Vintner's Wine Tour: Cool Climate Wine dinner @ Praelum Bistrot


Who wouldn't want to be part of a function that ended up with a table looking like this?

The mad array of glasses, the cause of a losing battle of logical thought.

Adding to it, an alluring melodramatic sky to greet the eye as we meandered our way through Tanjong Pagar to the doorsteps of Praelum Wine Bistrot. This year, the bf and I decided to participate in the Vintners Wine Tour organised by with a wine pairing dinner introducing wines from the Jurtschitsch winery in Austria.


Having had a few drinks before at Praelum, I've always been impressed by their good selection of wines offered via their enomatic system. With each diner/drinker offered a personal card which records the prices of the specific volumes and wines chosen with each tipple; it was literally like "Marche" except for the choices of much more potent liquid diets.

This time around, we decided to sign ourselves up for the Cool Climate Wine Dinner held in conjunction with the Vintner's wine tour's stint in Singapore. A wine affair which combines the multifaceted varietals of Austria with a classic french menu pairing. Hopes were risen and the damage was done. After a very thorough introduction by Alwin Jurtschitsch (son on duty in this family run business); who meditated upon the potential of Austrian wines in comparison to the success of Austrian exports like Mozart. We were set off for an exciting meal starting off with a glass of Sekt(Austrian version of champagne, made using Gruner Veltliner grapes)


Dinner commenced with a tipple of Gruner Veltliner Loiserberg 2011 paired with Salmon-En-Croute with Ratatouille. This dish eventually became my favorite of the night. The wine, spicy, finishing off with a slight bitter note almost like cinnamon. Extremely well balanced in my opinion. The salmon was done perfectly and I can't help but sweep up the buttery light puff pastry crumbs feverishly at the end.



The next dish that followed closely was the Roasted Pork Parcels with portobello, tomato-honey and apple sauce. The two wines fighting for rights to the dish being the Gruner Veltliner Schenkenbichl 2011 and the Gruner Veltliner Kaferberg 2011. Despite both wines being very fresh off the press and incidentally harvested from the same region, both varied immensely in flavors mainly because of the type of soil growth. I love the purpose of the choice, being just a play to let the diners decide on what they want. The former struck me as citrusy and much more acidic and assertive than the latter. The Kaferberg won me over with its subtle hints of apple and roasted fruit when consumed together with the pork parcels.



The seafood casserole with tiger prawn, seabass, scallops and calamari was definitely a hearty portion of creamy goodness. The prawns, crisp and turgid to the bite. What I love most was the use of the pomodoro based sauce instead of a cream sauce as suggested by the word 'casserole', the sweetness of the tomato lending a push-pull factor to the balance of the dish. The pivotal point of the casserole would have to be the crisp potato dauphinoise layer that crusted its steamy innards.

Last of the mains came in the form of Beef Bourginon with carrot pea mash paired with a Pinot Noir 2007. As it may be, I was too sated to pass fair judgement; but this course was the weakest of the lot. The beef chunks carrying a liver like consistency. The richness of stew contributed by the red wine addition, absent. The mash on the other hand was ultra silky smooth with immaculate seasoning.


We concluded dinner with a Baked Apple Pie with seasonal berries. *ahem*.. maybe without the berries in this case. A second-thought attempt at dessert in my opinion. A crusty cap of Puff Pastry billowing over a ramekin of thinly sliced baked apples. A bit of spices and perhaps a handful of sultanas or raisins could have elevated the dish up several notches. Pity.

All in all, an enlightening dinner featuring the likes of Gruner Veltliner grape varieties from the Jurtschitsch winery in Austria. After observing the restaurant handling the busy establishment that day whilst juggling the handful of us, wine drinkers; I'm pretty sure I'll be back there soon to sample the ala carte menu. Should you be dropping by, be sure to say hi to the very friendly General Manager and Head Sommelier, Gerald Lu, who would be more than happy to share a snippet of knowledge acquired from his repository of experience regarding wines.

And if you're tired of the usual whites and reds especially after a grand evening such as this one? How about a cocktail? Maybe a Toblerone flavored, Toblerone chocolate shavings, hazelnut liqueur, Kahlua, and Irish Bailey Cream would do the trick. Happy diabetic days...

Praelum Wine Bistrot
4 Duxton Hill S089590
Tel 62385287

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