Cheltenham Literature Festival organised a great event in their Speigeltent last night. Wine Expert & Author Oz Clarke talked about wine - no surprise there! The evening was a three course supper by Relish Events of Cirencester with wines chosen by Oz from D'Arcy Wine - that's us!
Oz of course was also talking about his latest book
'The History of wine in 100 Bottles'
which unsurprisingly Sold Out! We were lucky enough to secure our copy - and get it signed. Oz is a wonderful, engaging story teller with a huge passion for wine and the history of wine. He seemingly tells his tales with no notes or prompting - like the wine, he just flows.
In between and around the stories from his book Oz tasted and talked about the wines matched with the evenings menu.
First up was The Cloud Factory's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, which he chose to accompany the gravadlax. The fresh tropical & citrus fruit flavours with crisp acidity balance the sweet flavours of the whiskey and beetroot. Oz explained how the climate of the New Zealand South Island is perfect for delivering a sharp, tangy, fruity sauvignon blanc - it's in the geography and the climate - and it's in the book! This was a very popular choice in the room
Next we tasted the Aromo Carmenere from the Maule Valley in Chile. Delicious dark red fruits with soft well integrated tannins. The sweetness of the pineapple and pork with the sweetness of the wine was mouth wateringly good!! This got the room buzzing and lip smacking! Oz told us how the Carmenere grape all but died out in Europe due to a blight, but luckily cuttings had been bought and taken to Chile where they flourished - and then were sold back to Europe. It's all in the book.
To finish Oz chose Campbell's of Rutherglen Muscat NV. This luscious, sweet raisined wine was a perfect match to our pudding of Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. The wine is a blend of many vintages of aged muscat from the reserves of Campbell's. Some of the wines are 100 years old - only a teaspoon of that is added, with a little more from other vintages, including the present years' vintage. Think this could be a Christmas favourite as it is spot on to serve with plum pudding.
We thought we'd share the menu we ate last night, along with the accompanying wines. Rob & Adam of Relish delivered a Fine Dining experience worthy of Oz Clarke and The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Menu by Relish
Beetroot and Speyside whiskey gravadlax, beetroot gel, apple matchsticks and celeriac remoulade
Matched with The Cloud Factory Marlborough Savignon Blanc £7.99
Braised pork belly, pig twig, apple thyme tatin, mustard potato puree and cavolo nero
Matched with Aromo Carmenere £6.90
Glamorgan Pattie of Pumpkin, leek and celeriac with Mayfield cheese, apple thyme tatin and cavolo nero
Fairtrade chocolate brownie, salt caramel and vanilla ice cream
Matched with Campbell's of Rutherglen Muscat NV 37.5cl £12.49