You might have noticed that I’ve become an even bigger wine lover than I already was. Wine can just be so different every time. Even when some winemakers use the same grape the end product can still be so different. I’m not a wine snob, so wine for me doesn’t have to be from Italy for me to be good… Just like with food it either is good or it isn’t. The advantage I have is that I lately always get surrounded by the ‘crème de la crème’ of people in the winery business (sommeliers, winemakers, etc…) that help me understanding smells and tastes I can’t always distinguish myself. So when last week top sommelier William Wouters and his wife Filipa Pato ask me if I wanted to join a wine and dine tasting of their own wines I couldn’t refuse, as there is still so much to learn or that I don’t know about wine yet…and ok I just like eating and tasting a lot 🙂 (And they are great people).
The location for the tasting was very unique it was the ‘Campveerse Toren’. A Unique and the perfect spot to spend a winter evening as the antique of the restaurant takes the cold away. Also nice to know is that the Campveerse toren already got used since the 15th – 16th century as hostelry or restaurant. So it goes back quite a while. The antique does bring a certain coziness and warm feeling, too bad they didn’t turn on the fireplace, but even without it felt like the perfect spot to be when it is cold outside. I really wouldn’t know how to describe it in a different way:-)
What Filipa Pato’s wines and the location have in common is the respect for tradition, but still doing your own thing with it. For example Filipa uses (her own) old vines or traditional grapes from the area she is from and makes wine like her forefathers (she comes from a wine making family)did but makes use of modern technology to make it her own thing and give her own schwung. The same goes for the cuisine chef Xavier, he prepares classical dishes with little schwung of his own (and of course not forgetting the historical location).
It is true that I know William and his wife already a long time now, but that is not the reason why I like their wines. I like their wines because they are good!! What I like about them is the fact that they are a bit stronger and remind me a bit of Burgundy wines. Also knowing most of their wines a only made from 1 type of grape is something I find incredible (like with Sherry)… This also shows that nothing goes to waste at the estate and that they make use of every part of the grape to make the espumante, red wine, white wine and/ or sweet wine. Great, right? I hope you are sharing my enthusiasm.
I can’t say it enough, the location was simply fantastic. With a location like ‘Campveerse Toren’ you just have to eat stews or game dishes… that get accompanied by strong and rich wines… So lucky me this was exactly what chef Xavier and Filipa served me. Please feast your eyes on the menu and of course the great wines we got served with them:
- We started with some appetizers with a nice glass of 3B rosé métaolo traditional
- On hay smoked wild oyster, wild goose ham and Jerusalem artichoke that got accompanied by the Vino Branco
- Pheasant prepared in cedar with foamy sauerkraut sauce came with a Nossa Calcario branco
- Roast wild duck with a licorice gravy, white beans and a lentil polenta. This got served with Baby Baga
- Stewed deer neck in red wine with cacao, parsnips, kale and celeriac. This dish just needed the top of the bill, a Nossa Calcario Tinto! I’m sure this is what the gods drink!!
- There was also a cheese assortment, but as I am not really a cheese fan I skipped this dish, but I did drink the ‘Espirito de Bago’ Filipa braught over especially for this tasting 🙂 You could compare this as a combination of an sherry and grappa.
I didn’t really have a personal favorite wine or dish as everything was very good and it got proven to me once again that the time when Dutch chefs didn’t know how to cook has been looooong gone 🙂 Alexander made some great sauces! My compliments to Xavier!! As for the wines, If I would be in a shop to buy wine I wouldn’t be able to choose and probably walk out with the whole assortment as they are all so different. Ok it is a fact the Nossa is slightly more expensive then the “baby baga’, but the Nossa is a wine you can still keep for 7 or 8 years ( or maybe even more) and the “baby baga’ to drink immediately… What I’m basically trying to say is that I’m fan and have already been for quite a while now 🙂
I will go into the wines itself more in detail in one of my next blogpost as otherwise my post will become even longer then they usually already are 🙂
BTW if you wish to try these wines you can either go to my favorite restaurant Pazzo in Antwerp or pass by the distributers in Belgium or Netherlands (let me know if you want to know it from another country) or have a nice dinner at the ‘Campveerse Toren’ just like me.
Special thanks to Filipa, William, Xavier and Mark for giving me yet another incredible food/ wine experience!