The closest link between the people that make wine and the people that drink it
At 12.30 on the 18th May at the glorious venue of our cellars in 3 St James’s Street, 30 or so colleagues and Cellar Plan customers met for a Friday afternoon ‘bring a bottle to share’ lunch over fine food and, of course, fine wines.
The format for the afternoon is based on a Burgundian tradition called a paulée. Originally a paulée was a winemaker’s lunch lasting many a pleasant hour, to celebrate the end of harvest with wine, speeches and dancing. Please note that dancing is not compulsory during our long lunch yet the event remains suitably bacchanalian.
The gathering started with a glass or two of Parcelle Inflorescence Champagne from Bouchard before settling into the Napoleon Cellar for a starter of cured and confit salmon, cucumber ketchup and crayfish fritters and a couple of whites; a delicious 2008 Chablis ‘Montée de Tonnerre’ from Billaud Simon and 2009 Pinot Gris, Rotenberg, Domaine Zind Humbrecht, amongst others.
The tasting is very much a combination of passing around bottles provided both by Berrys and a bottle brought by each attending customer.
A few other wine highlights;
2002 Volnay, Domaine Pousse d’Or
2000 Echezeaux, Domaine Daniel Rion
1995 Riesling, Cuvée Frederic Emile, F.E. Trimbach
1988 Riesling, VT, Hugel
2000 Pol Roger, Brut
1998 Billecart-Salmon, Nicolas Francois
1998 Ridge Geyserville, Sonoma County, California
2006 Chene Bleu, Abelard, Vaucluse, France
We also enjoyed a set of Domaine de Chevalier wines; a 2004 white in magnum, a 2007 white in bottle and a 1989 red (currently available online).
And from Bordeaux we were treated with a great Claret trio of 1996s which offered an interesting comparable tasting courtesy of Chx. Branaire Ducru, Clos du Marquis and Pichon Baron (also tasted against the 2001 Pichon Baron brought by another customer.) These wines proved to be a wonderful match with the main course of braised beef short ribs and seared fillet with grilled spring onions and blue cheese croquettes. Delicious all round!
As evening fell, we concluded with a selection of cheeses and a glass of Tawny Port to round things off. A fine Friday afternoon.