The Annual Wine Club Dinner Report



The annual Wine Club dinner is always a special occasion for me: I get to meet a number of you members who I otherwise speak to on the phone or by email. It’s a pleasure putting faces to names.

This year was no exception, though we’d decided early on to change our usual venue of the atmospheric, vaulted Napoleon Cellar to our glamorous Long Room in our Townhouse: from a 48 member capacity to a room that seats just 13 guests plus host. Much more intimate!

It’s always wonderful welcoming people into our luxurious Townhouse – which feels like a secret abode in the centre of bustling London – where we enjoyed an initial glass of Champagne to whet the appetite for the evening ahead. Mark Pardoe, Wine Club’s recently appointed head buyer, introduced himself, while we all supped on the deliciously dry Champagne Pierre Peters Extra Brut At this point I sadly left the evening while Mark took on the reins to host the dinner in the floor above.

The five-course menu for the night was once again impeccably selected and crafted by Stewart our head chef (making us wish we could replicate a mere morsel of the dish at home ourselves):

2011 Viognier, Le Pied de Samson, Vin de Pays, Domaine Georges Vernay, N. Rhône paired with roast & confit quail with a salad of spring vegetables & goats milk purée

2011 Grüner Veltliner Ried Schütt Smaragd, Emmerich Knoll, Wachau paired with seared scallop with morel & wild garlic ravioli, fricassée of new season peas

2007 Côte Rôtie, Domaine Pierre Gaillard, N. Rhône paired with tasting of spring lamb with light curry flavours, carrot & purée

2009 Banyuls Cuvée Léon Parcé, Domaine de la Rectorie, Roussillon paired with millionaires shortbread with caramelised white chocolate & raspberry jam

2009 Mirum, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva, La Monacesca, Marche paired with aged gruyere tart with rhubarb chutney & hazelnut oil followed by Berrys’ selected coffee & chocolate


Among the candlelight flickers in the decadent red-and-gold Long Room setting, it was a special evening, which I am sure Mark and guests won’t forget for a while.