES of Bordeaux were given a rare airing last Saturday as renowned French wine maker Cos d’Estournel hosted an exclusive 20-seat wine-pairing dinner at Attitude, the newly opened rooftop bar and restaurant at the Avani Riverside Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

Chateau Cos d’Estournel is a winery in the Saint-Estephe appellation of the Bordeaux region. The wine produced here was classified as one of 15 Deuxiemes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The estate has changed hands several times since 1811, and since 2000 has belonged to Michel Reybier. Reybier’s objective has been to uphold the chateau’s high standards and constant quest for excellence while at the same time continuing the avant-garde style initiated by Louis Gaspard d’Estournel, the first owner.

The wines selected to pair with guest chef Jacobo Astray’s dinner included a range of long-established varietals as well as celebrated new reds and whites. Lobster tartar with ajo blanco and bisque shot was paired with Cos d’Estournel’s latest achievement, Cos d’Estournel Blanc 2013, a 76-per-cent sauvignon blanc and 24-per-cent semillon blend that was first produced in 2000.

The grapefruit note in this dry and refreshingly fruity white complemented the sweet lobster and the creamy avocado, while the citrus peels aroma appealed to the tang and saltiness of the caviar and the bisque, making it a well-rounded and successful pair.

Ice cream made from Parmesan cheese and served with strawberries found a decent match in Goulee 2013, another new wine of 80-per-cent cabernet sauvignon and 20-per-cent merlot.

The fresh, smoky, dark berry notes toned down the spiced Parmesan, while the perfumed strawberries in the dish brightened and accented red fruit notes in the wine,

The floral and full-bodied Les Pagodes de Cos 2009 was poured next to be enjoyed with pre-main course, boletus mushrooms with foie gras. Juicy, succulent and remarkably fresh and well constructed, the wine softened the strong mouthfeel of the mushroom and complemented the creaminess of the foie gras without making it too oily.

The main course, sous vide lamb rack with mango chutney and rosemary air, was paired with two reds; Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2003 and 2008 Magnum. The heavily seasoned and meaty dish found a marvellous match in Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2003’s rich spice and black fruit nose as well as its fruity, smooth aftertaste. With 2008 Magnum, the delicate tobacco palate subtly enhanced the herbaceous, earthy aroma of the rosemary and the faint gamy aroma.

Both wines had a velvety, long finish palate that was pleasantly heightened by the savoury-and-sweet mango chutney.

Next up was creamy sheep cheese with truffle honey paired with Chateau Cos d’Estournel 1986, whose prominent notes of fig, plum and red berries went along with the slightly peppery and creamy cheese and the earthy truffle.

The liquorice note and long finish played well with the honey, which also helped soften the sharpness of the cheese.

The cleansing and brightly sweet Hetszolo Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos was served next with a dessert of raspberry and yoghurt. The nice balance of minerality and acidity opened up the palate to subtle flavours of the dish which would otherwise be pretty neutral without the wine.

The light sensations of freshly sliced lemons and pineapple complimented the tangy raspberry and added more mouthfeel to the plain yoghurt.