Day 7 – At Sea – Food and Wine Pairing

The next day after leaving Kagoshima was a sea day with a Food and Wine Pairing hosted by Silas, the Azamara Quest’s Chief Sommelier. It has been a while since I have participated a tasting of this sort, should be a bit of fun.

The wines we would be tasting were the house wines on board, so I was not expecting any high ratings, but the addition of the pairings will keep it interesting.

First Pairing

First up we paired cantaloupe, lemon and spicy chicken. The cantaloupe had no real impact for me, the lemon though… With the sourness of the lemon the acidity of the wine came to the fore as well the sweetness of the wine.

One of my all time favourite pairings is spicy food with sweet wine, especially sauternes with Sichuan food. The sweetness of this Sauvignon Blanc worked very well with the spicy chicken.

Azamara,  Azamara Quest,  Chef's Table, Wine Paring

2021 Bayten Sauvignon Blanc, Cape of Good Hope South Africa

Appearance:Light yellow straw
Nose:A combo of lemon, lime, honeydew and flint aromas
Palate:Acidic, light and refreshing
Oz’s Wine Rating:3.5

Second Pairing

The next food and wine pairing was the pairing of plain chicken, chicken with lime, chicken with brie and spicy chicken with a Chardonnay. Seems to be a theme here…

The plain chicken was, as expected, meh, there was nothing to it. Chicken with lime the pairing improved as the flavours of both the wine and food started to interact. With the chicken and brie the creaminess of both the cheese and wine worked better. The spicy chicken was not bad, though not as good as with the first wine.

2020 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, California, USA

Nose:A mix of vanilla and Camembert aromas
Palate:Balanced, medium to light body
Finish:Short, with a sweet tale
Oz’s Wine Rating:2.5 without food
3 with the brie and the chicken
Azamara,  Azamara Quest,  Chef's Table, Wine Paring

Third Pairing

The Pinot Noir was paired with Parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomato. The Parmesan paired very well due to the fat content of the cheese. Not so the sun-dried tomato, too much acid, definitely not a good pairing.

Azamara,  Azamara Quest,  Chef's Table, Wine Paring

2021 Ara Single Estate Pinot Noir, Marlborough New Zealand

Appearance:Medium deep ruby
Nose:Pleasant combination of cherry, raspberry, strawberry and mocha aromas
Palate:Medium bodied, with dry, evolving tannins
Finish:Medium length with some trailing heat
Oz’s Wine Ratings Explained:3.5

Fourth Pairing

With the fourth wine we paired Parmesan and an aged cheddar cheeses as well as the spicy chicken. Again the Parmesan was a positive experience, though it was trumped by the aged cheddar as a pairing. The spicy chicken and the Cab Sav did not work. Needs a wine with a bit of residual sweetness, not a dry wine like this one.

2019 Poggio al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon, Toscana, Italy

Appearance:Lively crimson
Nose:An enjoyable mix of blackberry, cigar, spice and black pepper aromas
Palate:Balanced with subtle tannins
Finish:Medium length
Oz’s Wine Ratings Explained:3.5
Azamara,  Azamara Quest,  Chef's Table, Wine Paring

Food and Wine Pairing

This was definitely a worth while, though I would probably only do this again with a different set of wines. Silas kept the tasting light and informative, engaging us to talk about our experience. The wine of the session for me was the Cabernet Sauvignon, due to the pairing with the two cheeses.

Wine Reviews


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