The now customary Annual Dinner was hosted at the Savile Club on Friday 29th September 2017. Our gathering enjoyed a splendid Fare prepared and served to the usual high standards. Our wine from Eastern Europe and Foods from Western Europe were as follows:

Menu

Smoked Salmon, Anchovy and Dill Terrine with New Potato Salad and Wild Chervil

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Ballotine of Guinea Fowl served with Mustard Pommes Mousseline, Roasted Baby Turnips, Baby Fennel, Golden Beetroots

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Deconstructed Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream and Crème Anglaise

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Coffee and Chocolates

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The Wines

Reception drink:

Campanula Sparkling Pinot Grigio. Hungary

Famous for its regal sweet wine, Tokaji in Hungary has many strings to its bow, including a long history with Italian grapes, Pinot Grigio included. This splendid sparkling version comes from an award winning cellar established in 1949 in the village of Etyek, 50 kilometres from Budapest, and it shows just what fantastic quality and value Hungary offers. Winemaker Gábor Laczkó has certainly proven himself expert at extracting the refreshing crisp, minerally character of the grape, first with the still version (one of our bestsellers) and now with this elegant fizz. Enjoy the wine’s palate cleansing freshness, thrilling citrus flavours and tongue tingling effervescence as an apéritif or with lighter dishes. A must for everyday celebrations.

Starter

 Samostan. Slovenia

Samostan means ‘monastery’ and is so named because the vineyard owners are monks from Admont Abbey in Austria. They’ve been winemaking here in Slovenia, in Jarenina Manor, since 1139 but were blessed with a new winery, housed in neighbouring Jarenina Castle, in 2007. Since then, their wines have been wowing the world. You may know Furmint as the variety behind Hungary’s famous sweetie Tokaj, but it’s been grown in Slovenia for 1,000 years, and makes wines with Sauvignon-like freshness, coupled with an almost exotic tropical fruit and spice richness. In Samostan this is balanced by apricot scented Pinot Gris and lemon zipped Sauvignon Blanc. Fresh, crisp and aromatic, this generously flavoured wine is well suited to fish and mild curries.

Main

 La Catina Pinot Noir. Romania

 They’re a progressive producer with vineyards all over Romania and they sourced the ripe Pinot Noir for this wine in Dealurile Munteniei, a region recognised for producing some of the country’s finest reds. It shares the same latitude as Bordeaux and Piedmont, and warm days are balanced by cool nights throughout the long growing season. This ensures the fruit is fresh and flavoursome before it’s harvested by hand. After a gentle pressing and careful vinification in the state of the art cellar, the wine is treated to six months in French oak to add a hint of vanilla. Ideal solo or with white meats.

Pudding wine

Château Vartely Chardonnay Dulce, Moldova

Fancy challenging your wine loving friends at your next dinner party? Pour them a glass of this and ask them to identify the country or the grape (and we’d be very impressed if they even came close to either). It’s a late harvest Chardonnay from the impressive cellars of Château Vartely in the heart of Moldova. Though founded as recently as 2008, Château Vartely has already established itself as one of the country’s top wineries. To craft this unique wine, Arcadie Fosnea leaves the Chardonnay to partially dry on the vine prior to harvest. He stopped fermentation at 11% to retain the sweetness that helped the wine scoop Gold at Mundus Vini in Germany – a country well versed in late harvest wines. Ideal with desserts or the cheese board.

Digestif

Maury La Font del Bosc (50cl)   2005

Maury in Southern France has a 2,000 year old wine heritage and is a renowned hotspot for “thunderously powerful Grenache” (Andrew Jefford). It takes the form of either gigantic red table wines or, like this, one of France’s greatest sweet fortified wines or Vins Doux Naturels. La Font del Bosc is not unlike port – rich, sweet and complex with a unique character derived from the ancient Grenache vines that eke out a living on the region’s stony vineyards. Our winemaker Mark Hoddy loved it so much he took the 2005 vintage back to our Bordeaux cellar, Le Chai au Quai, to look after it himself as it slowly aged to mellow perfection in barrel. La Font del Bosc is a meal in itself. Sip slowly and enjoy solo or with rich puddings, cheese or nuts.