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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
No.1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ
020 7395 5000
There’s always time for wine!
Tara – Wine Passionista
Tags: Chateau Montrose, Chateau Troplong Mondot, Coq d'Argent, Domaine Weinbach, Louis Roederer awards, Louis Roederer Wine List of the Year, Olivier Marie, Selfridges, The Sampler, Tom Harrow, Wine, Wine & Food, Wine Awards, Wine Chap, Wine Events