Day 12 – At Sea with Cognac and Crew Capers

Day 12 of my North Atlantic Adventure was a planned date at sea, the most eventful sea day of the Cruise. Today’s plans include another Wine Connoisseurs Lunch, Hennessy Cognac tasting and Crew Capers.

Wine Connoisseurs Lunch

This was the second Wine Connoisseurs Lunch of the Cruise, same menu and wines, so will be interesting to see how the two flights of wine compare. Was also attending to accompany one of my new friends who was not able to get a seat at the first tasting.

As the food was the same menu and very consistent, there is no need to review it in this post.

First Course

2011 Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Fleur de Champagne Brut, Champagne, France. 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot and 5% Meunier

Appearance:Pale light straw, fine in consistent bead
Nose:Too much brie for me, a definite turnoff
Palate:Drinks ok, similar palate to the previous lunch
Finish:Short
Oz’s Wine Rating:Round 1: 3 out of 5
Round 2: 2.5 out of 5
Definitely not as good as the first lunch
Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Day 5, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Regent Seven Seas Voyager,

Second Course

Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Day 5, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Regent Seven Seas Voyager,

2016 Patz and Hall Chardonnay, Russian River, California, USA. 100% Chardonnay

Appearance:Light pale straw
Nose:Lots of butter, citrus / lime, not too oaky, maybe a bit of slate
Palate:Refreshing palate, slight residual sweetness
Finish:Medium length
Oz’s Wine Rating:Round 1: 3.5 out of 5
Round 2: 3.5 out of 5
As you would expect with this a winery of this stature, consistent between bottles

Third Course

2014 Castello Banfi “SummuS” Sant’Antimo, Tuscany, Italy. 40% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah

Appearance:Youthful deep crimson
Nose:A pleasant combination of black pepper, mocha, cherry and cedar aromas
Palate:Savory with a slightly sour taste
FinishMedium length with a bit of heat
Oz’s Wine Rating:Round 1: 3.5 out of 5
Round 2: 3 out of 5
The previous bottle was better
Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Day 5, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Regent Seven Seas Voyager,

Fourth Course

Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Day 5, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Regent Seven Seas Voyager,

2016 Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, USA. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6%Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot

Appearance:Deep garnet with great legs
Nose:Pleasant nose of pepper, forest floor, white pepper and plum aromas
Palate:Balanced medium bodied
Finish:Medium-long finish, bit of heat on the tail
Oz’s Wine Rating:Round 1: 3.5 out of 5
Round 2: 3.5 out of 5
Very consistent and enjoyable

Fifth Course

2016 Two Hands Lily’s Garden Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia

Appearance:Deep purple
Nose:An enjoyable combo of black pepper, blackberry, plum, cedar and spice aromas
Palate:Smooth and balanced
Finish:Medium-long
Oz’s Wine Rating:Round 1: 3.5 out of 5
Round 2: 3.5 out of 5 verging on a 4
A better bottle than the previous tasting
Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Day 5, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Regent Seven Seas Voyager,

Sixth Course

Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Day 5, Cruising the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Regent Seven Seas Voyager,

Dow’s Tawny 20 Year Old Port, Douro, Portugal. Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz & Touriga Franca

Appearance:Vibrant Deep amber with nice legs
Nose:A very attractive mixture of dried raisin, prunes and mocha aromas
Palate:Smooth with silky tannins
Finish:Long
Oz’s Wine Rating:Round 1: 3.5 out of 5
Round 2: 4 out of 5
Enjoyed this more than previously, wine of the lunch for me

Hennessy Cognac Tasting

This was a first for me on a Regent Cruise and it was definitely worth doing. A significant step up from the earlier Whisky Tasting.

Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,

The head bar tender and his team ran this tasting as well. I have been to Cognac tasting previously, but not one like this where they paired the different Cognacs with food and also prepared each Cognac differently. I learnt a lot and found a new go to Cognac, can you guess which one?

James Hennessy

Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,
Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,

Maison Hennessy has been creating one of the finest cognacs since 1765. With the James Hennessy blend, the Tasting Committee today pays tribute to one of its historic figureheads: a pioneering entrepreneur and accomplished traveler, who always had an innate understanding of the need to explore new horizons.

https://www.hennessy.com/en-int/collection/james-hennessy

The James Hennessy was released in 2015 as a part of their 250th anniversary celebrations.

Food Pairing

When you think of food pairings for Cognac I doubt you would go for a mushroom & truffle puff, it does work well.

Tasting Notes

This was served in a martini glass and it was prepared just like a vodka martini in a cocktail shaker with ice. A first for me, serving Cognac chilled is not something I have done before, I had always though it needed to be warmed up in a Cognac balloon using the warmth of your hand. Have tried this again since and it works well in Singapore…

The first aroma I picked up was cigar, there was also vanilla and almond aromas. On the palate there were apricot and peach flavours. Very smooth and moreish.

Oz’s Rating – 4 out 5

Hennessy X.O.

