The only problem with writing up indulgent booze fuelled experiences, is the overwhelming impulse to try and re-live some of that fun and book oneself back in to do it all over again, immediately (or crack open a bottle of wine but it’s only 11am). Read on as we divulge details on a decadent wine pairing dinner at L’Etranger.
We haven’t been out much in West London of late, due to spending much time East or in Soho, devouring all that’s new in eats and drinks (loving the new House of Ho and Polpetto). Always happy to mix things up, we headed to SW7, home to the already established L’Etranger restaurant and basement bar; shrine to the grape, Meursault.
In our quest to find London’s best and most exciting food and drink related ways to enjoy oneself, we were invited to experience a wine pairing supper at in the elegant private dining space at L’Etranger. The wine dinners we are told, are normally held downstairs (but they were having a new floor put in) in a space called Meursault, which is a veritable wine shrine. With wall long wine cabinets filled with rare and vintage bottles, they boast an incredible list.
With subdued anticipation we accept the invitation and attend the dinner. Low level nerves set in because there is nothing more uncomfortable than being part of an intimate event if it is not done with the utmost confidence. Sitting through course after course of potentially mediocre food, wine and company is a waste of precious life, yes, we know, we are hard to please. However, we knew that masters Corney and Barrow were leading the unfolding wine scenes and we had confidence in the restaurant director Ibi Issolah’s passion for stunning wines (the original General Manager of the legendary Atlantic Bar & Grill). Ibi and his team are proud to present one of Europe’s largest wine lists and a clear lust for the grape is simply effervescent.
Walking into a small room with strangers can be intimidating but Ibi made for an experienced host, skilled introductions to fellow winos ensued and we jumped at the chance to pick Joe Muller’s brains (of Corney and Barrow). We fire off all the questions that we have been eager to ask. An interview with Joe is due on the blog in a couple of weeks. Thanks again in advance to Joe.
Our evening of wines was an homage to Magnums, which Joe tells us, is the optimum bottle size for wine and champagne to age – we can’t quite remember why but we’ll be sure to ask Joe again in his interview.
We started sipping on Delamotte, which has now become a firm favourite. Delamotte is from the very same winery that is responsible for the critically acclaimed Salon.
Having not even sat down yet, the first of our Delamotte is quickly quaffed, glasses are swiftly and generously refilled. The rabble of the room rises: we do like a well-lubricated group!
We are seated and Joe tells the group a little more about the wines we will be drinking and the stories behind them, the group is captivated, enchanted. Each course served is a pleasure.
Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut, Magnum, France
Slice Charolais Beef Fillet with Sesame and Citrus Dressing
Macon-Verze, Domaine Leflaive Burgundy, France
Seared Quail “Rossini” with Polenta Gratin and Wild Mushrooms
Passopisciaro, Italy, Magnum 2008
Chocolate and Praline Bomb Infused with Macha Tea Parfait
Domaine de Coyeux Muscat, France 2006
£75 pp we feel is a very reasonable price for the level of hospitality and generosity we received.
Beautiful wines accompany each course, each seemly better than the last. This bounty of wine leads to some roguish talks of the company continuing the party to a local club, but it’s a school night, we are tipsy and happy. We clumsily climb over chairs and divvy out kisses and thanks, as if we have all been friends for years. We pour ourselves into a passing taxi and try to write some notes about the evening, we have a feeling it will all be a blur in the morning.
We’ll certainly be back for other evening of west London wine lushing.
Their next wine tasting dinner is on the 26th of Feb and if they aren’t already fully booked, we suggest getting in there quick.
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