Be what you want to brie: Wine and cheese sessions just got a whole lot more fun!
One might say that nowadays a wine and cheese evening has become so common place as to barely draw a connoisseur’s attention. However, at the Leela Palace Chennai, they beg to differ. Dipping into their exquisite collection from their cellar, the Wine & Cheese menu that was kickstarted earlier this week is anything but mainstream. “The pairing is more of an exploration of wine and cheese in a unique combination that will appeal to anyone with a taste for finer things,” says Dev Thakur, assistant Food and Beverage Manager, who has curated this menu along with their Executive Sous Chef Binayak Tamang.
We start with a Bodega Norton Reserva, an Argentinean red that impresses us with big aroma and pairs well with the crumb fried asparagus sticks and the cheesy gruyere fondue. After that Malbec, the dry Riesling that we sample parleys quite comfortably with the forest mushroom and mozzarella arancini. Crunchy, with a stretchy filling dotted with diced mushroom, we found that each ingredient held its own here even as the Villa Maria Riesling played out some sweet honeysuckle notes as an aftertaste.
While the wines have been carefully paired to enhance and complement the dishes and vice versa – the choice of wines is also a show of variety agrees Dev– showcasing not just character and flavour but also origin covering new world wines and old world wines. The Laroche Petit Chablis bursts into our senses all chilled and refreshing – making us concede that this was going to be a long evening for all the right reasons. Paired with the classic cheese platter, we find that the Chablis’ indulgent and fruity balance along with the artisanal Edam, sharp cheddar and brie, has us lingering over this combination noticeably longer.
The dish that truly brought the bacon home was the salty and smoky, bite-sized wraps of piadina. The aged Parma ham with pecorino cheese and young arugula took the Italian red, a pour of Donnafugata Sedara, to new levels of delightful fruity flavour. Meanwhile the confit duck casserole could very well be the main course. Cobbled with brie cheese all golden and crusty, this dense bake is creamy with bits of artichoke and spreads thick on the crunchy garlic croutons. Slow cooked, we suggest you order this one right in the beginning to make it to your plate in time for the mains. However, the Australian D’Arenberg’s Chardonnay paired with this casserole is crisp and light, perfect for washing down the sumptuousness of the dish.
Rs 1,500 for a starter and two glasses of wine at the Lobby Lounge.