Wine pairing is a gastronomic experience that has been fast catching up in Singapore. I’ve heard a lot about it, however, I’ve haven’t really got a chance to really experience a full session where every course of the meal is paired with a suitable wine. And it was only by the invitation of Insight Vacations that I finally get to experience this extraordinary gastronomic journey at Pontini, an upmarket Italian restaurant located in the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
Helmed by the head chef of Pontini, Chef Daniele Sarno presents his signature creations in this 5-course dinner where every course is carefully paired with award-winning wines from Scarpa.
Roasted Organic Truffle Quail Roulade with Duck Liver Pate
The first course is Roasted Organic Truffle Quail Roulade with Duck Liver Pate on Toast. The quail meat is tender and does not have that gamey taste that people tend to associate with game birds. The taste of the quail meat is further enhanced with the refreshing and light 2012 Scarpa Monferrato Bianco “Bianco Scarpa” white wine.
Porcini Mushrooms Creamy Soup with Seared Foie Gras
I love the Porcini Mushrooms Creamy Soup with Seared Foie Gras. The foie gras boosts the humble mushroom soup few notches up. The truffle and vanilla salt give the soup an added dimension. It is such a decadent indulgence when the Chef is so generous with a big piece of foie gras. A 2008 Scarpa Monferrato Rosso “Rosso Scarpa” is specially curated for this exquisite soup. The red wine is easy to drink and compliments the soup perfectly.
Artisanal Rigatoni with Organic Bershire Pork Ragout, wild Mushrooms and Italian Fresh Black Truffle
Just when you think the meal cannot get any better, two different wines are served together with the pasta course, Artisanal Rigatoni with Organic Bershire Pork Ragout, wild Mushrooms and Italian Fresh Black Truffle. The first thing you notice about this pasta dish is the generous amount and strong aromatic scent of the black truffle. The quiet and understated pork ragout lets the pasta and black truffle takes center stage. I’m so impressed with this flavourful pasta dish that I don’t mind having extra portions. Two different wines are paired with it. The lighter 2007 Scarpa Barbera d’Asti “I Bricchi” and the more full-bodied 2006 Scarpa Barbera d’Asti “La Bogliona”. Personally I prefer the former.
Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek with Deep-Fried Truffle Creamy Polenta Croquette
The main course is the ultimate Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek with Deep-Fried Truffle Creamy Polenta Croquette. When I bite into a small piece of the beef cheek, I nearly died and went to gastronomic heaven. The beef cheek is so soft that it literally melts in your mouth. The rosemary jus compliments the tender cheek perfectly. The recommended wines to pair with the tasty cheek are 2004 Scarpa Barolo Tettimorra and 2006 Scarpa Barbaresco Tettinieve. Frankly, after 4 glasses of wine, I have absolutely no idea how these two wines taste because I’m already intoxicated with the kaleidoscope of flavours. For all I know, they are full-bodied.
Lava Cake with Raspberry Sorbet
The gastronomic journey wouldn’t be complete with a decadent dessert. The Lava Cake with Raspberry Sorbet is outrageously good. This is paired with a rather strong dessert wine, Galliano Ristretto. The first whiff of this dessert wine is a very strong herbal aroma. But it’s very smooth when I drank it.
The food and wine pairing session at Pontini couldn’t be any better. In a short span of two and a half hours, I was brought to food heaven and left there till the following afternoon (yes, I had a slight handover from the gastronomic experience). Frankly, the meal is so good that it will be a conversation subject for a long time.
392 Havelock Road, Level 2
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore 169663