So the bit about ‘nice wines’ in the title was an understatement. The wines were spectacular.
It was the Primum Familiae Vini lunch at The Square, one of London’s top restaurants. The PVF is an association, or club, of 11 family owned wine companies from across Europe, and between them they can put on quite a show. Each member showed a young wine and an old wine, and there were some real highlights, which I’ll report on in a separate post.
Here, I wanted to talk food. In the presence of some exalted wines, it’s easy to overlook the food, and this was one of the very best meals I’ve experienced.
It began with lasagne of dorset crab with a cappuccino of shellfish and Champagne foam, which was just beautifully prepared, and had lovely flavour (pictured top). It went well with Champagne Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 1988 and Drouhin’s Marquis de Laguiche Montrachet 1990.
Then we had the star dish of the day (among many potential stars): loin of monkfish with glazed trotter, savoy cabbage, lentils and red wine. This combined the fleshy, slightly meaty texture of the monkfish with a deliciously rich lentil preparation, with the flavours working in harmony. A real red wine fish dish. It went best with the Beaucastel 1990, but also served with it were the Solaia 2001 and Sassicaia 1996.
The next dish had a task matching up to some very special wines, which stole the limelight a bit. It was venison wellington with baked celeriac and beetroot puree, and it was quite stunning. But the wines were even more so: Mouton 1961, Torres Mas La Plana 1982 and Vega Sicilia 1953. All completely different, but all very special indeed.
The dessert was also first-rate: a bitter chocolate pave with a seville orange souffle. So well executed. Hugel Gewurz SGN 1976, Egon Muller Scharzhofberger TBA 1990 and Grahams 1963 were the trio of quite exceptional wines that we drank with this.
The full write up of the wines is now online here