I’ve gone on quite a bit about cycling and sailing over the past few months, so I thought it was about time that I brought some balance back into my soliloquies and talked a bit about wine. So here goes.
I had the great pleasure to accompany one of my longest standing professional friends and retired Deloitte Partner, the good Dr David Best, to a rather pleasant wine tasting evening that was hosted by another good friend, George Rhys and his partner Piers Methuen of Elliston Southwick Fine Wines earlier this month. George and Piers host these events twice a year at the “In & Out Club” (aka The Naval & Military Club) in St James’s Square and they are great fun.
David and I arrived at the In & Out at around 7:30pm, having both spent the day working independently at the same public sector client. We met in the Canning Room and quaffed a pleasant glass of the Club’s sauvignon blanc, after which time I drew David’s attention to the fact that the booze at the wine tasting upstairs was free. Needless to say, it didn’t take either of us long to come to the conclusion that we should decamp upstairs to where the real action was taking place.
After we ascended the somewhat regal staircase, we arrived in the function room that George and Piers had taken over for the evening. It was on the first floor, opposite the Coffee Room. The array of wine that was available for tasting was second to none. There must have been half a dozen Champagnes, 25 whites, 25 reds and another half a dozen ports and pudding wines.
As firm believers of the principle that any drink that needs to be chilled (other than Champagne and pudding wine) has some inherent quality issue that is being disguised, David and I skipped the whites and positioned ourselves swiftly within arm’s reach of the decent end of the reds (They tend to be sequenced in ascending price order).
We tasted a few of the wines on parade and settled on three that were worthy of further attention, namely Chateau Lamothe-Bergeron 2009 (£33 per magnum), Chateau L’Expression de Margaux 2010 (£21.96 per bottle) and Paulliac 2011 (£21.96 per bottle). The first of these was awarded a Medaille D’Or in Paris in 2012; the second and third are anonymised (well sort of) wines from two rather well known Chateaux!
I had a quick chat with George to secure a case of each of the three wines to accompany various meals and gatherings over the forthcoming festive season, after which David and I ambled across the landing to the Coffee Room for dinner. George kindly donated a bottle of L”Expression de Margaux to accompany our meal to which the Maitre D’ of the Coffee Room kindly turned a Nelsonian Eye as we sat down at our table. If I remember correctly, David had the venison and I had a steak. The wine was a perfect accompaniment for both.
I’ve got my wine sorted for Christmas and I can highly recommend any of the three wines referred to above. Hopefully, I’ve bought enough!