1 November 2007
By Douglas Blyde
I now know what it is like to be mauled by a sommelier.
The day after England beat France at the rugby, I found myself in a top French restaurant, working my way through a wine tome so extensive that it required an index. Contemplating a crisp, neat salad with a light dressing to begin, I chose an English wine from Kent - Chapel Down's '06 Bacchus. My thinking was that this bright, white-currant scented white would have sufficient refreshingly lithe acidity to cut through the oily dressing.
However, on ordering this international wine challenge medal winner, the wine waiter from "Boh-dou" became so brazenly offended that he rushed into a tirade of alternative recommendations, all more expensive. Naturally I persisted in my choice, and found that the acidity in this well-made, also hawthorn scented wine was actually strong enough to scythe through his un-erudite prejudice. The point I am trying to make, is that if you crave a particular taste, don't allow yourself to be terrorised by a liquid bore whether encountered in a restaurant, bar or wine shop.
People who really love wine will share their passion with warmth and generosity.
*It is again time to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau, the frisky, cherry scented, light-hearted wine traditionally released on the third Thursday of November following harvest. Gordon's Wine Bar, Charing Cross, will be celebrating its arrival within their cobwebbed den of inequity. I will definitely be sampling their single vineyard, organic rendition with smoked salmon and kedgeree. Telephone 020 7930 1408 to reserve your place and meet the winemaker.
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