Hirsch at the Grain Store

Had a lovely evening on Thursday. It was a last-minute invitation from Roberson’s Mark Andrew, who was holding a small dinner for new agency Hirsch: Jasmine Hirsch, daughter of founder David Hirsch was in town with wines in tow.

I have written up the wines – some of California’s most exciting Pinot Noirs – separately here. They are impressively [...]

An incredible wine lunch at Chez Bruce

Mareli Botha and Bertus Basson

Had a remarkable lunch yesterday. It was hosted by Keith Prothero with guest of honour Bertus Basson, star South African restaurateur (Overture at Hidden Valley). It was held at Chez Bruce, and the combination of food, wine and company was just about perfect.

Champagne Philipponnat Clos des Goisses 1996 France
Intense yet [...]

Lunch at the Glasshouse

Brian Smith of Elgin Ridge

Had a great lunch at the Glasshouse, Kew on Monday, with Brian Smith, a now-biodynamic winegrower in Elgin, South Africa. I first met Brian and his wife Marion at the same restaurant just over a year ago (so my blog tells me), and they’ve now got to the point where they [...]

In Logrono, Rioja, and an egg-themed restaurant

I’m in Logrono, Rioja, where I’m giving a talk about the role of the internet in wine communication for wineries, as part of a conference organized by closure manufacturer DIAM. Penin, the well known Spanish wine critic, is also taking part.

Last night the speakers and organizers had an informal dinner at an egg-themed restaurant, Manda [...]

Keith's remarkable fine wine lunch

Keith Prothero sipping 71 Coutet

A great lunch. One of the best.

It was hosted by Keith Prothero at the wonderful La Trompette in Chiswick. Keith (astonishingly generously) provided the wines, which we tasted blind, and then drank sighted. Here are my notes and some pictures of the wonderful food.

Dagueneau Silex Pouilly-Fumé 2007
Loire, France Very fine, [...]

Dinner at La Trouvaille in Blos, with interesting Loire wines

On Friday night, I had dinner at La Trouvaillle in Blois. By its decor, this doesn’t seem a terribly high-end restaurant, but the food is really good and the wine list adventurous.

I was dining with an interesting group: sommelier Henri Chapon, winegrower Lionel Gosseaume, and Dutch journalists Lars Daniel and Chris Alblis. We enjoyed some superb beef, and [...]

Dinner at Zona in Budapest

Dinner last night was with Agnes Herczeg and Gaia Gaja at Zona in Budapest. It’s a new restaurant that’s only been open four months, and it’s based around the idea of small plates. The name Zona refers to the portions. In communist times, apparently, if you weren’t very well off you could go late to [...]

A perfect wine list, what's yours?

A question. What would your perfect wine list look like? If you were to go into a restaurant and pick up the wine list, what – in an ideal world – would you like to find?

I’m going to set a rule: no wrongly priced or under-priced wines. We have to be a little bit realistic, and [...]

Lunch at Caravan, Exmouth Market, with Seresin Pinot, Palacios Priorat and Camden Pale Ale

Had a lunch worth commenting on at Caravan in Exmouth Market yesterday. It’s an airy, informal dining room with a menu that focuses on creative small plates, and a cracking, perfectly formed wine list.

Four of us ate well with a selection of the small plates, which were pretty imaginative and quite delicious – probably best described [...]

Dinner at Comptoir Cuisine, Bordeaux, with 1953 La Mission

I had a free evening in Bordeaux last night, and Matthieu and Anne-Laurence Chadronnier (pictured above) kindly offered to take me to dinner. I am so glad I accepted their invitation.

Matthieu is GM of negociant CVBG, and Anne-Laurence is a winemaker (and also blogs, at http://rougeblancbulles.blogspot.fr/). They are tremendously bright and represent the future of [...]