St Regis Macao invited wine connoisseurs to an exclusive dinner in March to sample premium wines from the acclaimed Tuscan Villa Il Palagio Estate.
The dinner, at St Regis Macao’s Manor restaurant, celebrated the partnership between the five-star hotel and the wine estate, owned by pop star Sting and wife Trudie Styler, the Hollywood producer.
Il Palagio Estate is perched on the hills of picturesque Tuscany, Italy. Once owned by the prominent Martelli family, it was bought by Trudie Styler and Sting as a result of their search for a peaceful sanctuary and their passion for wine.
To realise their vision, the couple retained the original farmers and commissioned an extensive seven-year renovation. In less than two decades, the pair have revitalised the once rundown property and transformed it into a thriving vineyard.
Using organic and biodynamic farming methods to nurture the grapes, their commitment was recognised when their super Tuscan blend, Sister Moon, was named one of “Italy’s finest 100 Wines” by OperaWine – a prestigious accolade for Italian wines.
Wines from Villa Il Palagio are readily available at St Regis Macao. The selection includes wines named after Sting songs – Message in a Bottle 2015, Casino Delle Vie 2015, and When We Dance Red 2016.
The event was organised internally by St Regis Macao in collaboration local wine partner Claret Wines and the Il Palagio Estate. It took a little less than a month to organise the event as it was commissioned with a very short lead time.
The estate had a maximum capacity of 30 people for the dinner comprising a cross-section of wine lovers, sommeliers, and media.
The original plan was to welcome Trudie Styler to Macau for the first time, but she had to cancel at the last minute and another celebrity wine personality had to be found as key speaker. Hong Kong-based Master of Wine Debra Meiburg took her place.
To mark the occasion, The Manor’s culinary team crafted a five-course menu to complement Villa Il Palagio Estate’s premium wines. Ingredients included bottarga, red carabinero prawns, and Sicilian tuna belly, showcasing a selection of pan-European dishes.
Guests sampled five wines from the estate, including Casino Delle Vie 2015, the estate’s more traditional blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino. Expertly paired with The Manor’s grilled Rangers Valley black market short rib or Mandagery Creek venison fillet, the fine tannins offered the perfect pairing to the flavours of the main dishes.
Another popular blend, Sister Moon 2013, also named after one of Sting’s songs, featured mellow tannins, and was paired with the dessert.
The event was a great success despite the short lead time and the challenge of finding a last-minute replacement for co-host and key speaker Trudie Styler. The resilience and flexibility of the St Regis team enabled it to find alternative solutions to the small number of problems that arose.
Il Palagio sales ambassador Tony Sasa, who entertained guests and talked them through the wines, praised both the food and service.
“I cannot put on the plate so many beautiful words [for] all the spectacular dishes served during the dinner. From service to cordiality, I will just say that the word ‘spectacular’ sums up the evening.
“The service was like a performance of ballerinas. With regards to the food, I can say that all the courses made sense – matching the food with Il Palagio wines was just so perfect, like the perfect conversation between two perfect people.”
Most guests named the carabineros shrimps and sea urchin entrée paired with When We Dance as their favourite combination of the evening.