The best way to spend the last night of April and ‘spring’ into May has to be the superb Winemaker Dinner at the Harbourmaster in Aberaeron. As you will know by now, we love the wine tasting evenings at the Harbourmaster once a month over the cold winter months, but once the holiday season starts, we are bereft of such pleasures.
Occasionally through the year, there are wine tasting dinners featuring celebrity chefs. This one, however, was a little different as it featured not only chef Stephen Terry, but also the celebrated winemaker Paolo de Marchi from Tuscany.
With 5 courses and 4 different wines, it was an exceptional dining experience accompanied by the winemaker himself describing how they established the business in the 1950s. Starting with a Rose when we arrived was inspired – we don’t normally enjoy Rose (a bit insipid sometimes) but this was interesting with a lovely fragrance and actual taste. The inspired bit was serving it before food then the same wine at the end with dessert. What a difference! We now know only to serve this one as an aperitif not with food.
We worked our way through belly pork and black pudding, rotolo of salmon, melt-in-the-mouth braised beef brisket, dolcelatte cheesecake and, finally, vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb. Wines went through Chardonnay and two different Chiantis. Not cheap at £60 per person but well worth it. A superb meal, fantastic company, and the sanctimonious feeling that it was really an ‘educational’ event!
To top the evening, we stayed overnight in a room overlooking Aberaeron harbour – clearly, neither of us intended to drive the 3 miles home. So, it was definitely a treat to end the evening by strolling upstairs knowing a tasty, leisurely breakfast would be waiting for us in the morning. Great.