Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year 2011…

L-R: Tom Harrow, Denise Medrano, Moi, Adam Hyman, Zeren Wilson, David Lowe, Simon Burnton

As a wine lover, there is little I enjoy more than getting together with friends and sharing a meal accompanied by beautiful wine.  It is one of life’s simple pleasures and one of my most cherished pursuits.

I recently did just this with a group of wine blogger friends.  Tom Harrow, the Wine Chap (@WineChapUK) brought us all together for a fabulous dinner at Coq d’Argent, one of the City’s best restaurants, and recent recipient of the Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year 2011 award.

In charge of the award-winning list is Head Sommelier Olivier Marie who carefully paired the stunning wines that accompanied each of the six courses.

Foie Gras and “pain d’epices”, mulled wine jelly & pickled pears, served with Pinot Gris Cuvee Laurence Domaine de Weinbach 2005

The interesting thing about these wines is that they did not come with a lot of pomp and circumstance from an array of decanters, but instead were all served by the glass from an enomatic machine.

This is such a wonderful way for diners to be able to drink and enjoy a range of fine wines without having to purchase a full bottle to do so.

Enomatic machines are extremely popular, especially in wine bars and shops (Selfridges’ Wonder Bar and The Sampler are two good examples), but are also a wonderful tool for restaurants as well.

Rainbow trout fillets, almond crust with parsnip puree, baby spinach, pumpkin seed, sultana and apple salad, red wine emulsion, served with Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon Domaine Leflaive 2008

As a sommelier, we are always trying to encourage diners to try something interesting, so to be able to have a different wine with each course is a great way to learn and discover unusual and inspired food and wine pairings.

Diners can enjoy four serving sizes, instead of the standard ‘glass of wine’. At Coq d’Argent, they offer their selection (four whites and four reds) in 25ml (perfect for a tasting sample), 100ml, 125ml and 175ml.

“Coq au Vin”, chicken drum braised in red wine with baby onions, mushrooms and bacon, served with Gevrey Chambertin Mes 5 Terroirs Denis Mortet 2004

As you can see from the photos, the meal was spectacular.  The flavour combinations of each course were impeccable and the wine pairings added another dimension to the harmony of every morsel.

The Domaine Weinbach Pinot Gris 2005 ($14, 125ml) was the wine of the night for me, and brought back memories of my very first wine dinner with Domaine Weinbach as Head Sommelier at the Chesterfield Mayfair in 2006. Such an expressive palate with exemplary acidity, a simply quintessential wine.

The Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon Domaine Leflaive ($20, 125ml) was very subtle – the almond crust and texture of the trout elicited soft nutty notes.

Venison tartare on celeriac & hazelnut remoulade with pickled apple compote, served with Chateauneuf du Pape Chateau La Nerthe Cuvee des Cadettes 2004

The Gevrey Chambertin Mes 5 Terroirs Denis Mortet 2004 (£14, 125ml) was huge! I was surprised by such a darkly coloured, pungent Gevrey, but with the combined richness of the chicken, sauce and creamy potatoes, anything less would have been overpowered.

Going to a cold dish, the Venison tartare, after the Coq au Vin was a nice touch and the Chateauneuf du Pape from Chateau La Nerthe Cuvee des Cadettes 2004 (£22.50, 125ml) was also a treat.  Rich, dark and comforting, this wine could easily be the perfect Christmas Day pairing.

Fillet of beef with sauteed wild mushrooms, truffle and pan fried foie gras, served with Saint Emilion Chateau Troplong Mondot Grand Cru 1995 and Saint-Estephe Chateau Montrose 1996

With the fillet we had two exceptional Bordeaux.  We all agreed that the Chateau Montrose 1996 (£32, 125ml) was our preferred wine on its own, but with the particular dish and all the robust flavours of the beef, the truffles and the mushrooms, the Chateau Troplong Mondot 1995 (£30, 125ml) was the better match.

Apple tart thin & Roquefort, served with Vouvray Moelleux Reserve Clos Naudin Philippe Foreau 1989

The dessert was something quite unusual (and the photo doesn’t really do it justice) because the sweet and salty flavours were a fantastic combination and the presence of the Roquefort made it possible for the accompaniment of the Vouvray Moelleux Reserve Clos Naudin Philippe Foreau 1989 (£32.50, 125ml).

Sommelier Olivier Marie talks with Simon & Tom

Many thanks to Tom Harrow, Olivier Marie, the chefs and serving staff for an exquisite meal, beautifully paired with appropriate, elegant wines by an attentive, yet unobtrusive team.

Coq d’Argent
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
020 7395 5000

There’s always time for wine!

Tara – Wine Passionista

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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. Colin Smith
    6 years ago

    My mouth’s watering about the food AND the wine!

  2. They were all good dishes, excellently paired, but that steak with mushrooms & truffles. Yum.


    p.s. What a handsome crowd!

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