Pearl & Pear are celebrating London Wine Week in style with a very special wine and food pairing event. Last night, we paid a visit to the gorgeous Covent Garden Hotel, part of the Firmdale Hotel group. The evening is one of five held over the year with a focus on wine tasting.
Being held within London Wine Week the dinner was host to a very special wine and food matching lead by WSET educated Chris Dyke. Chris is also responsible for all the wine and spirit buying across the Firmdale group so really knows his stuff!
The wine and food journey begins
The theme for the evening celebrated culture in the same way that London Wine Week does. The menu was an Asian inspired feast. First of all dinner started with delicious canapés designed to match the Vale do Homen Rose on offer. We ate Sesame and Coriander Prawn Tempura with Chill Jam. This was followed by a refreshing Wild Rice Cake with Grated Watermelon and Feta Riata. The venue even catered specially for a gluten intolerance – a great little touch that was really appreciated.
And so to start…
Dinner was the most delicious three courses of well spiced, full of flavour, dishes. We started with Five Spiced Tuna Sashimi served with Mooli, Lotus Root, Sesame Salad and Wasabi Mayonnaise. This dish worked so well with the two white wines on offer:
Verdajo, Paramos de Nicasia, Maquina & Tabla, Rueda. Spain 2015.
Urban Torrontes, Bodegas O Fournier Cafayate Salta. Argentina 2014.
The Verdajo was just delicious and the perfect match, a firm favourite of us all. This is a great alternative to a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Also points go to it’s cool label.
The Torrentes was so fresh but slightly sweeter, the sugar in the wine really enhancing the spice in the starter.
Main courses was an old favourite – Thai Green Infused Rice with Seared and Breaded tofu and Asian Greens. The spice of the dish was an excellent match for the red wines served. Here the Pearl & Pear team were split and our favourites fell with different wines, although both equally delicious.
Beaujolais Franc, Domaine Rochette, Beaujolais. France 2015.
Talento Monastrell, Bodegas Ego Jumilla. Spain 2015.
The Beaujolais was a softer wine with a pencil lead’ note – very easy to drink and a great summer red. While the Talento Monastrell was heavier, a good alternative to Cote de Rhone, it was, in Chris’s words – very ‘gluggable’. We agreed!
Finishing with both sweet and salt
To highlight the versatility of the dessert wine and enhance our wine and food matching skills, we received not one, but two desserts! As a result, this was certainly our type of dinner and Firmdale made it clear with this move that are the perfect hosts.
Dessert saw us eating a Chilli and Coconut Panna Cotta. This was delicious with a subtle kick and indulgent creaminess. Our ‘salt’ was Neal’s Yard Montgomery Cheddar served with apple and celery relish and biscuits.
Saracco Moscato d’Asto, Piedmont. Italy 2014.
This dessert wine was really delicious. Matt described this as a ‘Breakfast, lunch and dinner wine’ which we have to say is brilliant, any excuse! Consequently, the wine is light in alcohol content (so it’s totally fine for breakfast). It’s also a light and natural fizz meaning it goes well with light desserts. Really moreish.
We rounded up our evening with fresh mint tea and a goodbye to our new found wine friends. In conclusion, a truly lovely evening hosted in the delightful private dining room with the most attentive hosts. If you love your wine, we’d highly recommend trying one of these evenings.
See what else to do during London Wine Week with our top 5 suggestions here.