Match of the week | Roast pigeon and Salice Salentino

Match of the week

Roast pigeon and Salice Salentino

A slightly unseasonal but absolutely delicious wine pairing from Bjorn van der Horst’s much anticipated new restaurant Eastside Inn. The talented Van der Horst used to cook at the Greenhouse and then for Gordon Ramsay at La Noisette and has now branched out on his own. I’ll be posting a full review in the next couple of days but this, for me, was the outstanding match of the meal, selected by sommelier Thierry Sauvanot, also ex-Ramsay.

The key ingredient - a highly original twist - was a gooseberry compote which really keyed into the wine, a Cantele Salice Salentino 2006 from Puglia. It lifted it above the ordinary (not that there was anything wrong with it, it’s just an inexpensive wine) and made it taste sumptuously brambly and velvety. The other accompaniments - a rich but not over-heavy jus and some girolles acted as a good supporting cast.

A lesson that you don’t necessarily have to drink great wine with Michelin-starred food if the sommelier knows his job.

My meal at Eastside Inn was complimentary

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