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‘A fabulous event… you sure know how to throw them!’ That’s how one happy guest described Square Meal’s annual wine-tasting bash, which took place on Wednesday night. Free-flowing wine, carefully crafted cocktails, the hum of a double bass and food from restaurants including Cinnamon Kitchen, Hix and Galvin all came together to wow our 500 guests.
If you were looking for something upmarket, there was a 1999 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill (usually £140 a bottle), Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (£75) or the 2010 Drouhin Vaudon Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos (£45). Adventurous drinkers raved about a Lebanese Cabernet from Ksara, a notably lighter Sauternes from Suduiraut, and examples made with grape varieties including Albariño and Zinfandel also impressed.
Meanwhile, in our search for great-value wines, we loved a 2009 Château Segonzac Cru Bourgeois Premières Côtes de Blaye from Bordeaux and a Yalumba Viognier, both of which sell for under a tenner – as well as a top Chianti from Antinori.
Favourite dishes included Cinnamon Kitchen’s spicy tandoori chicken with sweet-sour pepper relish – delicious with Bollinger’s 2004 Grande Année Rosé – and a steak tartare by the Galvin brothers. Guests also enjoyed pairing sherries (including an amazing 40-year-old fino) with different types of melt-in-the-mouth jamón iberico, all served by heavyweight Spanish chef José Pizarro, plus first-class dishes from The Table.
By the end of the evening, after plenty of Gosset and Roederer and gourmet bowl food from our award-winning caterer, the wines had been replaced with digestifs such as sumptuous sipping rums, Cognacs and whiskies.
Thanks to everyone for coming to our most successful wine tasting yet – and see you next year!