Dehesa X Bodegas Comenge: #SwineWineDrink

We all need a little spark of a reminder sometimes. A little confetti in the air. A little whipped cream on top (somewhere, anywhere). A little something-something, je ne sais quoi to end off the tidings of a Monday. For me, its a gratifying wine dinner, complete with swash buckles of fat-licked meaty delights and perhaps a swig of sweet sherry to come to terms with the dire fact that there's 4 more days to the weekend. The recent Dehesa X Bodegas winemaker dinner I attended was all that with side of jovial banter and amicable ruckus caused by a case of too much wine. Nothing that the Monday blues can't handle given the amount of turmoil its already been put through. Sod that, give me a good glass of red and you'll have me purring over plain vanilla ice cream.

It's the ease with which they do it, this slightly inebriated airy wave at the door and the boisterous call to attention for Alvaro Comenge's introduction speech, by the reps of Iconic Wines Singapore that makes you think - hey - if it only took them till 6pm on a Monday to reach this state of enlightenment, the wines ought to be good. There's no sales pitch better than permission marketing; and at this stage, surrounded by light banter and blissful smells, I wanted in on the magic.

Here I am, preparing just to be like them. Barely 2 steps into the foyer and a glass of Torello Cava gets shoved into my apprehensive paws. Not outrageous at all given that the strikingly hot and creamy Croquetas awaiting me on the other side of the table called for some form of spirited lubrication.

But Lilian Leitzel had yet to make her much anticipated appearance on circus grounds yet. The first of the entourage, Comenge Verdejo is a young and bright eyed individual. Indigenous to the Rueda region of Spain, the grape is generally used to make strongly oxidised, sherry-like wine. However, what enveloped my palate was reminiscent of a contemporary songstress who sang tunes of young love, bold and expressive but tainted by envy. It's grassy, slightly citric with a luscious volume that complemented the Octopus Carpaccio with Basil Beignet.

Let's not even get me started Chef/Owner Jean-Philippe Patruno's game changing moves in the kitchen. The twist and turns around sharp bends intensified by mystical ingredients later revealed through cheeky grins. Take the Basil beignet for example, monkfish liver providing soulful mollification to its crispy hide. The elegant fresh tipple enhancing the sweetness of the excruciatingly tender smoked octopus.

There are no earnest attempts at wine pairings here. Chef Jean-Phillipe going the whole nine yards to providing a playground of flavours for the Comenge wines to shine. It's preposterous, the gaiety ones palate experiences in a mere 3 hours on a Monday. I pity the folks out there, who had no clue what they were missing out on. If only they knew.

The Ox Tartare with potatoes and pickles would make them hate me more. The vivacious plate is paired with the Comenge Roble, a soft and mellow individual rolling with flavours of stone fruit in late spring and succulent ume, layered with lashings of malt and cognac. It's luscious notes heightened by the kicks of pickled mustard between bites of the slight gamey tartare.

Back to the humble Ribera Del Duero based vineyard founded in 1996; Bodegas Comenge is one of the few Spanish vineyards within the region that grows organically certified grapes. The winemakers focus strongly on natural yeast grown indigenously that allows the grapes to ferment with a wilful personality.

My favourite of the night being the Comenge Crianza which first opens up with bouquets of blue cheese funk, oak and liquorice before dissolving to evoke reminiscing of cream sherry on cold nights. I'm having an argument with the Crispy Barramundi, Truffle and Asparagus which demanded more attention from the unctuous lobster kombu cream sauce draped carelessly over. Unfortunately, frugality is where it mattered here and we took the lavishness of the meal in our stride. In exchange of more wine perhaps? Steven happily giving in to our relentless thirst.

The Crianza gets wiped out of their magnum bottles pretty quickly. That usually happens with the better women ones, it's the survival of the fittest. But don't pout too much about that my love, because look: here is an extravagant plate of 48 hour Beef Short Ribs, smooth Onion Puree and Bone Marrow to make things better. So you're asking me to take a spoon and gregariously scrape all the oleaginous bits from that deep, dark crevice and lift it to your mouth? Get out of town.

Served with the earthy and tannic Comenge Reserva which abrasive oak flavours provides a creative space for the lavishness of the dish to do lewd flavour acrobatics in your mouth. I closed my eyes and allowed an audible sigh to escape my smudged lips.

And just when you think you've climaxed and its time to sieve through the mound of clothes shamelessly tossed piece by piece as you weaved your way from the door to the dining table; the man decides he wants to cuddle for just a few minutes more. OOoh, yes please. Caramelized Banana, Rum and Raisins Ice Cream it is; with a dram of Solera 1847 Cream Sherry, bringing back fond memories of campfires, chocolates and ripened figs in summer time. And there you are, smitten by the subversive nature of this toxic relationship. It's tough love, but hey, you can give me a booty call anytime.


Iconic Wines will be doing a wine pairing option with Four Hands Dinner featuring Michelin-starred Chef Roberto Terradillos of Restaurant El Serbal in Spain on the 7th September.

View the Menu here:

For bookings, call +65 6479 0100 or email

Dehesa Singapore
12 North Canal Road
t: 6221 7790

Operating Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11 30am - 2 30pm; 5 30pm - late
Sat: 5 30pm - late
Sun: Closed

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