We know our stuff

We’ve been working on our wine list in a dedicated fashion since our relaunch in 2005. Our first list was made for us by Peter McCombie MW and even though our wines have changed many times since, the valuable princples he set out still guide our thinking.

His idea of setting out the list by types of wine – from Crisp, Dry White to Spicy Red – rather than country of origin has proved very useful as a way of homing in on the kind of wine you want to drink.

Matching wine with food is subjective, but there are some combinations that never work well, most outstandingly so in the case of strong tannins and chillis. This is the reason there are no Bordeaux on our list, for example.

When we began matching our dishes to our wines, we were initially disappointed that some wines we liked very much did nothing for our food. So now, we test out potential new wines against a sampling of our dishes before putting them on our list. And we now match every dish on our menu to wine (sometimes beer and even to cocktails on occasion).

We make a few introductions a couple of times each year in response to new dishes and to new wines from our suppliers. So, like our food menu, our wine list is a work in progress.

Please do ask us about wine choices when you come to dine with us. We’re here to provide the best quality experience we can.

These are a few matches that work well

From the starters, our Quail breast with black sesame seed, green papaya salad and sweet chilli is one of those fortuitous dishes that matches both ways, with a white and a red wine. In the white match, The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne’s tropical fruit and ginger characteristics are keying in with the salad, while the rich glycerine content is providing a foil for the racy sharpness and the chilli heat of the dish. For the red match, Primitivo, 62nd Anniversary Reserva, the sweet spices and dried fruit characteristics are working with the dish and the velvet, soft tannins and high glycerine are ameliorating the sharpness of the salad and simultaneously complementing the quail breast.

In the mains, Baby aubergine, peanut sauce with spinach, cottage cheese and seasoned semolina cake also works with white and red wines. Fiano-Falanghina, A Mano‘s fruit, green spices and fennel characteristics complement the aubergine and spinach and this white wine’s lively acidity knocks back the richness of the peanut sauce. The red match, Valpolicella, Le Vigne, works in a different way with the sour cherry fruit/almond characteristics contrasting with the rich peanut sauce and the wine’s softness and good acidity lighten up the taste of the dish.

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