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Square Meal’s 2013 tasting was bigger and better than ever before, with a buzzy crowd sampling more than 250 wines and enjoying delicious food from 10 of the capital’s best restaurants.
A new venue for this year – the historic Honourable Artillery Company in Moorgate – drew more than 600 visitors, all eager to put a plethora of fine wines from all over the world through their paces, with trad-jazz trio The Blind Tigers providing the toe-tapping soundtrack.
Great wines deserve to be partnered with great food, and recent Michelin-star winners including Lima, HKK and Outlaw’s at The Capital – alongside old favourites such as Cinnamon Kitchen, Hix and L’Anima – all worked tirelessly to provide canapés for guests; Lima’s tiradito salmon was a great match with the 2012 Gran Feudo Chardonnay from Navarra in Spain, while HKK’s baked venison puffs went down a treat with the silky Montgras Degras Pinot Noir Reserva. That both wines cost less than £10 was a great reminder that you don’t always need to break the bank to enjoy a good glass.
Moving up in price, the new 2008 vintage of Argentine showstopper Cheval des Andes wowed with its dark chocolate and tobacco notes, as did a beautifully poised 2010 Puligny-Montrachet from Joseph Drouhin. Visitors could even create their own bespoke martinis with Grey Goose vodka, pair white chocolate with top-end Tequila Don Julio 1942, or explore the diverse world of sherry with Gonzalez Byass, from the savoury Fino Dos Palmas up to the gloriously indulgent Noe Pedro Ximénez.
Meanwhile, away from the main tasting room, Master of Wine Richard Bampfield led a trio of expert masterclasses (contact [email protected] for more information), the highlight of which featured six excellent but diverse Champagnes, beginning with the classic notes of Louis Roederer’s Brut Premier NV through to the crisp, refreshing zero-dosage Pol Roger Pure, finishing with a poised, fruity Ruinart Rosé.
Square Meal publisher Mark de Wesselow said the tasting had been a ‘resounding success’, adding: ‘We are delighted that so many Square Meal readers enjoyed our annual Tasting, filled with fantastic food, wine and entertainment. This event goes from strength to strength, and is always a huge hit. A big thank you to everyone who made it such a success.’