An Evening of Swine and Wine

Swine and Wine. Sounds like my idea of a very good night indeed and my friends over at DVine Wine teamed up with Lardy Da (cute) to put on a supper club-y type dinner the other night somewhere under an arch near London Bridge. A big sparse room, with concrete floors, art pieces scattered around the walls and a rockabilly bass player in the corner greeted me as I entered and I thought, yeah, this should be a good night. What made me sure it was going to be a good night was the big paper bag full of pork crackling on the table I noticed when I sat down. Brilliant idea in lieu of bread! DVine Wine, who I’ve written about before, are all about sourcing sustainable wines, not necessarily natural wines, more like biodynamic or organic which, if they happen to be natural, well that’s just a good wine nonetheless.  Lardy Da is all about the swine and using the bits and pieces that normally get thrown out (like trotters and tails for the jelly) for their ethically sourced pork pies. The idea of pork pies and wine, well, why not? The first wine we had was a sylvaner, a lesser known grape from the great producer Domaine Ostertag. This wine was a winner round the table, a 2007 it was lusher then expected with ripe granny smith apples and a pleasing coconut flake nose, finishing off with dry, zippy lime notes. Served with a trad pork pie, it cut through the fat like a scythe. A New Zealand sauvignon blanc but not as we know it. The 2010 Urlar s.blanc was a throwback to the way NZ SB used to be – gooseberry, passionfruit and lime with none of that cat’s pee on the nose. I do hope that is falling out of favour. This was a fuller s.b. then I’m used to but delicious indeed. It was served with a pig’s head terrine which I didn’t really think had much...

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Wine(sleuth) and (London) Food(ie) matching supper club

So the London Foodie and I put on a supper club not long ago. How did that happen? And more importantly, how did it go? Luiz and I were sitting around one evening, shooting the breeze and imbibing a delicious red Rhone. “We should do a dinner with food and wine matching!” One of us always says that whenever we start drinking the vino but we never get around to actually picking a date. This time was different. “Let’s pick a date and do it,” I said. Goading Luiz on, he jumped on the laptop and put up a post right then and there announcing our supper club date. Next morning – “uh-oh.” Luiz came up with a menu in two seconds but me, well…better get thinking about what to match with Japanese (!) cuisine. Japanese food is notoriously difficult to pair with wine and for some reason we decided to call the evening ” French wine and Japanese food” in our wine haze. I love champagne and honestly, it does work so very well with  Japanese cuisine so a quick email to Perrier Jouet and they offered up the Mumm NV rosé for one of our courses. I paired it with the starter of tuna tataki with yuzu dressing. Rosé champagne is great with food, sometimes even better then non-rosé champagne. Everyone was surprised and delighted to be served bubbles in the middle of a meal. The rest of the menu featured still table wines from my friends over at DVine Wine. Greg and co. are big on sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines and I was impressed by their range when I worked with them on a recent market stall. I chose a 2010 sauvignon blanc from Guy Allion in the Loire. A elderflower and gooseberry flavoured wine, a great aperitif and paired with the canapes of Yakitori Chicken, Peppers and Baby Leek in Teriyaki Sauce and sushi, everyone commented on what a delight the wine was both by itself and with the...

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Seafood and wine workshops at the Andaz Hotel

