WINE O’CLOCK: On the menu, but not in the shops
READERS sometimes ask where they can buy a wine they have enjoyed in a restaurant. The answer nearly always is that they can’t buy it anywhere.
Restaurants do deals with suppliers to give their wines some degree of exclusivity. You may find them in other restaurants but rarely in shops.
I like to drink by the glass in good restaurants because it gives the opportunity to try two or three wines you will not easily find in the shops: a crisp white with the starter, a rich red with the main and a good Sauternes with (or as) the dessert.
For a once in a wonder big night out this won’t add much to your bill. Better still, you might be a guest – then it won’t add anything at all.
Here’s a few to look for. The price will vary hugely from restaurant to restaurant, but the mark-up is considerable so don’t expect to pay less than €35 a bottle or €10 a glass.
Belles du Sud 2014 Marsanne Roussanne. A dry light, white from the Languedoc. Excellent start to any meal.
La Chablisienne Premier Cru Vaillons. A very crisp chablis. An excellent aperitif by itself but also good with shellfish.
Chateau La Baronnerie, Grand Vin, AC Cotes du Blaye 2010. Lovely smooth, rich Bordeaux. Great with any meaty dish.
Armas De Guerra Mencia. A Spanish red that goes well with casserole or cassoulet dishes.
Chateau d’Yquem. Said to be the world’s best Sauternes. I’ve never tried it. You’d a want to re-mortgage your house to buy a bottle of this stuff.
So maybe, Chateau Climens Premier Cru. A very good Sauternes at a tenth of the price.