01 de novembre, 2010

Testing the Monvínic Experience

 Kurt's party in front of Il Vino d'Enrico Bernardo in Paris.

On Sunday October 31st, at the beginning of his European Standards Trio tour, Kurt Rosenwinkel and his team were in Paris having lunch at the one star Michelin restaurant Il Vino d'Enrico Bernardo. This was in order to taste the wines selected for the Monvínic Experience on November 15th (already sold out; for waiting list, please call +34 93 272 61 87). The event in Paris was arranged on the kind invitation by the Fundació de Música Ferrer-Salat and the Barcelona Jazz Festival. Anders Chan-Tidemann, Kurt's manager since 2002, was also there, and we asked him about their impressions of a very special lunch.

Here is his special report from Il Vino d'Enrico Bernardo.

By Anders Chan-Tidemann

Arriving to Il Vino in Paris @ 1pm on a cool Sunday, a bit grey and dull in weather although not too cold. The restaurant seems closed except when walking up close, and when walking inside we are the first ones there, no-one else is eating yet. The interior of the restaurant is elegant but not too upscale or with any feeling of "arrogance" - just quietly classy. The curtains are of the kind where you can look out easily, but you can't really look in, so from the inside the restaurant appears brightly lit and welcoming.

We don't know what to expect and the first dish gives nothing away. A small terrine with lamb, eggplant and something else which I forget + selleri foam in a small cup.

The three sea scallops.

But then comes the first dish - 3 sea scallops with 3 different "toppings" to give different flavor. One is flowery, another has a piece of mandarin and the 3rd a delicious piece of very special and famous Japanese seaweed. The scallops themselves are delicious but the piece of sea-weed is making it truly outstanding! The white wine served is very "big" in character, flowery too without being overly sweet.

Second dish is cod-fish. Not normally a favorite fish of mine, but this one is done to absolute perfection. The skin, too, is crispy and tasty. The white wine served with this dish (Taleia 2009) is outstanding –one of the best I've ever tasted, certainly, and that's the universal feeling around the table. Everybody loves this wine! It starts out "smaller" than the first wine, but then "grows" and has a superb finish!

The white wine: Taleia 2009.

Kurt Rosenwinkel is already developing the musical ideas to compliment the wines, and he, Eric Revis and Ted Poor are all discussing the wines and their characters, and start translating these into tonal centers and keys.

The third wine, a red wine (Clos Mogador 2001), is also magnificent. It's served with veal, mushrooms and spinach. The food is, again, excellent, but the wine takes the prize. It also perfectly compliments the white wines that preceded it.

Kurt tasting the red wine Clos Mogador 2001.

After the 2nd glass of white wine Kurt had decided that we were "only" going to taste 4 wines on this day, in order not to get too "wined-up" prior to having to perform later on that evening. So the last wine we get on this day is a dessert wine. It, too, is excellent. Very big in flavor without being TOO overly sweet, but so big that Eric Revis felt like it needed the desert - the photo of which is attached below - which did indeed compliment the wine perfectly, giving it the balance in flavors. 

Walking out of Il Vino d'Enrico Bernardo we all felt totally satisfied and that we had received a food an wine experience we won't soon forget. Now it's up to Kurt to match this with music that the audience won't forget, but I feel confident to say that he, too, is a master of serving tasteful (sound-) bites, so I think everybody will have something to look forward to at Monvínic, in Barcelona, on Nov. 15.

The end of lunch: 4 wines tasted, 2 more for the route…