Last week I had lunch at my new favourite London hangout, the wine bar Terroirs which is run by a partnership including the quirky and original Caves de Pyrène. It's a place that you'll absolutely love if you're a Francophile: it feels just like a Parisien wine bar - without the surly service. The food is also cracking but as we'd resolved to kick off the new year by splitting a Vacherin Mont d'Or, as you can read on my cheese blog The Cheeselover, we didn't get a chance this time to sample chef Ed Wilson's robust bistro food.
Our meal kicked off with some really fabulous charcuterie - some of the best I've had in London, which we washed down with a bottle of Vin de Pays de L'Ardèche 2007, a vibrant young Syrah from Hervé Souhaut of Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet that was exactly right with the silky, sweet fat of the Lardo di Colonnato and some fine prosciutto and salami from Cinta Senesi.
Like many of the other producers that Caves de Pyrène handles, Souhaut is a natural winemaker who uses only organic and biodynamic winemaking techniques - his wines are widely available in the US and elsewhere if you check out his site
Surprisingly, as I have a strong preference for crisp dry whites with Vacherin, it also went with the cheese, mainly I think because of its own crisp acidity and lack of intrusive tannins.
It was one of Douglas Wregg's ('Caves' web maestro and restaurant advisor) favourite wines of 2008.