Decanter Fine Wine Encounter, this weekend, Nov. 17-18

It’s that time of year again, yes, time for the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter! I went to the last one in the Spring which was the Italian Fine Wine Encounter so I can tell you that they are fantastic events. The last one was at the gorgeous Landmark Hotel in Marylebone and this weekend’s event will also be held there. Decanter puts on wine masterclasses as well as a grand tasting so if you’re into your Fine Wine, you really shouldn’t miss it. This year, over 600 of the world’s finest wineries will be there including Champagne Taittinger, Casa Marin, Fontodi, Meerlust and Château D’Issan.  Saturday is sold out but Sunday sessions are still available, which include the following: 11am Château Figeac Speaker: Comte Eric d’Aramon, owner − 1.30pm Henschke Speaker: Johann Henschke, winemaker − 3pm Wine Grapes: A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, their origins and flavours Speakers: Authors Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Dr José Vouillamoz and Julia Harding MW So what are you waiting for, tickets for Sunday will be available on the door and cost £55 per person. Masterclass and entry, £95 When: Saturday, November 17th SOLD OUT, Tickets still available on the door for Sunday, November 18th 11am to 5pm Where: Landmark Hotel, 222 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ, UK Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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The Table Cafe menu relaunch and new wine list

Aug 20, 12 The Table Cafe menu relaunch and new wine list

Posted by in Food and Wine, France, Italy

I went to the relaunch of  The Table Cafe in Southwark the other day.  The main draw for me was the fact that fellow wino, Matt Walls had worked closely with the owner, Shaun Alpine Crabtree to create a wine list that was features wines and grapes that might not normally be found on UK wine lists. The evening was jam packed with the wine-eratti of the blogosphere, thanks to Matt Walls, who was on hand to meet and greet and talk about his new book (Drink Me) as well as the wines that he had chosen for the list. A small, thoughtful list, there were lots of wines that I, as a wine person, wish would get more exposure: for the reds, St. Laurent (Austrian red), Mencia from Bierzo, a reasonably priced and good Nebbiolo (£30), for the whites – Grillo, Verdeca, and Garnaxta blanc. That was just a few examples of the off the beaten track wines to be found. The best thing is the markup is not outrageous, the majority of the wines in the under £30 price range. Table Cafe was also introducing a new menu from Chef Cinzia Ghignoni, lately of Duck Soup in Soho, who wants the kitchen to focus on regional Italian cooking with a special emphasis on the cuisines her home region, Northern Italy. Table Cafe is also a big proponent of sustainability and recently was granted 2 stars by the SRA for their use of  herbs from local allotments and Regent’s Park honey. The menu is divided into small and large plates and they serve Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Brunch on the weekends. Their full menus are here  online. As for us, we had a sampling of the food and wine that evening:  I neglected to take a pic of the first starter which was Baccala mantecato with polenta crisps paired with a Portuguese Adega de Moncao Vinho Verde 2011. Very garlicky but as with all things garlic, so, so good. Loved the polenta crisps,...

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Win a pair of tix to Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House

Film4 Summer Screen is returning to Somerset House from 16th to 27th August, and The Wine Sleuth has teamed up with the official wine sponsor of this year’s events, Bordeaux Wines, to offer a pair of tickets to one of the sold out performances – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (PG) on Sunday 26th August. All tickets are completely sold out so this is your chance to win tix. To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets for the performance, all you need to do is answer the following question: Q: Bordeaux is the home of grapes renowned the world over. Name one of the three most widely used grape varieties in Bordeaux blends. Tip – there is a hint here TO enter: leave the answer in the comment section at the bottom of this post. Our lucky winner will be able to enjoy Steven Spielberg’s wild, whip-cracking sequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark. The man in the hat is back when Harrison Ford returns as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The action comes thicker and faster second time around, as Indy’s search for a mystical stone leads him to a dangerous subterranean world and pits him against a sinister religious cult. Each evening a film will be shown on the giant screen with full surround sound under the stars. The series will offer visitors an exciting and eclectic line-up of classic, cult and contemporary films, enjoyed with Bordeaux wine by the glass or bottle. Alongside the films will be an accompanying programme of insider talks and special events as part of Behind the Screen, and ticket holders are invited to arrive early and listen to a line- up of London DJs. The official wine sponsor of this year’s events, Bordeaux Wine, from the South West of France has produced red, white and rosé wines for centuries. Bordeaux wines will be on sale at the Courtyard Bar and the CIVB will also be sampling wines...

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I know this great little place in Covent Garden…Dalla Terra

Aug 04, 12 I know this great little place in Covent Garden…Dalla Terra

Posted by in Food and Wine, Italy, wine bars

I know this great little place in Covent Garden, it’s called Dalla Terra. It’s easy to miss even though it is in the heart of Covent Garden, just off Long Acre as a matter of fact. Dodging my way past the throngs of shoppers and tourists, I turned off on to a sleek corridor of shops which ended in an open stone courtyard, surrounded on all sides by some very beautiful architecture. Dalla Terra’s glass fronted facade announces its presence in big white blocky letters. Stepping inside though, it’s very inviting, warmly lit with walls of wine lining both sides of the interior. One side of the room has individual tables  whilst the other side has a long communal table, ending with a table for two situated right next to the glass walled wine cellar. There’s also a long bar at the back of the bar if you just fancy a few bar snacks. It’s a wine bar that specializes in small Italian wine producers. They range from the big boys like Banfi and Gaja to small, natural wine producers. As many of you know, I am sceptical of natural wines but there are enough good ones to justify having them on a list and Dalla Terra has some winners. We were there for some wine and food matching. Dalla Terra has a full menu as well as cheese and charcuterie platters.  We tried  a fab dish of marinated hake before moving onto a “board” of meat as it’s termed at the restaurant. Dalla Terra sources as much of their food from Italy as possible and the charcuterie plate was a bonanza of salami! They offer a salami and cheese board paired with 5 different red and white wines and is available for only £20 – bargain and well worth it! The cheeses as well were all Italian. We picked a red wine to go with the cheeses, a Valpolicello, Kairos  from the producer, Zyme. A rich, textured wine, bursting with flavour, a succulent...

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Malmaison’s Olympic cocktails

Jul 27, 12 Malmaison’s Olympic cocktails

Posted by in Hotels and Spas, restaurants

Just  a quick post today seeing as it’s the beginning of the Olympics. If you find yourself in Clerkenwell and fancy an Olympic themed cocktail, head over to Malmaison Hotel. They’ve come up with a string of cocktails for their guests. Going for the gold? Try the Gold Martini, vodka based with elderflower cordial, it’s finished off with a garnish of edible gold powder.  Second prize goes to the Silver Martini, a very fresh gin based cocktail, it reminded me of alcoholic lemonade and was waaaay to easy to drink. Although it’s called the Bronze Martini, it was my favourite, a whiskey based cocktail, it was very similar to my favourite –  a Manhattan, and was garnished with edible bronze powder. There were also a few other cocktails on the list, including the Olympic Flame, a long,tall and quite fruity drink, the very pretty Team GB Martini and, the most enticing to me, although I didn’t order them, the 5 Olympic shots – pretty much pure liquor shots. If you’re curious, here’s what they’re made of… Blue: 15ml Blue curacao, 20ml Absolut vanilla Black: 35ml Patron XO Cafe Red: 15ml Grenadine, 20ml Absolut Citron Yellow: 15ml Galliano, 20ml Absolut Mandrin Green: 15ml Midori, 20ml Absolut Apeach Malmaison will be running these cocktails throughout the Games so pop in if you’re around Clerkenwell. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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