In 1870, Maurice Hennessy created Hennessy X.O for his circle of friends and introduced a new style of cognac.  Hennessy X.O is the Original, the emblematic icon of the Hennessy Maison. 

Deep and powerful, the eaux-de-vie of this Hennessy X.O cognac are aged in young barrels and marked out by their power and energy, but also by their capacity to achieve a great roundness through time.

https://www.hennessy.com/en-int/collection/hennessy-xo

Food Pairing

This pairing is one that I would have expected, 70% chocolate callebaut, Belgian dark chocolate. Sounds like a pairing to be tested with other Cognacs to make sure it works for scientific purposes obviously.

Tasting Notes

The X.O. was served over a solitary piece of ice in a large Cognac balloon.

On the nose I picked up spiced fruit cake and caramel aromas. On the palate there were dark chocolate and vanilla flavours, enhanced by the pairing with the Belgian chocolate. Very enjoyable

Oz’s Rating – 4 out 5

Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,
Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,

Hennessy X.X.O

Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,
Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,

The cognac Hennessy X.X.O was first created in 1870 alongside Hennessy X.O, when Master Blender Emile Fillioux set aside eaux-de-vie with great potential. The result was such a significant find that it was launched around the world, starting in 1871. With the savoir-faire inherited by his family, Yann Fillioux, 7th generation of Master Blender, decided to re-create the Hennessy X.X.O in 2018.

https://www.hennessy.com/en-int/collection/hennessy-xxo

Food Pairing

With the X.X.O another food pairing that I would not have expected, Parmigiano Reggiano… But what do I know, this worked so well. Not sure what the reaction would be if I asked for a side of cheese with my X.X.O would be in another bar. Will have to give it a go, also for scientific purposes.

Tasting Notes

The nose is complex with spice, tangy orange and a hint of mint aromas

The palate is smooth, balanced with a very enjoyable long finish. This is a high quality Cognac, with a price to match…

Oz’s Rating – 4 out 5

Hennessy Paridis

Created by Maurice Fillioux in 1979, the cognac Hennessy Paradis is both voluptuous and harmonious.The eaux-de-vie of which it is composed are a reflection of this delightful cognac’s personality: supple, light and round.

https://www.hennessy.com/en-int/collection/hennessy-paradis

Food Pairing

I get that chocolate truffle is a likely pairing for a Cognac, though I was not too sure about a Yuzu chocolate truffle. Thankfully I have no idea and this was also a good pairing choice.

Tasting Notes

Now we are talking, the macdaddy of Hennessy Cognacs, Paradis… This used be served in the very pointy end of Emirates flights, not sure if it still is, which is where I was lucky enough to enjoy it a number of times.

This was served in a very attractive and surprisingly heavy tulip glass. The perfumed nose has a combination of floral, red fruit and spice aromas.

On the palate the Paradis just goes off, there are chocolate, honey and spice flavours that work together to provide a very enjoyable experience, and then you add the long finish… Great drop, it had better be for the price.

Oz’s Rating – 4.5 out 5

Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,
Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,

For USD88 this was worth it, though I have heard that on other Regent Cruises, they are charging double for the exact same tasting. Also, I liked the tulip glasses so decided to see if I could buy them, you can USD40 for one or USD400 for a pair, will give them a miss for now.

Crew Capers

One of mine, and most passengers , favourite nights on a Regent Cruise is the Crew Capers night. Crew Capers are when the Crew put on a variety show for the passengers, entertainers and officers. In order for a Crew member to participate they have to go through an audition process, think the X Factor or Voyager’s Go Talent.

There are 452 crew onboard this cruise from 38 nations, so lots of different native dances and performances to choose from.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, took these using my phone and had to contend with some other passengers seated in front of me, they seemed to be enjoying themselves so can’t fault them for getting in the way.

And the finale

Another great show. The crew practice in their own time which usually means late at night after they have finished their last shift looking after us… A dedicated bunch of people, as they have been on all of the cruise ships I have been lucky enough to sail on.

Dinner

After very full day of eating, drinking and enjoying the capers of the crew, dinner was not going to be significant. Tonight I dined in Sette Mari again, I “only” had room for a tasty lobster risotto.

Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,
Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Regent Seven Seas,  Oz's 2022 North Atlantic Adventure, Cognac Tasting,  Connoisseur Wine Lunch,  Crew Capers,

2016 Le Serre Nuove Dell’Ornellaia’ Bolgheri Rosso, Tuscany Italy
44% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot, 12% Cabernet Franc

Appearance:Deep crimson
Nose:An attractive mix of plum, mocha and cedar aromas
Palate:Full-bodied, savoury evolving tannins
Finish:Medium to long
Oz’s Wine Rating:3.5 out 5 verging on a 4
A good wine to finish a day of oven indulgence.

Day 12 at Sea

What a day… Wine, Cognac, a show

Tomorrow we arrive in Iceland, our first port of call is Isafjordur. Looking forward to that!

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