Match of the week
Scallop tartare and sauvignon blanc
What on earth do you do when you have a line-up of some of the best wines in the world in front of you? Do you attempt to match them or reflect more the mood, the company and the time of year? Or, given that they're indisputably the hero of the occasion, do you just go with the sort of food the kitchen does well anyway?
Venerable wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd went for a combination of the second and third strategies - choosing for Burgundy specialist Jasper Morris’s leaving lunch a light summery starter of raw scallops with cucumber, radish and apple salad that wasn’t the obvious match for some simply thrilling white burgundies. But obviously nobody cared - it was an incredible treat to get to taste such wines.
The wine that ‘did’ hit the spot was an oak-aged 2014 Dog Point Section 94 sauvignon blanc* from Marlborough in New Zealand, very much in its prime, which absolutely sang with the scallops but would you turn your nose up at a 2004 Meursault or Montrachet? I suggest, dear reader, you would not.
The other standout combination rather than standout wines (they were all spectacular) were the two reds that were served with the cheese course of Montgomery cheddar, Tunworth and Cote Hill Blue (a blue brie from Lincolnshire) - a 2003 Vega Sicilia Unico and a 1997 Ridge Monte Bello. Great choice of cheeses - none were too strong or stinky and both reds were mellow and mature enough for their tannins not to create problems with the cheese - which can be the case with younger wines
The main course of lamb with grilled Provençal vegetables and an olive crumb worked predictably well with two grand cru Charmes Chambertins - a 2010 from Olivier Bernstein and a 2000 from Denis Bachelet and a 1999 Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu from Domaines des Comtes Lafon (in magnum)
And I should confess that we drank 2001 Chateau d’Yquem with the dessert - a lemon tart with orange carpaccio and lime (and maybe coconut) tuile
I doubt if any of us - including the Berry’s team - got a great deal of work done that afternoon ....
I ate at Berry Bros as their guest.
If you found this post helpful and would like to support the website which is free to use it would be great if you'd make a donation towards its running costs or sign up to my regular Substack newsletter Eat This, Drink That for extra benefits.