Match of the week | Paté en croute and mature Saint Estèphe

Match of the week

Paté en croute and mature Saint Estèphe

Having spent two days in the company of the most high profile advocates of the art of food and wine pairing in France, the Gardinier brothers of Taillevent, I have more outstanding wine matches than I know what to do with this week

But I’m plumping for this one just because it’s an unusual idea to start the meal with a full-bodied red Bordeaux.

The meal was in fact at the more casual offshoot of the restaurant, 110 de Taillevent, whose USP is that it pairs every dish with four alternative wines, ranging from 5€ to 22€ a glass. The paté en croute, a real old-style piece of French charcuterie that apparently takes two days to make, is a staple of both the Paris and London branch.

In Paris it’s paired with one white and two reds, a 2014 Jumilla (no, the wines aren’t all French!), a 2012 white Saint Joseph, a 2010 Moulin-a-Vent and a 2009 Pauillac from Chateau Latour. But because the brothers also own Phélan Ségur in Saint Estèphe and wanted to show the 2008 with it that’s what we had.

And it was just lovely - very smooth, plummy and elegant - and not so overpowering that you couldn’t follow it with another wine, even a white. That owes a lot to the fact that it was a relatively mature vintage, as indeed are many wines on the list. The Gardiniers have their own vast cellar just outside Paris where they age all their wines. (Fascinating. More on this to follow)

It even took the accompanying cornichons in its stride which was quite a feat!

I ate at 110 de Taillevent as a guest of the restaurant.

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