Colm McCan is the sommelier at Ballymaloe House and wine tutor at Ballymaloe Cookery School. In this week's guest blog Colm, who was the sommelier for the event, talks us through the wines he chose to go with each course of this unique dining experience.
Outstanding Wines for an amazing dinner - outdoors!! (Well almost...)
Ballymaloe House recently hosted an event called 'Outstanding in the Field'. One long table, set for 100 people, was set up in the middle of the busy, working, bustling, organic greenhouse in the gardens at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rory O'Connell, Darina Allen and their team prepared a meal using home-produced produce.
|We couldn't get much closer to the source of the food!|
|Table set for 100 in the greenhouse.|
|Looking after the wine for the evening were Colm & John.|
Sparkling wine: Coates & Seely Sparkling Rosé NV, Hampshire Downs, England.
|Sparkling wine on ice.|
For a quality sparkling wine made 'closest' to Ballymaloe this fits the bill!
Fish course: Platters of seafood which included: Frank Hederman's smoked mackerel and eel; Bill Casey's smoked salmon; Ballycotton prawns, shrimp and crab; soused Ballycotton Mackerel; mayonnaise and pickled cucumber.
|Platters of seafood.|
From the far northwest corner of Spain, the area of Rías Baixas, is located in Calicia where the vineyards, due to their proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, provide acidity and freshness to the wine.
Main course: Roast organic pork from Kinoith Farm with garden herbs & garlic, brambly apple sauce, spiced aubergines in the pickling style, beans and farm potatoes.
|Rory O'Connell & team preparing the meal.|
Domaine des Anges is situated on a hillside facing Mont Ventoux, 'The Giant of Provence', which rises to 1912m. The mountain has a profound influence on the climate of the vineyards with cool evening breezes refreshing the vines in the summer after the days intense heat. This enables the vines to maintain high natural acids and elegant tannin.
Irishman Ciaran Rooney is winemaker at Domaine Des Anges - The 'Irish vineyard in France'! Ciaran is a very experienced winemaker having previously worked in Stellenbosch, Bordeaux, Oregon and Australia. He creates exotic and award winning wines from vineyards high up the slopes of Mount Ventoux. Ciaran visited Ballymaloe last year and gave a great presentation on wine making.
|John Quinlan serving the wine at the event.|
Dessert: Carrageen moss pudding, with blackberry, apple and sweet geranium compote with jersey cream.
|Blackberry, apple & sweet geranium compote.|
Black Muscat is one of the very few black skinned Muscats. The rose aroma led the winemaker to name the wine Elysium, Greek for heaven. Drinking this you can almost feel that you have fallen into a rose garden and been transported to heaven. Floral, raspberry, black cherry, spice, honey and raisin aromas and flavours.
Cheese Course: Irish farmhouse cheese & cheese biscuits - Gubbeen, Cashel Blue, Fermoy and Ardsallagh goat cheese.
|Cheese board for the evening.|
Located on the southern shore of Lake Garda, near Verona in Northern Italy, this is a family business which has built up a reputation for fine quality wines. Produced from vineyards in the historic zone of Valpolicella. Approximately 30% of the fruit is air-dried, amarone-style. The fermenting juice from those grapes is added to their Valpolicella, produced earlier in the season in usual red wine fashion and is passed "back over" using some of these delicious semi-dried grapes. All of this leads to a second fermentation 'ripasso' and the creation of a Rispasso style - a baby Amarone, whose colour, depth and flavours are greater than those of even the original Valpolicella. The flavours of dried fruit, dried cherry, black fruit and earth is admirably supported by the wine's full body, fine balance along with intriguing hints of chocolate, mocha, liquorice with a lovely , velvety texture.
|The wines for the evening.|
This completes the wine line-up. It gave us a good selection of different styles and regions taking us to some of our closest quality vineyards in different European wine regions and finishing up where Outstanding in the Field originated - California.
Ballymaloe cookery school hold lots of really great wine events from tasting and matching to special guest speakers from the world of wine making. Click the link for more information:
Ballymaloe cookery school. Colm also writes a regular wine blog on the website.