This time I would like to write about how to organize a wine and dine event. If you follow all of my rules, you can look forward to a successful and memorable evening. After six years and around 40 wine and dine events at Kayuputi Restaurant at St. Regis Bali Resort and at Arwana Restaurant at the Laguna and Spa Resort, I believe that I can offer some good insight for those looking to organise such an event.
Let’s start with our last event which featured the Champagne House of Louis Roederer from Reims in France. We were lucky because we had the Vice President of Louis Roederer joining our “Cristal and Caviar Dinner”. Each dish was paired with Sturia Caviar as well as Cristal Roederer Champagnes from 2005, 2006 and 2006 Magnum Champagne.
First you have to consider the setting of your event and with its magnificent view of the sea, Kayuputi boasts one of the best settings in all of Indonesia. In the evening, a path to the beach is lit up by big lights spread out towards the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean. The tables are decorated with pretty flower bouquets and white table clothes. If you have a nice big table, all the glasses should be set, otherwise you put them down with each course as needed.
A show table is essential; that is a table where all the Champagnes will be served from and cooled, opened and tasted by the head Sommelier. The subject is of course Champagne which is fostered with books and magazines around the table, candles and the sabrage sword should not be missed. The guest should be attracted and look inside of these open histories of Champagne.
There should be a host and a representative from the winery who will speak about each wine served. In addition, the chef should explain the dishes one by one, not all together.
A surprise between courses is also very much appreciated; this could be by way of an extra dish or a different Champagne than those listed. At Kayuputi, we organized violin players who performed three pieces of music to complement the event. Another thing we always do is to read a specially written poem dedicated to the winery in front of the guests, this makes our events unique.
At Kayuputi, we always prepare booklets explaining each Champagne or wine, these are then placed on the tables for guests to peruse. The representative from the winery will tell the guests stories you will not find on the internet or in wine books; rather some “inside knowledge”. Please see below a sample of one page.
Cristal Roederer Reims 2005
“The Champagne is as good as if god himself had made the Champagne, as if god himself had poured into my mouth his poetry of life.” H. W.
55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay
Brilliant pale gold with smoothly flowing extra fine pearl bubbles.
A host of different fruits await. Look out for apple pie, caramel, perhaps an aroma of classic French brioche.
La Maison Louis Roederer call the Champagne heaven in a chalice glass. The wine is wonderfully balanced and smooth. The elegant mouth feel gives great pleasure and the ultra-fine diamante bubbles give a fantastic fizzy sensation in the centre of your tongue.
Grilled king prawns, “Tabanan” organic black rice risotto, wild fern, lemongrass infused Champagne -coconut milk emulsion. Triple tail fish fillet, Plaga highland vegetables, white bait, sea urchin – Champagne emulsion.
Cristal is only produced uniquely during the best years, when the Chardonnay (around 40%) and Pinot noir (around 60%) grapes have attained perfect maturity, Cristal is aged for 6 years in Louis Roederer’s cellars and a further 8 months after dégorgement. The Cristal 2005 blend is composed of 55% Pinot noir and 45% Chardonnay (20% of which is matured in oak casks with weekly batonnage). No malolactic fermentation occurs. Cristal is produced from grapes grown in Louis Roederer Grand Cru vineyards. Roederer’s chef de cave is Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, who has been with the house since 1989. He says: “Talking about Cristal specifically, we need a perfect balance between sugar and acidity and of minerality and ripeness. The most importance is to get concentration into the grapes”
Finally, timing is important too. There’s nothing worse than when service is rushed or if guests have to sit for more than three hours at a six-course dinner. A smoking pause is a must which generally occurs along with the Granite or Sherbet course. At the end, it is a nice touch to applaud each team member for a job well done. A thank you speech and the presentation of a gift for the owner of the wine house are also important. Have a great wine and dine wherever you are!
Harald Wiesmann, Restaurant Manager of the Asian inspired Haute Cuisine Kayuputi and Chief Sommelier at The St. Regis Bali Resort, has a very interesting career history spanning a number of years with different roles in various countries.
His 42 years of international experience has led Kayuputi to receive prestigious awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) for six consecutive years since its opening six and a half years ago.