On the evening of Sunday 8th July 2012, Phuket’s award winning Acqua Restaurant together with Italian winery Gaja Wines and Wine & Taste Wine Importers Phuket hosted a grand Gaja Wine Tasting Dinner featuring gastronomic delights paired with a superb selection of Italy’s most revered wines.
Acqua’s proprietor & Executive Chef Alessandro Frau pushed his creative culinary mind to the limit with this Wine Tasting Dinner and his 7 culinary pairings with the choice of wine was exceptional. Not only did the food taste amazing but its presentation was outstanding. Chef Ales certainly did himself proud in the kitchen and also in the dining area as host of this great evening.
Prior to each course Gaja Wines Michela Inghese gave dinners an insight into the wines they were about to sample, what the tasters should experience upon tasting and explained why Chef Ales had chosen to pair the wines with the dishes that he had.
As always, Acqua’s long standing and devout kitchen and service teams were professional and exemplary throughout and ensured that the evening was perfect and went without fault.
Jan Osterby - “It’s a pleasure to have been invited for this great experience. The food and wine have been fantastic and you can tell the wine is unique. The wines have been outstandingly paired with the food.”
Than - “I feel very happy to have been invited here and taste the great wine and food. It’s been a great experience.”
Robert Wigman – (Wine & Taste Phuket) “I’m happy I can be here with Ales, who in my opinion is one of the best in Thailand. We at Wine & Taste are proud to have the Gaja range of wines on our portfolio because it is one of the best and most famous wines in the world.”
Rudolf Borgesius (General Manager Le Meridien Phuket) – “Because I’m French, I hardly drink Italian wines, but these are fantastic. It may come with a big price tag but its great value for money.”
The Gaja Winery was founded by Giovanni Gaja in 1859 and has been owned and operated by five generations of the Gaja family. Giovanni Gaja was the great-grandfather of Angelo Gaja, the Winery’s current owner.
In 1994, GAJA acquired its first wine estate in Tuscany, Pieve Santa Restituta in Montalcino. This estate produces three Brunello di Montalcino wines- including the single vineyard Sugarille- from vineyard holdings totaling sixty five acres.
In 1996 Gaja acquired a second property in Tuscany, Ca’Marcanda, located in Castagneto Carducci in Bolgheri. Of the property’s 200 acres, 150 have been planted with new vineyards: primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, as well as Cabernet Franc and Syrah.
Currently, the Gaja Winery owns 250 acres of vineyards in Piedmont, located in the Barbaresco district (Barbaresco and Treiso) and the Barolo district (Serralunga d’Alba and La Morra).
Since its inception, the Gaja Winery has continuously evolved in ways that have always focused on meticulous care of and attention to the quality of its wines.
The Culinary Creator
Anybody who’s been in Phuket for a good length of time knows what to expect with Acqua Restaurant.
Established in 2009 by Alessandro Frau, Acqua is Phuket’s best known and most loved Italian restaurant and Chef Ales is one of the most reputed chefs on the island. Acqua has won numerous awards, the most recent being the 2012 Thailand Tatler’s and Asia Tatler’s Best Italian Cuisine in Thailand, a first for an Italian restaurant here on the island. Moreover, it has been voted as having the Best Cuisine in Phuket. Acqua was the only Italian Restaurant in Thailand to receive 10 points for its cuisine, and the only restaurant in Phuket to receive 10 points.
Originating from Sardinia, Chef Ales’ puts his own unique touches to some classic Sardinian dishes which are edgy yet rich in flavour. Chef Ales specialises in creating new and exciting Italian dishes which you can be sure use only the freshest of ingredients, sourced from only the best producers both local and international.
Sicilian prawn served in its own juice
Gaja Ca’Marcanda Promis 2009 – A delightful wine combining the elegance and suppleness of Merlot and Syrah with the austerity of Sangiovese.
Octopus alla diavola, potato, rosemary and fava beans
Gaja Ca’Marcanda Magari 2009 – Magari showcases the essence of the upper Maremma. It’s a full, rich, well-rounded wine with an elegant, silky finish.
Wagyu Beef tagliata all Toscana and Laudemio extra virgin olive oil
Brunello di Montalcino Pieve Santa Restituta 2007 – This wine expresses ripe tannins, integrated acidity, rich structure and a lingering finish.
Duck liver lollipop, onion marmalade heart
Sito Moresco 2010 – A fruity, elegant taste; good balance in the mouth and a fresh fruity finish with very fine, silky tannins.
Lamb crusted and minted green peas
Barbaresco 2008 – Long, complex finish with fine, silk-like tannins and good acidity; dense structure, full of super-ripe fruit.
Slow cooked (15 hours) beef short rib
Dagromis Barolo 2007 – Solid structure and a rich softness as well as a lingering finish.
Grilled Pecorino fiore Sardo DOP cheese with honey & figs
Sperss 2007 – Deep structure and lots of ripe tannins. Dense, massive yet seamless, this wine possesses low acidity and a terrific finish.