Wine Dinner at The Garry St. Keg Cohosted by Penfolds

April30

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From the moment I met Natasha from Treasury Wine Estate, I knew that she was the real deal.  Not only is she drop dead gorgeous with the most beautiful complexion I have seen in a very long time, but she looked fit and healthy in her “Penfold’s red” dress.

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She was also upbeat and happy about her work and representing the iconic Australian winery Penfolds.  When you think about it, who wouldn’t want to travel the world, sip exquisite wines, taste fantastic food and then talk about it?  The key for me and my “liking” her is that wine aficionados can be pretentious and stand-offish and Natasha is anything but that.  She uses real language to describe her Penfolds wine passion-words like “pencil shavings”, marshmallow” and “lacy”.  As I pondered what made this woman so appealing, I just came out and asked her where she was from.  The answer? Regina-where the humblest and modest people in the world come from (second to Winnipeg, of course).

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As mini tuna tacos and shrimp cocktail were presented by efficient Keg servers, we sipped on a Bin 51 2012 Riesling.  I do love a lusciously sweet Riesling and this was dryer than my taste but I will admit that the hints of lemon and apple were a perfect complement to the seafood appetizers.  The first course was a delectable Lobster & Shrimp salad.  The Keg’s recipe including avocado, cremini mushrooms, black beans and corn is just my cuppa tea.  These distinct flavours were enhanced by the Thomas Hyland Chardonnay.  I especially liked the biscuity notes (another of Natasha’s down to earth descriptors).

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I was surprised, but more than appreciative when a Bin 2 Shiraz Mouvedre 2009 was served with the second course of the Keg’s Creole Chicken.  I skipped the chicken (trying to pace myself) but loved the shrimp and scallops with the spicy and earthy shiraz.  Natasha thought of it as an alluring “lady” wine with tastes of rosemary, thyme, lavender and cinnamon.

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My favourite food taste of the evening was the perfectly prepared Mustard Salmon served with another 2009 wine, this time Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was when Natasha’s description of pencil shavings came in and she was exactly correct.  The suggestions of blackberry and back cherry were another surprise with how well they magnified the mustard sauce and the salmon.

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The best was yet to come when another Shiraz (St. Henri) arrived for us to savour with Beef Tenderloin Medallions accompanied by drizzles of béarnaise and whiskey peppercorn sauces.  Natasha declared that the wine was veiled, perfumed, velvety with aromas reminiscent of Easter Lilies.  I simply took her word for it, not having as sophisticated palate as she, but knowing it was likely the finest Shiraz I have ever tasted.

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Grandfather Port, aged 30 years, was lovely to sip with the Dessert course of Chocolate Cake and fresh raspberries but even better when I followed the lead of one of our table companions, who poured his port right over his cake.  He is Sicilian and since we have travelled there, we know that Sicilians know how to eat, so I wasn’t going to challenge his decision.  He was right, the decadent richness of the cake was  put over the top with the baptism of port.

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The room and our table were beautiful, as were the guests whom we dined with.  The value offered by both Penfolds and The Keg was nothing short of astounding, with a ticket cost of a mere $100.  A friend in the lobby remarked that he would have happily paid double that amount. Best of all, was that all monies raised went to Special Olympics Manitoba.  In all, one of those memorable evenings that will stay with us for a very long time.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Wine is bottled poetry.”-Robert Louis Stevenson

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Love-that is all.

 


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