Over the last few years Sammy’s on the Marina has continued to represent itself as a pillar of fine dining on the waterfront. Serving seafood of a high standard it has built a reputation and formed relationships with many other first-rate businesses. One of those connections is with Serafino Wines. Which on the 21st of November came together to put on a sensational degustation.
Being a seafood degustation, this was a chance for Serafino to showcase a series of amazing white wine selections. Hosted by Serafino’s Chief Winemaker, Charles Whish, who put on a fine set of wine pairings to complement Sammy’s exceptional menu.
Upon arrival the evening started with a glass of Serafino Premium Sparkling. A suitable bubbly to start, light with a touch of honey.
The night was started in earnest with the In-house Smoked Tuna with Coarse Seafood Mousse. This was served alongside a Serafino Bellissimo Pinot Grigio 2019. This dish is all about subtle flavours. The smoked flavour of the fresh tuna is somewhat airy and compliments its soft and silky texture. The accompanying mousse as well only has a slight coarseness to it but it’s a texture that those paying attention will appreciate. The Pinot Grigio itself has an understated apple and pear flavour. A crisp flavour that complements the freshness of the dish.
Following up was the Baked Seafood in Oyster Shells. This was a creamy salmon bake garnished with Salmon caviar. Continuing the theme of creamy textures. This dish was all about introducing subtle flavours. Whether it be the slight smoked taste of the salmon or the salty burst of the caviar all hidden within the bake itself. This was paired alongside a Serafino Goose Island Sauvignon Blanc 2019. This pairing is more contrasting then complementing. A sharper more citrus taste which sits in your mouth helps accentuate the minor flavours of the dish. Still an excellent pairing but in a different way to the first.
Next up was Bearnaise Torched Scallops. This was served with Bacon, Beetroot, Kale and a Potato and Sweet Potato Puree. Scallops are torched ever so lightly as to give it a satisfying crunch without losing any of its natural texture or flavour. The accompaniments are what make this one memorable. The puree is infused with cumin to give it a noteworthy distinction in the dish. The bacon and beetroot themselves assist in giving differing hits of flavour. This was served with a Serafino Bellissimo Fiano. This wine shares some simularites with the Sauvignon Blanc with its citrus flavours with a floral touch. That kind of characteristic is a much better match for the distinctive aromas of this dish versus some of the others.
Now it’s time to bring out the big guns. Lobster Thermidor. A half lobster, coated in a creamy garlic sauce, served on a bed of cheesy risotto. This is perfection on a plate, easily the highlight of the night. Lobster cooked just right, crumbing easily, with rich and tangy flavours blended together in a creamy heaven. An easy 10 paired with a wine of equal calibre. The 2017 Serafino Sharktooth Chardonnay. A full bodied wine of heavy oak and charcoal that go along with the salacious deliciousness of the lobster to create a decadent pairing.
And that isn’t even the crescendo. To finish the dinner portion of the evening is a Smoked Tenderloin of Beef. Served with a potato bake and puree and a drizzle of apple sauce. This dish was actually a bit of a come down for the previous one. Now that may be the fault of the grandeur of the Thermidor rather than any issue with the Tenderloin. The steak itself is cooked as a precise medium rare with the potato bake and apple sauce giving it that home cooked vibe. This is paired with a 2013 Serafino Bellissimo Tempranillo, which Charles advised has an evolving character with each year maturing the taste and traits of the wine. Its blueberry incense heightens the sweeter condiments of the dish. A Sharktooth Shiraz was also paired with the Tenderloin to give a hearty, full bodied brew to cap off all the lighter whites. With similar notes of berry with a touch of chocolate this allows it to be a touch different while not contrasting away from the Tempranillo.
As an epilogue to the whole affair is a suitable dessert. Espresso Chocolate Cake served with the Serafino Fortified Tawny NV. Tawny Port on it’s own is an acquired taste paired with a Chocolate Cake this is somewhat more pronounced. The chocolate cake has a softer mouse like quality and has that ideal sauce and espresso blend. Mixing it with the Port make it too sweet for most to handle but I myself like the pairing. I do however have a ravenous sweet tooth.
Sammy’s on the Marina, as always, have absolutely hit this one out the park. This time teaming with Serafino Wines they continue to display their adaptability and skill at providing expertly done pairings with just about anything. Sammy’s do degustation’s multiple times are year and it really pays off to at the very least go to one.
Words and Photos by Jonathon Tonkin
WHERE: 12 Holdfast Promenade, Glenelg