Bespoke Cheese & Wine tasting at the Andaz Liverpool St
Hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of Liverpool St is the Andaz Hotel. I love the fact that the hotel is situated on the original site of the Bethlehem or “Bedlam”, as it became known in the local vernacular, mental institution. The hospital is long gone but it does make me wonder what sort of crazy goings-on could be playing out behind the stone facade even today.
The Andaz was opened in 2007 and the hotel’s mission is to deliver a unique experience incorporating the local personality into the hotel. As the Andaz is located very near the tragically hip and trendy Shoreditch, the place has some rather interesting art work and decor. Having said all that though, I do love walking into the desk-less lobby. The hotel has 5 restaurants and bars from which to choose from and I was invited to try out the Bespoke wine and cheese tastings that they do in the 1901 restaurant. The restaurant also offers cheese and canape or cheese and small plates matchings with wine.
First off the space is dominated by a long bar that runs down the centre of the room. It ends with tasting table at the end, surrounded by the wine racks and cheese cupboards. There are over 700 wines to choose from and the best of British cheeses for your bespoke experience. I asked the sommelier, Joris Beijn, to pick out the of wines to go with my British cheeses and a few small plates that we also ordered.
Joris chose some fantastic wines to pair, an arneis from Piedmont, by Michele Chiarlo was a surprising start but I do enjoy those savoury Italian whites and this cracker of a wine ticked all the boxes, green apple, grapefruit, hints of lemon pie on an elegant body of wine. Great match with the harder cheeses.
There was also a 2000 1er Cru St Aubin on offer as well as the 2006 Rubicon from Meerlust which was great with the very juicy and plump shrimp which was one of the small plates. Joris also matched the cheeses with a rather unusual silvaner beerenauslese, the 2006 Hans Wirsching. Bracing acidity but full of sweet maple syrup, and layers of candied orange and tangerine peel flavours and aromas, a long finish kept this wine from fading from memory. I do love those racy stickies.
And speaking of, Joris knows from a previous visit that I like Madeira, so he cheekily poured me a shot of the Blandy’s Sercial 1966 in between plates. Madeira is even more ignored then sherry in my opinion and the ’66 was tasting like a superstar – fresh acidity, nutty notes and that caramelized/oxidized note that’s a hallmark of Madeira. Love’em!
The 1901 offers these bespoke tasting for up to 12 people around the tasting table. For more information telephone 0207 618 7000 or contact Andaz Dining.