CHABLIS FOOD PAIRINGJune 12, 2015
Last week an assemblage of media people (myself included) attended a wine-filled evening at The Chancery for an education into the intrinsic links between the uniqueness and complexity of Chablis wine and the geology of the Chablis vineyard region for which it's attributed. The event was hosted by one of London's wine doyens Douglas Blyde who was on hand to impart some of his vast wine knowledge.
The Chablis vineyards are located within the northernmost region of Burgundy. The unique geology of its soil and Kimmeridgean fossil rich subsoil are the key contributing factors that make Chablis wine so special; no other French wine growing area has pinned its faith more firmly on its geology. These unique circumstances have helped to gain the characteristically clear and dry white wine global notoriety.
A brief synopsis of Chablis wine's profile : Pale gold in colour, sometimes with a greenish tinge. A fresh aroma with notes of citrus and apple sometimes along with liquorice and freshly-cut hay. Dry and delicate with lasting freshness.
The evening's flight of Chablis wines were paired with some delicious dishes by Graham Long The Chancery's head chef. The night kicked off down in The Chancery's wine cellar with a Petit Chablis aperitif paired with crab beignets and some chit chat. The Chancery itself is a notable Holborn dining spot located next to the new Saatchi headquarters, serving modern European cuisine.
We started off with Petit Chablis which is characterised by its balance of floral aromas along with citrus and other white fleshed fruits including peach. It tames heaviness making it a good match for fried foods like the crab beignets.
Joined by Jessica from 'Cocoa Chelsea'.
A glass or two of Petit Chablis later we surfaced for a quick breath of air before heading back down to The Chancery's dimly-lit underground private dining room for a several course dinner by Chef Graham Long.
We were given two different Chablis wines to compare and contrast with each course along with note sheets to jot down our findings; although several glasses of wine in, the note sheets were soon forgotten about.
Joined by Matt from 'Matt the List'.
Felicia from 'Dancing in High Heels'.
An attractive and well devised dish that looked like a work of art. The scallop dish was paired with mineral-rich Chablis Garnier & Fils ‘Grains Dores’ 2012, with hints of vanilla and oak.
Jean Marc Brocard’s Montée de Tonerre 2011
Next up was a Premier Cru appellation, highly aromatically complex with sweet hints along with some subtle hints of spice making it good wine to pair with certain seafoods. The more mineral-rich variants of the Premier Cru can be paired with richer meat such as fine poultry and veal. The Jean Marc Brocard’s Montée de Tonerre 2011 was contrasted with Val de Mercy’s Beauregard 2012, which has a slightly nuttier flavour, which complimented the trout tartare dish.
This course particularly stood out; its wide array of flavours and textures really worked in synergy to create a very delicious, unique and colourful dish.
This rich quail dish was paired with Grand Cru Chablis Samuel Billaud’s Les Preuses 2013 made from 70 year-old vines. It's a bold wine that works well with rich foods.
Finally the night went out with a Domaine Pinson Fôrets 2003 a mature Chablis from a heatwave year. With only 5,000 bottles produced annually, it's something a bit special. This was paired with an array of local cheeses.
It's fair to say that I think we all lost count of how many glasses of wine we managed throughout the entire duration of the night but I can safely say that I am a Chablis convert.