Friday, 5 October 2012

Bordeaux Wines dinner with The London Foodie

In our ever-experimental age, food and wine pairings are becoming increasingly daring. Gone are the days of sticking rigidly to lazy, hackneyed alliances, like white wine and fish, or Port and blue cheese. The doors of opportunity have been flung open and all sorts of strange combinations are popping up – London foodies and winos have been howling with delight for hotdogs and grower Champagne at James Knappett and Sandia Chang's charmingly irreverent Bubbledogs. 

To illustrate that Bordeaux needn't be relegated to meat-heavy main courses, the ever dapper London Foodie Luiz Hara invited a ravenous bunch of food and wine hacks into his cosy East London home for a five-course Japanese feast, enlisting the help of glamourous wine glugger Christina Pickard to pair each of the dishes with a different Bordeaux wine, from white, to rosé, to red, to sweet. I've been lucky enough to eat at many of London's most hotly-anticipated new openings in the past few years and can honestly say that Luiz' food could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of them.

Thoughtfully presented and elegantly scented, his dishes were meticulously executed and full of flavour. Among the highlights was the opening plate of salmon sashimi served with an American twist in the form of wasabi infused soured cream, though the dish that will linger longingly in the mind is the Woody Allen-esque Deconstructing Sushi, formed of grilled scallops, Tobiko eggs, spicy sauce and sushi rice – a composition of such richness, creaminess and alluring beauty, I was tempted to steal my neighbour's shell and suck out the goodness.

As for the wines, while the Réserve de Sours Sparking Rosé NV proved a curiously delightful pairing for the popcorn flavoured with Japanese Seven Spices doing the rounds in Luiz' living room before we ventured down to the kitchen, the standout wine was the creamy, unctuous and beautifully textured Château Roquefort Blanc Roquefortissime 2008 – sounds like a cheese, tasted sensational, and a steal at just £12.99 from Waitrose – I'm debating buying the entire allocation at my local Chiswick branch and I'm not even a Sauvignon girl. The toasty, spicy, apricot-laced Ginestet Sauternes 2009 also pleased the crowd, especially when enjoyed with decadent dark chocolate cake.

Huddled around a table of die hard gastronauts, conversation inevitably turned to food, and soon after, a competition to see who could come up with the wittiest food-related film puns. Many a suggestion was thrown into the ring, from There's Something About Dairy to Silence of the Clams. In my finest hour, I offered Beef Encounter and The Prawn Supremacy. Leaving Luiz' replete and happy, the memory of the Roquefortissime endured. Bordeaux whites are largely under the radar, though there are many gems to be unearthed displaying the holy trinity of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and judiciously judged oak.

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