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China Dinner

Beijing, November 22, 2014

Bailliage Provincial of North China
Fine wines featured at this classic, French-themed dinner

France is well known for its cuisine, its wine, its good way of life and above all the capability to enjoy all of these elements. The French have a natural instinct to get together to dine amongst friends, sit for hours, talk and enjoy some wine.

This concept was essentially the theme of our latest event in the Hermitage Restaurant of the Sofitel Hotel Wanda. We got together with friends, enjoyed very good food, talked … and enjoyed some very fine wine courtesy of ‘a moment with the Domaines Jean-Michel Cazes’. 

The Sofitel team went out of its way to collect wines not readily available anymore in the country’s capital. The food talked to our hearts, was full of flavour, skilfully presented, sophisticated and yet still ‘comfort food’.

The menu, created by Chef Gilbert Wolfarth, was printed as a bar code to be scanned into a mobile device. Printed on white chocolate it was designed to be eaten afterwards!
We started off with canapés:
- vanilla duck liver terrine
- Angus beef tartare on toast
- scallop with kiwi puree and lemon confit
- deep fried sweet garlic balls
- fritters with cheese and herbs.

The accompanying wines were Michel Lynch ‘Réserve’ Médoc 2011 and Michel Lynch ‘Réserve’ Graves 2011 as well as two waters, one flavoured with thyme and the other one with basil, for those who did not wish to drink alcohol.

The dinner itself started with Alsatian kougelhopf accompanying lobster bisque with seaweed bread. This course was served with a not-so-usual white Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2010 from Domaine Sénéchaux.

Next course was a slow-cooked egg with caramelized onion puree, mushroom fricassee and walnut bread served with Minervois L’Ostal Cazes La Livinière 2008. Following was Alaskan wild cod in chicken celeriac consommé served with Château Les Ormes de Pez, Saint Estèphe Cru Bourgeois 2008.

After an intermezzo of lemon and thyme ‘Colonel’ (a lemon sorbet, fresh thyme syrup and Grey Goose vodka), the main course was a six-hour braised Angus beef open ravioli with black truffle butter sauce, Parmesan shavings and mushroom bread. It was served simultaneously with two elegant Pauillac wines of which one was Echo de Lynch 2008 – the second wine of Château Lynch-Bages – and the other one was Bordeaux 5th Growth Château Lynch-Bages 2006.

To conclude the exceptional dinner, home-made Bordeaux cannelés, macarons and cold lemongrass and thyme soup were served. It was then the ideal moment for the CEO of Domaines Michel-Cazes to give a short presentation on their wines, how they are made and what makes them so special.

We also learned how the cannelés were invented. Egg whites were (and are still are) used to clarify wines. The yolks were left over and therefore the bakers of the region used them to make the delicious cannelés with their soft and tender custard centre and dark, thick caramelized crust.

It was a fantastic evening, perfectly conceived and organised by Cedric Besler, General Manager of the Sofitel Wanda and his team.

Bernie Sperk
Chargé de Presse Provinciale