A few weeks back we were lucky enough to be invited to a Tuscan wine event at The Birmingham Mal. I will admit I’m not too great with the complexity of wine matching, but I know the types of wine I like and want to learn more. The hosts for the evening were Dante Cecchini, UK manager of Castello Banfi and David Manson from Bidendum. Also at the event was Director of Wines and Spirits for Malmaison Johnny Walker (no relation to the whisky brand!).
The evening started with canapes and our first of many glasses of wine. We then found our seats in the event room. The set up of large round tables made it a great sociable occasion. The table we were seated on included Jo from Jo’s Kitchen and Julia from Wannabe Foodie with their partners along with Stephen Woodhouse, Birmingham Mal manager and a lovely Birmingham couple who had married in Tuscany. Though I did wonder what they thought when they realised they were sat with 3 food bloggers and their partners. Should I say that we were all having such a great time we were the last table to leave!
The menu for the night was designed by Head Chef Brian Neath. In between the courses the wines and Castello Banfi history were explained to us by Dante Cecchini and David Manson.
Pinot Gigio Toscana San Angelo
Canapés; Pecorine risotto balls
L’antipasto; Mediterranean vegetables & cured meats
This fresh and fruit Pinor Grigio went very well with the arancini. If i didn’t have more courses of food to come I could have quite happily have eaten a bowl of the risotto balls. Some superb focaccia and breadsticks were also served alongside the cured meats.
Le Rime Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio
Il primo; Hand made pumpkin & sage tortellini
The tortellini served during this course was divine and I would class it as some of the best pasta I’ve ever tasted. The pasta was paper thin, so light and the filling was equally as good.
Rosso di Montalcino & Belnero Sangiovese/Merlot
Il secondo; Veal ‘osso busso’, puré de patate, olio d’olivia
This was the first time both of us had eaten osso busso. It had been beautifully cooked that is was tender and just fell off the bone. Hubs certainly enjoyed digging out the marrow. It was interesting having two wines with the course that could be compared. I enjoyed the depth and complexity of the Belnero Sangiovese.
Brunello di Montalcino
formaggio corso; Bra formaggio, Piemonte
The intense, velvety wine served during this course was the best red of the night. The cheeseboard featured some great cheeses and biscuits. The best biscuit on the cheeseboard being a charcoal one that may sound odd, but was really good.
Florus Moscadello di Montalcino Vendemmia Tardiva
Il dolce; classic tiramisu
My favourite wine of the night paired with my queen of desserts. The Moscadello di Montalcino was sweet, syrupy and the bright yellow colour was stunning. It was the fact tiramisu was being served at this event that partially swayed me saying yes to this invite. We rarely eat tiramisu at home as Hubs claims to dislike coffee, but this tiramisu was so good he ate it too.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and it’s an event we would both happily return to in the future with like-minded friends. Not only was the food and atmosphere superb the staff were great and at £45 for all food & and matched wine I think it’s great value for money. Many Malmaisons throughout the country have similar events with different wines.
Many thanks to Malmaison for inviting us to the event and giving us a bed for the night along with a well needed breakfast the morning after.
We were the guests of Malmaison who kindly paid for the meal and room for the night. All words and opinions are our own.