Food and wine pairing is like a dance between two people. Sometimes one leads and the other follows and the roles can also be reversed. The dinner at Park Hyatt Seoul was delightful because we didn’t know which would lead – the food or the wine. In some cases, as in the chicken tortelli and Pinot Noir, or the beef tenderloin with the red Bordeaux, the dance was clearly between two equal partners and the food played off the wine and the wine enhanced the food. In other cases like the tartare starter, a wine like the Pouilly-Fuisse was stronger and slightly dominated the dance while the Riesling was a more equal partner. Both paired beautifully however. In the case of the sea bass with mushrooms, the red wines clearly dominated and were the leaders in this pairing. However, the fish went along and were good companions to the wines who wanted to show off and express themselves. Overall, it was a truly enjoyable evening, discovering and learning together with an avid group of Korean food and wine lovers. I am looking forward to coming back soon!
PARK HYATT SEOUL MENU WITH JEANNIE CHO LEE
2002 Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Rare Champagne, France
2005 Peter Lehmann Wigan Riesling, Eden Valley, Australia
2008 Bouchard Père & Fils Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France
Sea Bream Tartare, Naju Pear, Yuzu Dressing, Organic Young Leaves
The sea bream fillet from the South Sea, is gently seasoned with Yuzu dressing and organic extra virgin olive oil and mixed with the crunchy pear from Naju, served with fresh organic young leaves, edible flower and juicy orange segment.
Jeannie : Two very different wines were selected to highlight the light, elegant flavours of the raw, chopped sea bass with minimal seasoning. The Peter Lehmann Riesling is a gorgeous aged Riesling (6 years old) that helps to bring out the floral and citrus elements in the food. The yuzu dressing used by the chef and the chopped oranges on top when consumed together with the sea bass echoed the flavours of the dish perfectly. The edible flowers that were added heighted the floral dimension of the Riesling. It was a wonderful combination and preferred by half of the audience that attended the dinner. The other half preferred the Pouilly-Fuisse which was fuller-bodied and had flavours of toasted ginko nuts and Korean yellow melon. Because of this wine’s minerality in the finish, reminiscent of soft dark green seaweed, the wine paired well with the sea bass consumed alone (without the orange and edible flowers). Both were compatible and paired well with this light, elegant dish.
2007 Freestone Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California, USA
Korean Black Chicken Tortelli, Jeju Pork Cheek Ragout
The Tortelli are stuffed with the black chicken which is seasoned with Chinese green chili pepper, tossed with a ragout made from the black pork from Jeju, scented with cloves and star anise.
Jeannie : I could not have asked for a more perfect match. The Freestone Pinot Noir had an amazing array of spices and herbal flavours in addition to cherries and dried wolfberry notes. The Pinot cut through the pork cheek ragout’s richness and also enhanced its meaty flavours. The chicken tortelli has a velvety texture and savoury flavours which paired beautifully with the Pinot Noir. Most people, including myself, felt that this was the most perfect pairing during the evening.
2006 Yalumba The Signature Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia
2009 Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile
Sea Bass Fillet, Sauté Mushroom, Chili Paste
The sea bass fillet is roasted in extra virgin olive oil then spread with Korean chili paste from the famous master Ok Rae Moon. Served on a bed of mixed mushroom such as porcini, shitake, black mushroom enriched by a light red wine jus reduction, dish will be completed with few leaves of herbs salad.
Jeannie : It was a brave move to pair two very full bodied red wines with this dish since the fish in very delicate and soft. However, I felt that if we included mushrooms and chili paste in the sauce it would heighten the flavours to match up to the Yalumba Cabernet-Shiraz and the Lapostolle Carmenere. The Cabernet-Shiraz was gentler and older so the texture of the wine and the dark berry flavours went very well with the sea bass and mushrooms. The Carmenere was spicier with a stronger chive and herbal element and it brought out the chili paste that was used in the dish. Overall, people were split about which they preferred, half preferred the Cabernet-Shiraz and the other half the Carmenere. I felt the Cabernet-Shiraz was marginally better because of its more mellow flavours from time in bottle. In several more years, the Carmenere will also achieve this softer, more rounded texture so it can also be paired with a delicate fish like sea bass with mushrooms and chili paste. What amazed and impressed most people was that fish could go well with red wines.
Hong Ssang Ri Maesil Tea, Iced Persimmon
The sweet iced persimmon is set at the bottom of the glass and the chilled Maesil tea from Hong Ssang Ri is poured just before serving, delicious and refreshing
2005 Château Lalande-Borie, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux, France
Hanwoo Beef Tenderloin, Shallot Compote, Sweet Pumpkin Gnocchi, Chosun Squash, Tofu, Omija Sauce
The Hanwoo beef tenderloin from Gyeong Buk province is marinated with black tea leaves and extra virgin olive oil, roasted to perfection and served with a shallot compote, Korean Chosun squash stuffed with tofu and potato gnocchi made with pumpkin. Served with a succulent and light red wine and Omija sauce
Jeannie : This was another big hit with everyone at the dinner. It was a traditional pairing of beef with fairly young (2005) Bordeaux so I knew that the pairing would be well-received and appreciated. The match did not disappoint and the Lalande-Borie was young, compact and filled with an array of plums and Asian red date flavours. It balanced the tender beef and even heightened the pumpkin gnocchi flavours. A fantastic pairing!
2007 Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Rosalack Auslese, Rheingau, Germany
Chestnut Cream, Caramel, Marinated Figs, Mackeoli Ice Cream, Barley Tea Powder
A delicious chestnut cream is set on a thin layer of dark chocolate and soft caramel, served with lightly marinated fresh figs, crispy meringue, pistacchio and a interesting Mackeoli ice cream dusted with barley tea powder
Jeannie : What a delight this dessert was on its own but paired with the Auslese Riesling from Schloss Johannisberg, it was even better. The chestnut cream was perfect with the dried apricot and honey notes of the wine. The makkoli was subtle, not too sweet and went surprisingly well with the sweet late harvest Riesling.