Match of the week | Fruit and flower tart with German auslese riesling

Match of the week

Fruit and flower tart with German auslese riesling

I've struggled to come up with a single pairing from last week as all the matches I was offered at the two-Michelin-starred The Ledbury were spot on but this, I think, is the most spectacular.

It was a new dessert they had just put on - the prettiest imaginable tart topped with a violet (I think) crème patissière, wild strawberries and pansies and two shining scoops of rose and violet sorbet.

A tricky match for any wine but the head sommelier Anya produced a bottle of Keller Dalsheimer Hubacker Riesling Auslese 2004 from the Rheinhessen in Germany which was light, sweet and floral itself. Just perfect.

Other good matches she devised were an Argyros Assyrtiko with a ‘royale’ of squid with cauliflower, pinenuts and sherry, a Mon Vieux Aquifer semillon from the Swartland with a dish of quail’s egg with asparagus, wild garlic, morels and Arbois and a robust Reinisch St Laurent with an amazing dish of pig’s cheek with a crunchy crumble-like topping. (I’d told her I didn’t want to drink any French wine as I drink predominantly French at home.)

This is not, of course, the cheapest way of drinking at The Ledbury - or any top end restaurant. As they know me and knew of my interest in food and wine pairing they treated me to several of the glasses but they would normally come to at least £50 if you’d had had one with each course*. There are bottles available on the list though for as little as £25 (though the best value is in the £30-50 price bracket) and an excellent list of half bottles. And the £45 lunch, which is what I went for, is incredible value for money for that quality of food and service.

* The current 2010 vintage of the auslese is on sale at Hedonism for £63.10 a half bottle so the £13 a glass the Ledbury is charging for the 2004 is not unreasonable.

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