Made for each other
What’s the first thing you look at when you sit down in a restaurant – the menu or the wine list? No prizes for guessing what I reach for. I invariably choose dishes to match the wines I want to drink, rather than vice versa.
This puts me in a minority. Most people are happy with a bottle of Sancerre, Pinot Grigio, Rioja or Australian Shiraz – the default restaurant choices – or a tip from a sommelier. But I can spend 20 minutes reading a wine list. Friends have been known to prise the thing out of my hand to force me to make a choice. ‘But I can’t decide between the Ata Rangi Pinot and the Nuits St Georges,’ I plead.
If I’m honest, I’m a bit of a wine-list anorak. I read them for pleasure the way you might read a novel or a glossy magazine. There’s more variety than you might think. There are over-priced lists (all too common in London, alas), bargain-basement lists, specialist lists, lazy lists, wine lovers’ lists, lists that could double as Authentic Prada Handbags Uk dumbbells. A wine list tells you more about the restaurant than the decor, the staff and the stemware put together.
I’ve spent a lot of time criticising (and occasionally enjoying) other people’s lists over the years, but Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Online Store now I’ve Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Messenger Bag been given the chance to create one of my own. Tamarai, a top-end pan-Asian restaurant in the West End, is opening in mid-October and has hired me to do its Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Uk Sale list. ‘You have a blank piece of paper,’ owner Rohit Khattar told me. ‘Just make sure the wines work with the food and limit yourself to 150 bins.’ If you’d let me loose in a CD store with £1,000 in my pocket I could not have been happier. I spent the best part of a fortnight in a basement tasting hundreds of different wines with the prototype menu. For once, I was choosing bottles to match the food.
There’s always a bit of a struggle between the Biggest Prada Store London person putting the list together and the bloke who has to pay the bills. I stipulated from the start that I didn’t want to get involved in pricing or negotiations with wine merchants. I just picked eight of my favourite merchants and asked them to send up to 100 wines each.
I’ve tried to make the list user-friendly. The Apertura Outlet Prada Montevarchi whites Black Prada Chain Bag are divided into Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, Rieslings Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Uk Sale and ‘others’, with the fourth category including Verdejo, Albariño, Loureiro, Greco di Tufo, Vermentino, Grüner Veltliner, Torrontés, Viognier and Chenin Blanc. The wines are quirky, but (I hope) approachable.
The reds are divided by weight into light-, medium- and full-bodied, with more of the first two than the last. I have avoided overly tannic wines. There are lots of Pinot Noirs, both from the Old World and the New, but I’ve also listed a lot of lighter Italian wines, as well as a few oddball grapes like Grolleau, Bonarda and Monastrell. There’s also a (small) fine wine list, some good champagnes and sparkling wines, a few fortifieds, an eclectic mix of sweet wines and 12 unusual wines by the glass. I hope you’ll come and Authentic Prada Handbags For Cheap try them, but if you can’t make it, this is a taste of what’s on the list – but at retail, rather than restaurant prices.
2004 Alamos Bonarda, Mendoza (£6.87, Bibendum, 020 7449 4120)
A juicy, plummy red made from one of Argentina’s more unusual Italian imports with lots of colour and flavour.
2004 Santa Rita Reserve Carmenère, Rapel Valley (£6.99, Berkmann Wine Cellars, 020 7609 4711)
Carmenère is to Chile what Zinfandel is to California: a near-native speciality. This is grassy and soft with beautifully handled oak.
2005 Willunga 100 Grenache, McLaren Vale (£7.77, Liberty Wines, 020 7720 5350; £7.99, Sainsbury’s)
Another by-the-glass shoo-in, this is the sort of wine that made Australia famous. Perfumed and soft with raspberry fruit to spare.
2004 Belguardo, Morellino di Scansano (£9.99, Enotria, 020 8961 4411)
A stylishly packaged pure Sangiovese from Maremma in Tuscany, this is an expressive red with attractive cherry fruit.
2004 Syrah, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes, Georges Vernay (£8.95, Yapp Brothers, 01747 860 423)
A northern Rhône vin de pays that’s better than most Crozes Hermitage, this is perfumed and spicy with elegant tannins.
2004 Le Cousin, Grolleau Vieilles Vignes, Vin de Table (£9.05, Caves de Pyrène, 01483 538 820)
A weird and wonderful red that tastes even better chilled. Sappy and fresh with masses of Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shoes Sale blackberry fruit.
2003 Chinon, Cuvée de la Cure, Charles Joguet (£12.85, Fields Morris & Verdin, 020 7921 5300)
Classic Loire Cabernet Franc is under-represented on wine lists. This grassy, structured red should help to change the balance.
2003 Palazzo della Torre, Allegrini, IGT (£12.99, Liberty Wines, 020 7720 5350)
A classy Veneto blend of Corvina, Rondindella and Sangiovese, this is one of my favourite modern-style Italian reds.
2001 Nuits St Georges, Premier Cru, Jeunes Vignes, Domaine de l’Arlot (£32.41, Corney & Barrow, 020 7265 2430)
Just the sort of red Burgundy that I’d like to drink in a restaurant, this is a complex, multi-faceted Pinot Noir with succulent tannins.
2005 Côtes de Saint Mont, Les Vignes Retrouvées, Producteurs Plaimont (£6.16, Les Caves de Pyrène replica prada calfskin handbags, 01483 538 820)
An ideal by-the-glass white made from a cocktail of Gascon grapes. Rich and characterful with notes of grapefruit and lemon zest.
2005 Domaine Felines Jourdan, Picpoul de Pinet (£7.34, Bibendum, 020 7449 4120)
One of the Languedoc’s most overlooked varieties, Picpoul deserves a greater following. Honeyed and nutty with impressive weight.
2004 Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Roulot (£13.99, Berkmann Wine Cellars, 020 7609 4711)
It may only be a generic white Burgundy, but this tastes like a very good Meursault, with a creamy texture and vivid acidity.