As Aristotle told us, “the totality is not, as it were, a mere heap, but the whole is something besides the parts”. Or, to you and I, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We have all experienced the intervention of Donne’s ‘angelic sprite’, that intangible enchantment which creates an other from a sum total. A spoonful of salt, a slice of bread, a pinch of parsley, a bone?
In wine this is expressed through the alchemy of blends. Each region has their grand and ancient tradition of the assemblage, and each winemaker needs the highest intuition into the vagaries of vintage, varietal and vine. Those vignerons are the angelic sprites (some more angelic, some more sprightly) who conjure the mystic delights which we celebrate this April, as we explain how blended wines, and dishes too, become more than a sum of their parts.
On arrival two glasses with two morsels, the classic and the new. Try each of the wines with each of the bites, and be surprised at what you discover.
Cuttlefish and red wine, what an odd couple! But the result is a holy matrimony and a five-strong blend blesses the union: a white with a texture and a strength to stand up to aioli... parcel vinification, we hear! You’ll be told what this subtle magic means. And ah, that classic combination of Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad, with one of the most classic Rhône blends: Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre.
Lamb like Mutton gives little away… but in the flesh it is a true expression of the theme, the lamb braised in red wine vinegar, raisins and anchovy – and tasting of none of those things! But rather lending the lamb a deep savoury richness which will be a source of fascination with both a traditional match – our own Bien Autre, which we blend ourselves with a philosophical alchemy that Trevor will explain – and a less conservative pairing, a golden white.
You will learn a little, we hope, about blending as a subtle art – both the traditional and the less so. Much to discuss and, of course, much in your glass and on your plate, with Fergus and Trevor themselves imparting their customary sprinkling of wisdom and eccentricity. The recipe for a most convivial evening!
£85pp, inclusive of all courses, wine and service
Wednesday, 18th April
19.00 - 22.00
St. JOHN Maltby
41 Maltby Street