Oct 10, 11 Seafood and wine workshops at the Andaz Hotel

Posted by in Food and Wine, Hotels and Spas

7am on a Saturday morning is not the usual start time for events I attend, 7pm is more like it, but since Billingsgate market is only open early mornings, I had no choice but to be up at the crack of dawn to get down to the market for the new series the “Andaz Liverpool Street Seafood Workshops” in conjunction with Head Chef Martin Scholz of Catch Restaurant (part of the Andaz Hotel) is launching during the London Restaurant Festival. Catch’s Head Chef, Martin Scholz met us at the Billingsgate market and gave us a tour round, meeting suppliers, showing us the different species of fish the market sells and showing us how to select seafood as well as shop sustainably. The market was winding down but the time we got there (8am) but Saturday the market is open to regular punters and there was still plenty of people around and fish to buy. I’d never been to such a big fish market and it was eye-opening to see fish as something other than fillets. Frankly, they are not the cuddliest animals around. After our tour we headed back to the Andaz Hotel for our seafood cookery class in the Andaz Studio, a private dining room/workspace where we would be helping out Chef Martin and his assistant chef, Gavin. The space is great as it has an open plan kitchen at one end where guests can either watch the chefs at work or roll up their sleeves and pitch in. We got to slicing and dicing the ingredients for our lunch. Chef Martin was great, funny and friendly but a consummate professional at the same time. Cooking with the chef was not only fun but also educational as Martin had lots of little hints and tips. It took a few hours to get lunch ready but it was well worth the wait. A light and delectable bouillabaise to start, arctic cod with chorizo risotto and olive tapenade stuffed squid for the main followed by...

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The Ultimate Box Collection from Moet & Hennessey, winemakers video

Why were 3 winemakers from far flung parts of the globe all in Central London at the same time? They were here for the launch of Moet Hennessey’s Ultimate Collection Box, a collection of 6 iconic wines from MH’s wine portfolio. Although there are 6 different wines, it is hard enough to get 3 winemakers together at one time, let alone all 6 so I felt lucky to be chatting with Manuel Loazada of Numanthia, Nicholas Audebert of Cheval des Andes and Ian Morden of Cloudy Bay, all 3, Chief Winemakers for their respective estates. The Ultimate Box Collection was designed by Argentine artist Pablo Reinoso and is a handsome, handcrafted wooden jewel box designed to showcase the flagship bottles from each of the wineries from its Estates and Wines portfolio which are: Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon, Cloudy Bay’s Te Koko, Cheval des Andes, Newton’s The Puzzle, Numanthia’s Termanthia and Terrazas de los Andes’ Afincado Malbec. The box was created in part to respond to the growing consumer demand for Super Premium New World wines. Why would Moet Hennessey put together such a box and launch it now, I asked Manuel. Well, now is as good as time as any, he replied. And besides, if they waited to get all 6 winemakers together in one place, it would never happen. I had a brief chat with the 3 to see what they thought of the whole Collection concept… The Ultimate Collection Box is available from Harrod’s and at a suggested retail price of £500 so start saving those pennies… Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Food and wine match, 7 Springs Sauvignon Blanc & chicken with roast lemon

I’ve always loved to cook but since I’ve fallen in with all these London food bloggers who cook and review restaurants, I’ve gotten a bit shy about my cooking abilities, so to speak. I do, however, know how to cook and although I might not make very exotic or time intensive recipes, it usually comes out pretty darn tasty. At least my flatmate, Giordi, likes my cooking. Score one for The Winesleuth. So, when I got an invitation to take part in the latest contest to contribute a recipe, I thought I’d enter. Being The Winesleuth, of course, I had to find a wine to pair with whatever I cooked. Usually, when I decide to cook, I look at what wines I have to hand first and then think about what to cook that will go with it. So it was, one Saturday afternoon, I had a look at my wine rack and spied a bottle of the 7 Springs 2010 Sauvignon blanc from South Africa. I had tried the wine about 5 months ago and enjoyed it very much so I was curious to see how or if it had changed. When I had first tried it, I thought with it’s fresh,crispy, citrus character, this wine would probably go well with chicken in some form. So I yelled up the stairs to Giordi, “Hey, do you fancy chicken for dinner tonight?” I heard some sort of agreement and fired up the laptop. I don’t have any cookbooks but I do have the web and found a recipe from an American magazine, Bon Appetite for Chicken with Roast Lemons, Green olives and capers. A very simple recipe that can be made in less then hour, this dish was fantastic. I had to tweak the recipe a little bit as the local Turkish shop only had Turkish olives marinated in lemon (the recipe calls for green Sicilian olives) but the dish came out fantastically. Very tasty and tender chicken and the flavour the roast...

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