Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Magnificent Seven

Seven of the UK’s leading winemakers are coming to town to share with consumers their visions in a new series of mid-week tasting dinners. In a UK first, the award-winning Artisan & Vine wine bar is teaming up with to launch a Best of English Meet the Winemaker series of events. Taking over Artisan & Vine’s popular Wednesday evening slot, the winemakers will guide guests through five of their wines alongside a three course meal specially created by resident chef James Robson.
Kathryn_at_Camel_ValleySpecialising in “natural” and English wines, Artisan & Vine founder Kathryn O’Mara – seen here visiting Sam Lindo at Camel Valley in Cornwall – firmly believes that English wines are at a very exciting stage. “It is rare that we get the opportunity to be involved with something as it goes huge… winemakers in England are unencumbered by tradition or commercialisation, they have the pleasure of artisanal choices – for now.
"Another exciting element of the series is the opportunity to hear first hand why each winemaker makes the choices they do and how those choices manifest in each bottle of wine;those insights absolutely enhance the experience of drinking a wine."
So what about the food? "English wines are characterised by delicate flavours,” says chef James, who joined Artisan & Vine in the Autumn from one of Paris’ leading natural wine bars, Restaurant L’Office. “It's an exciting challenge for a chef to match that subtlety.” To do that, he’s  going to use “subtle English cheeses, like goats curd”, as well as his trademark Mediterranean style of cooking – lemon juice and olive oil rather than butter and cream for example. “Those fresh Mediterranean ingredients, interestingly, make an ideal complement to the freshness of English wines,” he says. "And we're going to play with traditional wine tasting sequences. I feel that in some cases, those lovely rich English sparkling wines will match as well with a pudding as they would an aperitif."
Robson will be serving seasonal fare, with dishes such as Welsh Queen scallops with black cabbage and blood orange; and Tamworth pork loin with pink fir apple potatoes and Puglian olive tapenade
This is your chance to hear Sam Linter on how she makes Burgundy beating reds at Bolney Estate, to find out from former winemaker of the year Sam Lindo why Camel Valley is such a good spot for vines, and to discover what's next for industry leader Chapel Down when CEO Frazer Thompson heads the table. Find out how Julian Barnes has such success with Ortega at Biddenden Vineyard, hear about the growth curve of the youngest winery on our roster from a’Beckett’s Paul Langham, and taste through RidgeView’s peerless selection of sparkling wines.
Best of English ticketEvents kick off in February with Artisan & Vine favourite, Brightwell Vineyards. Owner and winemaker Carol Nielsen will showcase her red and white wines, and offer a preview of her 2010 rosé and sparkling.
Best of English Meet the Winemaker
With 35 places available, tickets are available to book online from Artisan & Vine.
Artisan & Vine, 126 St John's Hill, Battersea, London  SW11 1SL, 0207 228 4997

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