Monthly Archives: October 2009

First Growths by the class in Bordeaux.

Having just been raving about wine by the glass being all the trend in India with the introduction of enomatic wine dispensers in hotels in New Delhi – what do I find upon my return to Bordeaux but an interactive wine bar ‘The Wine Gallery’.
In the Centre of town right next to the Grand Theatre you can now buy your prepaid credit card for 25, 50, or 75 euros and taste away from some of the top wines from Bordeaux by the glass including the 1st growths, all stocked in 6 enomatic dispensers;
You don’t have to blow your card in one go though, there are also second labels from the top growths to choose from and wines from €2 per glass. This is what Bordeaux is all about : the sublime to the ridiculous.
The Wine Gallery, 14 cours de l’intendance


600 glasses hanging from the ceiling by Bun Than Huynh
high above the Wine Gallery

A new wine – a new website

Martin Krajewski’s passion for wine knows no bounds, after renovating and rebranding , the reference rose in Bordeaux, he has invested in Saint Emilion.
Along with his New Zealand partner Marcus Le Grice they have purchased the tiny Clos Cantenac Grand Cru Saint Emilion and produced their first harvest in 2007. To coincide with this first vintage reaching the shelves they have just launched their web site – learn more by logging onto : www.closcantenac.fr

Love the flying pig !

Wine bars and wine lounges in India

Food is so fashionable here it’s all they seem to talk about and wine is catching up fast.
Most of the top hotels have wine cellars that are more than just storage but hospitality areas where guests can taste and explore the wine list of the hotel with the sommelier.
The Oberoi has the Enoteca wine bar and lounge in their all day dinning Three sixty restaurant offering over 1200 bottles from all over the world and a selection of over 25 wines by the glass. Sunny Chopra the Sommelier hosted a tasting while we were there for a group of young and enthusiastic New Delhi customers all keen to learn.
The Shangri La was the first hotel to introduce a enomatic wine by the glass machine to India and The Radisson in Noida, on the outskirts of the city center, is about to launch their new wine lounge with a similar machine under the new management of Parmeet Singh Nayar.
Offering wines by the glass is well established for the Indian wine market.
I joined in; turning my back on the French selection and tased 2 Indian wines from the Sula portfolio. Created by Rajeev Samant in 1997 they produced their first vintage in 2000 and are currently India’s most widely distributed wine. Their 2008 Sauvignon Blanc was delightfully fresh with more fruit than green notes and the same vintage Cabernet Shiraz blend was powerful yet sweet enough to accompany the terrific curries I sampled.

The Enoteca at the Oberoi New Delhi

The Spice Route

The food scene in New delhi is not just Indian; the array of international and exotic cuisine is outstanding.
It took 7 years to build ‘The Spice Route’ restaurant at the Imperial hotel in Delhi. Thanks to the painstaking research for and restoration of its unique collection of antique art, architecture, furniture and artifacts from along the spice route.
The whole concept is based upon South East Asian Cuisine retracing the Spice route. Before sitting down to eat ask the hostess to walk you around the restaurant and explain the philosophy and history of all the art work.
The mainly Thai cuisine, created by an Indian lady Chef Veena Arora, is a marriage of different eastern influences. Try the tasting menu if you have a hard time choosing from the array of exotic dishes.
Wines and Spices are not the easiest match but their wine cellar in the 1911 Brasserie (the date commemorates the creation of New Delhi as the nation’s capital) has one of the best selections of high end Bordeaux including a excellent wine selection by the glass.

 

The Spice Route ‘Family Room’

Last days of the harvest

In the Graves and Sauternes on Wednesday this week we caught the last day of the harvest. In Sauternes at Château Suduiraut they had finished picking on Tuesday with the last ‘tri’. Just in time as it poured with rain in the afternoon.
At Château Pape Clement we arrived as the final red grapes were being selected and de-stemmed by hand.

Looking out over the rainy vineyard of Château Suduiraut

Chocolates and fashion – now there’s a thought!

What do you get when a fashion junkie from Seattle marries a Meilleur Ouvrier de France chocolatier from Brittany?
Mode and Chocolat opened at the beginning of the summer on the famous place de la Comedie in Bordeaux. Downstairs a mouth watering selection of self-service chocolates, macaroons and specialist cakes from Georges Larnicol. Upstairs Lulu has created a girlie paradise in Hotel Lulu – a collection of vintage clothes, very Audrey Hepburn, sourced directly from the US and updated with each every trip back home.
Buy the chocolates first as when you’ve tried on the creations upstairs you will be full of good resolutions to keep off the kilos!

Hotel Lulu upstairs at Mode et Chocolat 1 place de la Comedie in Bordeaux

Hotel Lulu will be holding Chocolate and Fashion shows in Bordeaux on 12 & 13th November and Paris on the 19th for more information contact : hotelulu@me.com

Bordeaux-Bangalore.

India is Bordeaux’s 60th market. Always keen to ensure the wines of Bordeaux are understood by a growing potential market the l’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux is sending me to host three  Bordeaux workshopsfor the trade in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai starting this week.
For more information contact: Clément Marcotte clement.marcotte@sopexa.com

The Wine Society in Harrogate

The Wine Society was kind enough to invite me to present a selection from their range of Bordeaux wines this morning in the Sun Pavilion. The Pavilion is in the centre of Harrogate in the Valley Gardens and 50 members joined us to taste 8 wines from their Bordeaux selection – hopefully inspiring them to try even more from their comprehensive range. I’ll be tasting a similar range on the 7th November in Stevenage come and join us.

If you can’t be there get the tasting kit and taste them at home !

Delicious Yorkshire

As I am in Yorkshire for the Wine Society Bordeaux tasting in Harrogate it seemed a shame not to make the most of the glorious sunshine (yes really) and visit the Dales. Little did I know that it has become such a gastronomic destination. For inspiration take a look at the Deliciously Yorkshire web site.
Thanks to the Bordeaux accredited tutors in Yorkshire (you can check the list at www.Bordeaux.com on the wine school pages) I already knew that the Booths Supermarkets (affectionately known as the Waitrose of the North) was a terrific source of local produce as well as having a sizeable selection of ‘Everyday’ Bordeaux wines.
I re-discovered Yorkshire gastronomy starting with a Breakfast to fuel all the walkers over the Dales. It just kept me going until lunch!
I only had time to test 2 local pubs :
The Angel Inn at Hetton is more than a Gastro Pub, the food is a new take on great regional produce and the wine cellar across the street offers regular wine tastings and there are rooms for after the tastings !
I thought I had found another typical pub in The Game Cock Inn in Austwick, the food was great but the Crepe specialities and the French accents of all the staff gave the game away – tucked away in the Dales a French family have created another gastro destination.

The view over the Dales from The Game Cock at Austwick.

London on the Med!

When visiting London Kind friends always ask ‘Where would you like to have dinner?’ My standard reply is ‘Anything but French’ Once again they did me proud; 2 Italians and a Spanish restaurant were in the lineup. Negozio Classsica in Notting Hill has a terrific wine list and staff are happy to explain and let you taste before you decide which of the range of wines by the glass to choose. Served with the Italian equivalent of Tapas (if there’s a name for these answers to me my mail please!) it is the perfect start to the evening and we would have been tempted to dine there if only Essenza was not so close. This small contemporary Italian restaurant not only has a great wine list but the best truffle pasta I have tasted so far.
Heading West to Spain (or rather East to Piccadilly) El Pirata is so typical it was like being back in San Sebastian; delightful Spanish staff and a great selection of tapas which seemed like a light lunch option until they arrived at the table. All complemented by a great range of Sherries and Spanish wines.