Galvin Bistrot de Luxe’s birthday

Rain in the summer in London is a real pain because even if it looks cold outside, it’s really not. Rather, it’s muggy and humid and when I get to wherever I’m going, I’m all hot and sweaty because I overdressed. Such was the case as I arrived at Galvin’s Bistrot De Luxe for a pre-birthday dinner a few weeks ago. Galvin had just the thing to cool me down as I joined everyone else at the dinner table. Sipping on a French 75, the house aperitif for the month of September in celebration of their birthday, was just the ticket. Galvin has taken the classic cocktail and put a twist on it, originally made with champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar, they’ve substituted the gin for calvados which gave it a nice apple-y twist. Hosted by Sara Galvin, we were there to take a trip down memory lane to five years previous and sample the menu as it was then. On the menu for dinner were some originals from 5 years ago. Starting with the terrine of ham hock & foie gras with onion confit, a very tasty, meaty slab of terrine, it was paired with an Alsatian riesling, the Brandluft 2006 from Dom. Lucas & Andre Rieffel. I love most rieslings and think they are great food wines. The Brandluft did not disappoint, a classic nose of spices, limes and riverside minerality with plenty of ripe peaches on the palate and a refreshing limey finish. A fruity but dry wine, it worked a quite well with the sweetness of the ham, score another one for riesling. A Corbieres was next, the 2008 Ch. Ollieux-Romanis. A blend of carignan, syrah and grenache it’s a big, powerful wine. Carignan is always a signal for rather muscular wines to my mind and this was definitely in that category. Blackberries and fruits on the nose and palate with excellent structure, a wine that was suited to the Pithivier of wood pigeon & quail that we had...

read more

Craggy Range 2008 Te Muna Road riesling

A short note today on a riesling from New Zealand. Riesling has many guises from the deliciously slatey, fruity Germans of the Mosel, bone dry yet aromatic Alsatians to the limey Australian rieslings that come from the Clare and Eden Valley. There is a riesling for everyone, no matter what your preference. And now, New Zealand has joined the club of premium riesling producers. Riesling does very well in the cool climate and and stoney soils of  Martinborough and Marlborough, New Zealand. Craggy Range has produced a real cracker of  a Riesling from their Single Estate Te Muna Road vineyards in the Martinborough region. The grapes come from 2 small terraces that are part of the famous Martinborough Terrace which has exceptional, old stony soils.   The grapes are handpicked, whole bunch pressed and go through cool fermentation before being left on the lees for 4 months. This gives the wine a complexity and body that is a hallmark of Craggy Range. I find that New Zealand rieslings seem to combine the aromatic quality of Alsace with the fruitiness of a german riesling while still retaining it’s dry character. There can be some residual sugar but I find that there is no where near as much as can be found in many German rieslings, especially those that have a few  years of age. I often find that New World rieslings go very well with Indian cuisine. I was at Mint Leaf Lounge for a dinner and  The Craggy Range Te Muna Road riesling was served with a curry, potato and mullet dish with a mustard sauce. The riesling had a vibrant, floral citrus nose, a well balanced wine with lovely passionfruit and citrus notes, it had a depth and elegance that made it a true pleasure to drink. I enjoyed  it on its own as well a with the fish, the wine neither being overpowered or overpowering the fish. Craggy Range’s riesling is a fine example of what New Zealand is doing with this...

read more

Cloudy Bay Crab Shack, coming to Parsons Green

Summertime. Time to head outdoors and enjoy whatever sun we can get here in London. Cloudy Bay is getting into the spirit of the season and featuring a touring crab shack in the UK. They’ve teamed up with Chef Tom Aikens to bring sustainable seafood to the people. I was one of a few lucky wine and food bloggers invited to Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea to match Tom’s especially created dishes with Cloudy Bay wines. Tom had come up with 8 different seafood dishes which we had to narrow down to the top 4 and match them with Cloudy Bay’s range. It wasn’t easy as all the dishes were delicious, although there was a bone of contention as to the merits of the salmon with chili lime peanut crumb. It was good but nowhere near as good as the spiced crab cakes with tomato salsa and guacamole. That had me reminiscing about the Maryland crabcakes I enjoyed when I lived in the States. The crabcake was matched with Cloudy Bay’s 08 Chardonnay and it was a lovely match. The chard was not too heavily oaked, the tropical fruit highlighted as well as the spiced notes which married well with the crab cakes. One of my favourite Cloudy Bay wines is the 2006 Te koko sauvignon blanc. I do adore this wine. Fermented with wild yeasts and left by itself for anywhere from 3 – 12 months to finish fermentation in open oak barrels, it is a unique wine. I tried this wine a year ago and my has it evolved since then. I enjoyed it then and I still do now but what a different profile. Where as before it was quite buttery and yeasty, now it had acquired a mineral, savoury character with some very creamy notes and lifted white flower notes, most notably jasmine come to mind with a savoury palate and a lemony citrus finish. Matched with the fried paprika squid with lime, a tasty combination, the squid very tender and...

read more

Wine and sushi at Tsuru in the City

When eating sushi, wine is not most peoples drink of choice. By why not? What if I told you I prefer wine with  Japanese food or, more specifically, sushi and wine? Why? How? Where? Well, it shouldn’t surprise you that I have wine with just about every meal but wine and sushi can be perfect dinner partners for everyone. Last year I went to a food and wine matching night at Tsuru sushi at Bankside near London Bridge. I thought it was a brilliant idea to match sushi with wine. People often think that it’s near impossible to match Japanese food and wine but Tsuru had done a good job of it and it was a fun evening all round. You can read about the evening and watch the video here. Forward one year and Tsuru have expanded to a new location in Bishopsgate, The City of London. I went to their  opening the other night and was curious to see how the whole food and wine matching was going and if they had stuck to the idea of promoting wine with Japanese food. Happily, I can say that wine is still an integral part of their menu and not only that but Tsuru is striving to make good wine affordable to their customers. Too many restaurants in London feel the need to gouge the customer on the wine list but luckily Tsuru is not one of them. The most expensive wine topping out at £32 for a Macon Verze from the biodynamic producer Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy and Philloponant champagne priced at £34.50, might even be cheaper then in the shops. Their wine list is short but packed with wines that can show off the best against those sometimes very strong Japanese flavours. The list mostly sticks to French wines but does stray into German and Italian terroir now and then. The 2007 Sybille Kuntz Estate dry Riesling is a wine that matches very well with the sweetness of teriyaki while still being...

read more

Chatting with Jean Trimbach

Some of my favourite wines are from Alsace. I absolutely adore those gewurztraminers and rieslings  that can really only be produced at the foot of the France’s Vosges Mountains. I’ve talked about Hugel and now it’s that other big Alsatian hitter, Trimbach. Trimbach have been producing their wines since the 1600’s and specialize in riesling. I was at a dinner  not long ago at Trinity restaurant in Clapham for a pig masterclass and wine matching evening. The food was expertly matched by chef Adam Byatt. Adam walked us through how to butcher a side a pig. For a very thorough write up of the food we had, please check out Eatlikeagirl’s post here. As for me, The Winesleuth, I was able to chat with Jean Trimbach, the 13th generation of Trimbach, about their special Cuvee Frederic Emile riesling which was made in honor of the 375th anniversary of the founding of Trimbach. Click on the video to see what Jean has to say about the quintessential Trimbach riesling Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more
%d bloggers like this: