Written by 8:20 pm Food

Celebration of Culinary Artistry & Oenological Mastery

Roasted watermelon carpaccio herb crusted tuna, crunchy prosciutto and salsa verde (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)

Luxury resort Half Moon and premium wines and spirits distributors CPJ hosted a remarkable celebration of culinary artistry and oenological mastery. The Italian-influenced Delmare restaurant on the Eclipse side of the hotel’s property saw wine enthusiasts and gastronomes gather for an exclusive wine paired dinner on Friday, November 17, that showcased a collection of premium wines from celebrated Italian vineyard owners Fantinel, represented by winemaker himself, Marco Fantinel; and perfectly complemented by a tasty feast courtesy of the restaurant’s Italian chef Claudio Facchinetti.

On this sumptuous journey through Italy’s vinicultural landscape, attendees savoured the elegant harmony between wine and food. The featured wines included the refreshing effervescence charm of an extra-dry Prosecco, the fragrant allure of Tenuta Sant’Helena Sauvignon and the elegance of the Sant’Helena Pinot Grigio. The remaining pours were La Roncaia Eclisse, Tenuta Sant’Helena Collio Rosso and the Rosé Millesimato Brut paired with dessert. Each sip effortlessly transported palates to the vineyards, offering a taste of the country’s wealthy viniculture.

Menu selections included the amuse-bouche of blue pointe oyster and hackleback caviar. Piedmont stuffed homemade pasta with sausage, oyster mushrooms and burrata provide the comforting embrace of traditional Italian cooking. Braised shoulder lamb with basil sponge and yogurt sauce and a bignè al caramello of puff choux crammed with salted caramel mousse, toffee crunch and vanilla bean gelato served as dessert. The food and wine mixtures were a match made in epicurean heaven.

The controversy remains to be ongoing as to the pièce de résistance for the evening with taste lines drawn on the succulent oven roasted monkfish fillet: a pleasant marriage between the wealthy lobster-like texture of the monkfish and the colourful acidity of the La Roncaia Sauvignon, making a symphony of flavours that tantalised taste buds. Meanwhile, the roasted watermelon carpaccio herb crusted tuna with crunchy prosciutto and salsa verde paired with the Tenuta Sant’Helena Sauvignon was fragrant and savoury. These seafood delicacies showcased Facchinetti’s expertise in delivering each classic flavours and modern culinary twists.

The evident passion emanating from Fantinel as he shared insights into the meticulous winemaking process before each pairing kept guests enthralled with the dedication that goes deep into the center of Italy’s winemaking traditions. Wine notes included the impact of soil type, temperature and placement on wine taste. In addition to harvest time, bottling, aging process and the quantities of not more than 20,000 bottles of every wine manufactured yearly to take care of the standard of their wines while also using single-vineyard grapes.

“The food was amazing, within the sense that it isn’t something you’d find throughout, there was research on the ingredients, technique and the match of the wines. We were lucky because the chef is Italian and from the region where the wines are being produced. It was as if there was soul within the air because the energy between the glasses and the dishes was good. This was good and unique, and I appreciate it rather a lot,” Fantinel said.

Facchinetti meanwhile spoke on the thought process on deciding the evening’s menu.

“I’m from the Collio region in Italy and I do know the wines well. I desired to keep the menu easy and to infuse with foods I knew growing up. This worked out well because the response from the guests was phenomenal,” Facchinetti said.

Cin Cin! Marco Fantinel (right), CEO, Fantinel Winery, enjoys a toast with (from left) Ingmar Sterzing, managing partner, On Peak Power; Deborah Sterzing, CFO, Power Pool; and Giorgio Rusconi, food and beverage manager, Half Moon. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Goat cheese pumpkin balls served in the course of the cocktail hour. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Frittura (fried snapper, squid, roasted garlic aioli and radicchio) (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Fantinel wine options in the course of the cocktail hour included the extra-dry Prosecco, Rose Brut and Pinot Grigio. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Server Ackeme Powell pours Fantinel Pinot Grigio. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Co-chairmen of CPJ Tom Tyler (left) and Mark Hart (second right) share a photograph op with Princess Hotels colleagues Kimanda Cunningham and Enrico Pezzoli in the course of the cocktail hour. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Fantinel selections for the evening. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Marco Fantinel (right), CEO, Fantinel Winery, gives insight on the assorted wine selections ahead of every pairing while Claudio Facchinetti, sous-chef, Half Moon, looks on. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
CPJ and Fantinel representatives share in a toast just ahead of dinner. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Amuse-Bouche: Blue pointe oyster and hackleback caviar (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Sheraine Reid, marketing manager, Half Moon, discusses the finer points of the Fantinel Sant’Helena ‘Rocciaponca’ Pinot Grigio while continuing the aeration process. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Kemmar Lewis, regional category manager, CPJ, checks the aroma of the Fantinel Tenuta Sant’Helena ‘Judri’ Sauvignon. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Thando Walker and her husband Sean Walker, food and beverage manager, Round Hill Hotel and Villas exchange wine notes. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Piedmont stuffed homemade pasta with sausage, oyster mushrooms and burrata. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Donat Crichton, real estate consultant, and his wife, Shernette Crichton general manager, Half Moon Resort raise a toast during dinner. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Josper oven roasted monkfish fillet with heirloom tomatoes, roasted garlic sabayon (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
The palate cleanser: beetroot grapefruit sorbet. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Braised lamb shoulder with patate in tecia, basil sponge and yogurt sauce served because the fifth course. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Bigne al caramello with puff choux crammed with salted caramel mousse, toffee crunch and vanilla bean gelato. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
La Roncaia Eclisse was paired with the oven roasted monkfish fillet with heirloom tomatoes, roasted garlic sabayon for the fourth course. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Fantinel Tenuta Sant’Helena ‘Judri’ Sauvignon was paired with the roasted watermelon carpaccio herb crusted tuna, crunchy prosciutto and salsa verde for the second course which received rave reviews from guests. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)
Fantinel Sant’Helena ‘Rocciaponca’ Pinot Grigio was poured alongside the piedmont stuffed homemade pasta with sausage, oyster mushrooms and burrata Italian cheese. (Photo: Aceion Cunningham)

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