Déjà vu from French, literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has been experienced in the past, whether it has actually happened or not. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
This returning sense of excitement was deposited in my palate account this week for more than one reason:
– Firstly, I had walked, imbibed, and enjoyed the Cloudy Bay terroir in the Marlborough region of New Zealand earlier this month.
– Closer to home and heading back in my time capsule I’d also been on the Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Trail in Sydney last year.
Duck is one of my favourite foods. Won’t ever say no to duck. And when you match it with the latest vintage Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir …and the winemaker. You know the answer – don’t you.
RSVP: thank you I would be most delighted to attend.
While my roving companions and I got our sneak peek of the first three Sydney restaurants on the 2013 Cloudy Bay Pinot and Duck Trail list, here’s the full compliment from around Australia so you can follow the trail yourself.
For the month of July, the following restaurants have their ducks in a row:
Neild Avenue: Spice roasted duck with chickpea pilaf and coriander parsley salad
Felix: Duck confit, cassoulet-style white beans, pork belly and garlic sausage
Sokyo: Pan seared duck, shitake mushroom, pearl barley risotto, pinot noir shansho jus
The Westin: Twice cooked confit leg of duck with white bean cassoulet, crispy black pudding and apple cider glaze
The Old Library: Pappardelle di pane, duck ragu, fungi and chestnuts
Bistrode: Thirlmere duck leg confit, savoy cabbage, bacon and chestnuts
Ucello: Duck ravioli with wild mushrooms
Wildfire: Slow cooked duck leg with duck ravioli
Park Hyatt: Jumjum Muscovy duck and wild caught abalone, pea shoots, fregola, caramelised hazelnuts and mixed leaf salad with salad cream
The Winery: Cassoulet of duck with gordel olives
Gazebo : Cassoulet of Duck with gordel olives
The Treehouse Hotel: Confit duck leg with warm kipfler potato salad and house made orange marmalade
Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons (GAS): Spice roasted duck with chickpea pilaf and coriander parsley salad
Mr Mason: Pan roasted duck breast
Saigon Sally: Dry duck curry
Red Emperor: Sichuan smoked tea duck
Empire Grill: Empire Duck – twice roasted duckling (entree) and roasted duck and beetroot risotto (main)
Sails Noosa: Salt and pepper duck
A Touch of Salt: Baked Duck Rotollo with turnip puree, fava beans, swiss browns, chestnut honey and walnuts
Fellini: Anatra arrosto
Lot 104: Crispy skinned twice cooked duck
Nautilus: Duck Trio
Anise: Pan fried duck breast, braised chicory, spices, raspberry sauce
Social Eating House: Egg in a jar
Little Truffle: Confit duck leg, caramelized endive tart fine, sautéed spinach and Alsace bacon, date puree, red wine jus
Alchemy: Duck Breast with spiced glazed fennel and Pernod dressing, baked mango and pepper puree
Clarke’s of North Beach: Honey roasted duck breast with confit duck leg, Foie Gras espuma
Raffles Hotel: Pan seared duck breast
Steve’s Fine Wine and Food: Pan roasted duck breast with chocolate jus
Zaffaneros: Double roasted Muscovy duckling served with thyme, morello cherry and a rich duck jus
The Aviary: Thai red roasted duck
Each of the 32 restaurants will serve up their duck culinary creations coupled with a glass of Cloudy Bay’s Pinot Noir 2011, from 1 to 31 July 2013. Duck hunters can track their trail on the Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Trail App, and all information about menus, pairings and special deals is available on the Cloudy Bay Facebook page.
Says Cloudy Bay winemaker Nick Blampied-Lane: “Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir boasts layers of dark berries and cherry, cinnamon, fresh herbs, bramble fruit and cranberry, balanced with notes of fresh mushroom, white pepper and savoury spice, making it the perfect accompaniment for duck. Duck also enhances the fruit sweetness of the wine and this 2011 vintage has a particularly silky luscious texture, which matches beautifully with the fine texture of duck. A bright acidity gives delicious lift to the lingering finish, so it is an exciting wine to pair with even the spiciest and most robust of duck dishes.”
While we sat opposite each other at dinner Nick and I agreed that his classic 2011 vintage worked well with the classic dish of the night at Felix: duck confit, cassoulet-style white beans, pork belly and garlic sausage. Others disagreed that this was the best dish of the night. They’re entitled to their opinion. I suppose the only way to find out who wins, is to test out the trail yourself. Personally, I think you’ll be a winner with any or all of your choices.
PS if you’re on social – twitter facebook instagram – don’t forget the hashtags #cloudybay #pinotandduck