I was invited to host a food and wine evening by the Bristol Uni Wine Circle last week which I have to say, despite the vast quantities of food and drink consumed, they took impressively seriously.
We kicked off with champagne (Pol Roger 2000), moved on to manzanilla (La Gitana) and tapas, then prawn and monkfish brochettes with leek puree with Avery’s Clare Valley riesling followed by duck pie and mushroom risotto which were paired with a 2006 Chambolle Musigny Aux Echanges from Nicolas Potel and a 2010 Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva Pinot Noir from Chile (the Chambolle went best).
Then - deep breath - apple flan and Sauternes (Bastor Lamontagne 2006) followed by Roquefort, LBV port, Maury and chocolate brownies. All I can say is that I hope the Wine Circle members land themselves a well-paid job. They’ll need it to keep up that lifestyle.
All the pairings went pretty well I thought. I particularly liked the prawns and riesling but the standout combination was the Churchill 2003 LBV port and rich dark chocolate brownie. I’d expected the Maury to be the better match but as it was an very old vintage (1974) the fruit was a bit dried out. The Churchill however was in its prime - beautifully smooth and velvety with a lovely flavour of wild blackberries. It went well with the cheese too. A great way to end a meal - or, rather, marathon blowout.
Most of the wines came from Avery's, I think, except the Churchill LBV which I ironically wrote about last week on the Guardian website in a blog about wine clubs. It's quite widely available though, as I pointed out, prices fluctuate considerably - from £11.80 at slurp.co.uk to £15.50 at Oddbins who also recommend pairing it with dark chocolate - and Fats Waller (part of their new pairing wine and music schtik!)