Each month the Boat House Dining in Bangor holds a ‘wine wars’ challenge where we they bring friends and colleagues from across the wine industry to challenge The Boat House Team on their wine and food pairings. This was the 3rd of these challenges and featured a special guest returning to The Boat House, Jasper Castel. Jaspar was previously responsible for front of house at the restaurant with his brother in the kitchen. He is now known for all things BBQ but this event saw him return to his old stomping ground to pit his wits against restaurant manager, Jonathan Quinn over a menu created by head chef, Cathal Duncan.
The theme of this third monthly challenge was that the menu and wines needed to be vegetarian and I couldn’t wait to try them!
I invited my friend, Karin, to join me for this event and we happily made our way to Bangor for this fun challenge. On our arrival we were greeted by manager, Jonathan and servers, Robyn and David. Jasper then served us a delicious cocktail made from Big Cox cider with Carlos 1 brandy, sugar syrup, apple matchsticks and mint. It was really refreshing and truly delicious!When all the guests had arrived, owner, Kenneth addressed the group, explaining how the wine wars came about and what to expect. Basically, chef Cathal had created a vegetarian menu and with each course, Jonathan and Jasper would present their paired wine suggestions which we would discuss then vote on!
This really turned out to be a fun challenge! Our first course was hay baked celeriac with coolea and hazelnut. Jasper won this round with his choice of a Martin WaBmer Spatburgunder 2016 from Baden Germany.
Our next course was a delicious potato and egg yolk raviolo with wild garlic and nasturtium. Jonathan was triumphant with his selection of a Ampelomeryx 2016, Domaine de Pellhaut from Burgundy, France.
Next up was Thyme Gnocchi with English asparagus and truffle vinaigrette. I adore asparagus and for me, this was my favourite course. The winning paired wine was Jonathan’s choice of a Firesteel Pinot Noir from Oregon, USA.
Our final course was a divine Tiramisu with pistachio and orange biscotti. This wine pairing left the guests completely divided with 50% voting for Jasper’s choice of Trentham Estate Noble Taminga, Murray Darling, Australia and 50% choosing Jonathan’s pairing of a Capricho d’Goya from Navarra, Spain.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this event. It was totally interactive and I learnt a lot about wine, especially about what works well with different foods. There was plenty of banter and it was very clear that the wine war element really wasn’t very competitive, but more about ensuring that the guests enjoyed the craic!
I would encourage you to attend one of these evenings. Be warned though- the wine is plentiful so make sure you aren’t the designated driver!
The Boat House Dining is situated in one of the most unique and historically interesting buildings in North Down, which dates back to 1849. The Harbour Masters Office as it was known, has been home to The Harbour Master, Billy Caufield’s Boats, The RNLI and more recently various restaurants until it was taken over by local hotelier Kenneth Sharp 2 years ago.
Thanks to Boat House Dining in Bangor for hosting us at this fabulous evening.
Thanks too to Nicola at NB Chartered Communications for the invitation
For more information about the 'Wine Wars" evenings and to book, visit the Boat House Dining Facebook page. Just click here.
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