Artadi wines debut at Wine Drop through a delightful wine pairing lunch prepared by chef Carlos Garcia of The Black Pig

Wine Drop, the retail arm of distributor AWC, prepared a wonderful meal in collaboration with chef Carlos Garcia of The Black Pig to formally introduce their newest addition to the family: Artadi Wines.

The story behind the house goes back to 1985. Originally founded by a group of vine-growers, this tale tells us of wine-makers dedicated to non-industrial practices and an absolute respect for the land. In 1992, the Lacalle and Laorden family took control and continued their fascination and passion to stay true to the heritage story and traditional wine-making practices. With their focus and determination, they further defined the character of their wines and expanded to Navarra for Artazu wine in 1996, Alicante for El Seque wine in 1999, and Guipuzcoa for Izar-Leku wine in 2015.

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Wine Drop hosted us for an intimate wine pairing to best showcase how these wines perform when taken both alone and with food. The shop is currently in San Juan but the group has big plans to expand to Makati, Cebu, Davao, and Tacloban too.

They currently organise private dining experiences featuring unique menus crafted by some top chefs, depending on clients’ preferences and budgets. It is an ideal space for intimate get-togethers over quality wine and menus made just the way you like it. 

For this special lunch, we were treated to a range of wines from the Spanish house of Artadi from the vineyards of Artadi, Artazu and El Seque in the North of Spain.

Lunch began with a selection of pinxtos by chef Carlos Garcia. Paired with Artazu Artazuri Rosado 2020 we tried: Foie mousse with caramelized apples and red wine reduction; duck and juniper berry with quince paste; chicken liver pate with nuts and pears; salmon rillette with cream fraiche, capers, and parsley; and chorizo Iberico with manchego and pimentón.

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For these starters, chef Garcia used their own potted creations from The Black Pig which are available at Wine Drop as well. Here, he wanted to show us guests that it can be very easy to make top-notch, delectable bites when entertaining your friends. With some thoughtful tricks, a simple slide of bread can be totally elevated into a gourmet bite.

Up next, paired with Aretazu Santa Cruz de Artazu Blanco 2016 was a rich cauliflower cream soup with manchego, pesto, and croutons. Its consistency was thick and every bite was packed with the beautiful bite of manchego, and the herbaceous hit of pesto. That coupled with the crunch from the croutons made for a very well-rounded mouthful.

For the main event of the night chef Garcia cooked an incredibly soft Iberico pork cheek served with a velvety mashed potato topped with toasted breadcrumbs with oregano and salt and basil. This hearty plate was paired with Artadi Viñas de Gain Tinto 2018 (a medium-bodied Tempranillo with a fruit-forward flavour profile) and Artazu Pasos de San Martin 2016 (a softer Garnacha, designed for easier drinking).

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Lastly we were shown a sweet red to finish, featuring El Seque Dulce 2016. This was presented with a decadent, beautiful dessert inspired by the classic Louis XV. It features a chocolate praline paste with a hazelnut dacquoise, with a delicate feuillantine, and dark chocolate mousse which is all then encased in 72 per cent dark chocolate coating.

As each stunning glass of white, red or rose evolved with every bite of food, we were reminded of how layered and emotional a wine can be, reacting to each artfully created dish. Next time a special occasion arises, or when you may need to throw an intimate event, pay a visit to Wine Drop and let them take your palate on a journey. Allow their in-house team to thoughtfully design something exactly to your liking, suggesting every detail from the progression of wines, to the selection of chef, and their menu’s courses too. Sit back, unwind, and simply indulge–you deserve it!

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