|Chapel Down hogs a food-matching first|
|Monday, 06 April 2009 13:57|
In what is thought to be the first initiative of its kind, English Wines Group has taken the idea of matching wine with food to the extreme - by creating a wine specifically to accompany a best-selling dish at a London restaurant.
The Kent winemaker behind the Chapel Down brand has been collaborating with Roast, a restaurant in Borough Market, near London Bridge, to bring out a wine to match the venue's best-selling dish of roast pork belly.
The wine was chosen at a recent tasting at Roast and is due to be launched at the restaurant by early May.
More than 2,000 diners are said to visit the 120-seat Roast every week, where the pork belly dish is the most popular item on a menu that specialises in British cooking.
Sergei Gubars, Roast's general manager and wine buyer, said: "I've been buying wines from Chapel Down for several years, mostly Bacchus and Pinot Noir.
"I wanted a wine similar to Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, because it suits our cooking. I was after gooseberry, something fresh with a bit of minerality, but not too powerful."
Gubars said he wanted to avoid the ‘common style' of Bacchus.
"We invited Chapel Down to match the pork belly, which has been on the menu for several years and is our top-selling item. I would say about 20 per cent of our customers order it."
Guy Tresnan, sales and marketing director of English Wines Group, said: "I don't think anybody's done this before. It epitomises the best of British and English - bringing Roast and Chapel Down together to create something quite special for the consumer that has been really thought through is pretty special.
"The wine we chose for Roast is a 2007 Bacchus Reserve from a single estate in Lamberhurst. It's very Sauvignon-ish and has almost apple hints. The acidity's quite high and there's a higher level of sugar, which balances off really well and it sits perfectly with the dish.
"The apple sauce in the dish is the thing I was most worried about. When we did the tasting we tried the wine just with the apple sauce to see if the sweetness of the sauce would overpower it. It ended up working really well."
Tresnan expects the wine to be ready to serve in the restaurant in late April or early May.