Charles Dickens used to work in a bank at 1 Lombard St. That bank has since been turned into the restaurant 1 Lombard St and I was there the other night for the launch of their new Wine Society. The restaurant’s sommelier Matthew Mawtus is going to be conducting winetastings in the bank’s former vault featuring not only his favourite wines but also the wine makers who make those wines.
I Iike Matthew’s favourite wines as well. It seems his Society will be focusing on some of the world’s greatest wines of which I’m always happy to partake of, being an Old World wine kind of gal. Monday night he featured white Burgundy, Bordeaux and a tokaji – yum! All of the wines came from the restaurants extensive cellar and there are plenty of big names on the list from all the classic wine regions, which I suppose is to be expected from a restaurant in the heart of the City. The restaurant is right across the street from the Bank of England and I can imagine many a banker’s meeting being held the modern brasserie dining room.
We started with an elegant Chassagne Montrachet, the 2007 from Domaine Louis Carillon. I just love those elegant white Burgundies, complex but harmonious on the palate and constantly evolving as I was drinking it. It was paired with poached sweetbreads, which I’m not a big fan of, but the sweetbreads were so well prepared that I ate them all and the wine was well matched, lemony citrus finish and a subtle chalky note to it.
Everyone knows I like a good Bordeaux or Bored-O as my friends say because I seem to drone on and on about them but I do love them and so does Matthew. The 2004 Leoville Barton was served with noisettes of lamb. A classic Bordeaux, savoury nose- leather, cedar, graphite, and a touch of brett, which I always enjoy. The Leoville was free flowing and much enjoyed by everyone round the table.
Tokaji with dessert. But not any old dessert wine, we were served a 1993 Tokaji Aszu Disznoko, another classic. I like my dessert wines to be full and unctous but Tokaji is not always so rich and the ’93 was full of nutty notes, brulee and lemon drops. It didn’t really go with the tarte tatin as the dessert was as bit too rich for the wine. I think it would have been better paired with a cheese plate. That didn’t however stop me from drinking the wine on it’s own.
We ended with a 10 year old Marsala and as Matthew noted, if you want to make your sommelier happy, ask him or her for a fortified wine, they’ll love you for it. The Marco di Bartoli Marsala was paired with various cheeses and the best match for me was the goats cheese although many preferred the brie with the marsala.
After dinner drinks around the spacious bar ended the evening and as we walked out I couldn’t help but think that this is one wine society I’d like to visit again.
Visit the restaurant website for more info on their wine dinners.