As I’ve grown older I’ve really started to appreciate nicer wines, maybe I’m not quite up to fine wines yet but I definitely don’t look for the £3.99 bottles anymore. I’ve also started to think more about pairing wines and foods, using them together to really enhance flavours and it never fails to surprise me how much impact it can have. I was invited to celebrate the launch of D&D’s new wines along with a tasting menu from Crafthouse to complement them so the perfect opportunity to learn more about some nicer wines.
If you’re unaware D&D are the restaurant group that own Crafthouse & Angelica in Leeds (along with lots in London). There are 2 new wine they’re launching; a white & a red. And it’s not even like they’ve just slapped their name on any old plonk, a group of D&D sommliers actually created them! We were talked through the wines by one of the D&D Sommeliers, Alexis, who explained the process of creating a wine and developing the flavours. The white, Les Trois Bises, had a fresh slightly fruity flavour similar to a Sauvignon Blanc but without the gooseberry. The red, Les Gamins, was my favourite of the two; spicy with deep flavours of cherry & raspberry – just my sort of red wine and very drinkable! Along with the wine being available in D&D restaurants, they also have an online wine club if you’re more about dinner parties than dinners out (or like I am, wine in front of Gogglebox on a Friday night).
We started with ‘The Egg with No Egg’, an absolutely stunning plate of food I’m sure you’ll agree. Not a real egg in sight it was made from baked heritage carrots, truffled potato, saffron & burnt butter. This was my favourite of the dishes that evening as it was light and very playful – the perfect Springtime starter.
Next we had Charcoal Salmon served with burnt onion, fermented corn and wild flowers. It had just the right amount of smokiness to enhance the salmon without fighting the flavour. The burnt onion worked with it beautifully and the fermented corn added a crunchy texture to the plate. It also paired nicely with the Les Trois Bises (the white wine) as the freshness cut through the oily fish.
Our main course was a Roast Fillet of Orkney Beef which was so, so tender served alongside a slice of seared foie gras and two pomme berny. Definitely a course for those that love their beef as all the flavours worked to enhance its taste. Les Gamins (the red wine) was a perfect accompaniment as the spicy flavours complimented the beef well, a very decadent main course.
We were then served a palette cleanser of a beetroot style sorbet with apple puree. I usually think of beetroot in sweets only with chocolate so it was interesting to try it in a different way, and after such a rich main course it was a welcome refreshment.
Then finally onto dessert a ‘Symphony of Valrhona Chocolate’. I have to say I found the presentation a little fussy though I do get the musical theme. It had layering of brownie & mousse; the taste was very rich and chocolatey, in fact it was too much for me and I only managed a few spoonfuls (something I rarely say). A shame as it was really delicious but too heavy for me after 4 courses and lots of wine!
Our dinner came to an end and we moved upstairs to Angelica to enjoy a few more post dinner drinks with the panoramic views of Leeds. Really what better way to spend an evening than with good food and wine?
The meal was complimentary however views are my own.