Soneva Fushi Winemakers Series Presents Andrew Quady

Travel News Asia 1 February 2005

Soneva Fushi Resort in the Maldives begins its third year of popular Winemaker events, by re-introducing Madera California winemaker, Andrew Quady. Events will include wine tastings, a degustation dinner and the ultimate island barbecue picnic.

Andrew Quadys Winery specializes in dessert wines from under-appreciated muscat varieties, in ports, and in aperitif wines. Essensia and Electra made from Orange Muscat and Elysium from the Black Muscat variety can either accompany or replace a dessert. Starboard, a port type wine made in a fruit forward-softer style, is Quady's euphemism for port.

Recently, Andy introduced Vya Vermouths, made in two styles, extra dry and sweet, for use either as an aperitif or to mix with spirits. Vya is a vermouth for the connoisseur.

Vya extra-dry vermouth is a whole new idea in dry vermouth. The creative objective was to give equal weight to the vinosity of the base wines - a mixture of Colombard and Orange Muscat - and to the selection of botanicals. The resulting vermouth is mysteriously engaging, wine-like with a note of coolness and with an aroma described as like being in a forest after a rain. Some 15 different botanicals: mainly leaves, flowers, citrus rind, and seeds were used. To retain the delicate complex flavors of the base wines and the botanicals, Vya was minimally processed.

Vya sweet vermouth, inspired by the best Italian sweet vermouths, is all about sensations which stimulate the taste buds, producing a mouth-watering effect. Vya sweet induces a warm tingling in the mouth with a subtle balance of bitter and sweet. For Sweet Vya, a special base wine using Orange Muscat and Valdepenas - for its red fruit tones - was made. The botanicals consist of bark, roots, seeds, and citrus rind. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and wild Asian ginger, are some of the constituents.

Tastings in the 6,500-bottle Barefoot Cellar will be an informal discussion of the ports, an opportunity to experience the evolution of these rare efforts from an pioneering wine maker. With the vintages spanning over 20 years, the tastings will be looking at wines of nascent beauty and elegant maturity. These fortified wines will be paired with classic cheeses of France and Italy.

What poses a delightful challenge is the thought of incorporating the rich, sweet spices of Asia, the purity and freshness of the resort's organic garden greens and the abundance of tropical fruits and seafood into a Degustation dinner in Me Dhuniye Restaurant, which will include the ports, sweet muscats and low alcohol wines by Andrew Quady. Chef Ashley enjoyed great success with this concept last year and is looking forward to creating another daring menu on this occasion.

The picnic will feature the low alcohol Electra, which is ideal for the tropical sunshine and coral sands, and a sublime addition to the array of freshly caught reef fish, light Asian salads, papaya, mangoes, coconut. Guests will also quench their island thirsts with the extra dry VYA vermouth.

Dates and prices for events are: Wine tastings- February 9 and 10 - US$70 per person; Degustation Dinner - February 11 - US$125 per person; Island Barbecue with Andy - February 13 - US$185.

See other recent news regarding: Soneva, Maldives

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