Some tasty recommendations to try
Just imagine. My first memory of being taken to a fine-dining restaurant was as a very small boy.
An American friend (we thought all Americans were rich) took my mother and I out for a rare treat and, as cars were few and far between then, we left our cottage — across from what is now the City Hall car park — and went by horse and carriage to Bailey's Bay.
Now after so many years in the wine trade, many restaurant folks have been in our home and we in most of their establishments.
Many of us are missing these good times, but there are some restaurants offering takeout menus and some of us are happy to do our best to recreate the experience in our home.
Personally, we are all set. Many years ago we purchased a quite large semi-professional range, built a fine kitchen around it, added some bedrooms and so on and voila, we had a family home. Add the restaurant background of my wife and we were all ready!
Now that our shop on Harbour Road in Paget and Discovery Wines on Bakery Lane in Pembroke are taking orders for pick-up, I would like to suggest a few wines that have been popular in restaurants.
Pascal Jolivet 2018 Sancerre is a candidate for our most-asked-for sauvignon blanc and Pascal tells us that 2018 is quite possibly the most perfect year in the past fifty. We know to expect flint, gooseberry and a touch of green pepper, but 2018 added greater fruit and floral sensations. James Suckling rates it a fine 92/100 and writes: “Sancerre with pretty sliced grapefruit and light fennel and lemon leaf character on the nose and palate. Medium to full body. Fresh acidity. Clean finish. Serious concentration from the vintage. Drink now.” $31.85.
Two villages in Burgundy that sit on deposits of clay and limestone from the Jurassic age, join together and make a very fine chardonnay. Their names are Pouilly and Fuisse and their 2018 is a seductive wine that is golden in colour with green tints. Exceptional weather conditions give us floral fruity aromas with a hint of almonds and ethereal lightness. It will be at its best at about 55F. Wine Spectator magazine gives it 90/100 and we sell a bottle of Drouhin 2018 Pouilly Fuisse for $36.15. I have just made my weekly outing for food and thinking this will do justice to fresh haddock.
As the weather begins to warm, I am mindful of a wine that some of our fine restaurants did very well with by the glass and the bottle. James Suckling gives the 2018 92 points and writes, “This is the real McCoy for this price point. The freshness here is undeniable, as it exudes citrus, rose petals, nectarines, sliced, dill and coriander and the signature strawberries and cream. Flavourful and intense on the medium to full-bodied palate yet so very restrained and elegant.” He is reviewing Whispering Angel 2018 Rosé from Château D'Esclans in Provence. $28.55
Good Californian pinot noir has been so trendy by the glass and Talbott has been a top seller. The website Vinous rates our Talbott Kali Heart 2016 Pinot Noir 90/100 and says: “A brilliant red. Lively red berry and candied rose aromas pick up notes of cola and allspice in the glass. Fleshy and seamless on the palate offering fresh raspberry and cherry flavours that become sweeter with air. A minerally flourish adds lift and cut to the floral-dominated finish which lingers with very good tenacity.” $29.10.
Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon can certainly be numbered among the world's very best, but the land is so much in demand that vineyard and grape prices have soared. For a special treat we can offer you a 95 Parker point for under $50 though. Here is what he thinks of the Louis Martini 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley spends 18 months in a combination of 30 per cent new and 70 per cent used French and American barrels. It is another big boy at 15.4 per cent natural alcohol. This wine, which was not yet in bottle, is fabulous, and there are 42,000 cases of it. One of the strongest efforts yet from the Martinis, this cuvée still sells at a fair price for something this compelling. The wine has an opaque purple colour, a beautiful nose of blueberries, blackcurrants, liquorice, camphor and graphite. The wine is full-bodied and multilayered on the palate with sensational richness and length. It should drink well for 20 to 25 years.” Our price is $48.30.
Bordeaux reds are always popular in restaurants and among our top few is Château Teyssier St Emilion Grand Cru. We are just switching over to the fabulous 2015 vintage that Canadian critic Natalie MacLean rates 92/100 and describes this way: “This is a full-bodied and elegant 70 per cent merlot and 30 per cent cabernet franc red wine blend from Château Teyssier. Fresh and fragrant red plums, baking spice and dried tobacco leaf on the 2015 vintage, silky and velvety on the palate with plushy plum, red and dark berries, sweet cake spice and vanilla flavours on this flavoursome Bordeaux red. Food pairings: pizza, pasta, rare steaks, pork tenderloin.” $42.15.
I believe that the first restaurant opened in Paris in 1765 and wine has been with us for 7,000 years, so we should light the candles, put on the dinner music and imagine a more prepared future for us all.
• This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail email@example.com or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George (York Street, 297-0409). Visit www.wineonline.bm