Fillet of halibut, Jerusalem artichokes with mushroom purée

Recipe: Fillet of halibut, Jerusalem artichokes with mushroom purée

This month Head Chef, Robby Jenks combines delicate halibut with artichoke to create this wonderful autumnal dish for you to enjoy at home.

Ingredients

Halibut fillet

Artichoke Sauce

  • 125g shallots
  • 1kg of artichoke
  • 1 litre of chicken stock

Mushroom Purée

  • 500g of mixed mushrooms
  • 100g shallots
  • 100ml cream

Artichoke Crisp

  • Thinly sliced artichoke

Method

  1. Begin by making your artichoke sauce by thinly slicing the shallots and artichoke. Put some of your sliced artichoke aside for the artichoke crisp. Melt some butter in the pan and sweat your shallots until soft.
  2. Once soft add the sliced artichoke and cook on a low heat for a further 10 minutes.
  3. Add the 1 litre of chicken stock and cook for a further 20 minutes. Once cooked, blend until smooth and season to taste.
  4. Once the mushrooms are soft, add the 100ml of cream and cook for a further 5 minutes. Once cooked, blend your mixture until smooth and season to taste.
  5. Lightly season the halibut and pan fry until cooked
  6. To make your artichoke crisps, deep fry your sliced artichoke in oil until crisp
  7. To serve your dish, place your halibut on the plate and arrange the mushroom purée and artichoke cream on top the fish.
  8. Finally garnish with the artichoke crisps

Enjoy!

Wine Pairing

This dish pairs perfectly with a White Burgundy with some fatness like Puligny-Montrachet or Meursault. For those who enjoy their reds a light young Cabernet Franc based wine from the Loire Valley such as Chinon or Bourgueil.

If you are lucky enough to have our very own Peter Michael wine we would recommend Peter Michael “L’Après-Midi” Estate Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley 2014 for a brighter fresher presentation or “La Carrière” Estate Chardonnay Knights Valley 2011 for a richer, more hedonistic presentation

Devonshire cod with cauliflower and spiced coconut cream

Recipe: Devonshire Cod with Cauliflower and Spiced Coconut Cream

This month Head Chef Robby Jenks, brings you a taste of the ocean.

Ingredients

  • Cod Loin
  • 200g shallot sliced thin
  • 40g curry powder
  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 500ml White wine
  • 500ml Fish stock
  • 500ml Coconut cream
  • 1 Cauliflower
  • 600ml olive oil
  • 400ml lemon juice
  • I sprig of thyme
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  1. To start creating your dish, lightly salt the cod loin and leave to rest in the fridge for eight hours.
  2. Whilst the fish is resting begin making your coconut cream sauce by sweating your shallots in 50g of butter ensuring that no colour is added during this process. Add a pinch of salt and your curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Into the pan add your fish stock and reduce until it is halved.
  3. Reduce the white wine in a second pan by a third and then add back into the reduced stock.
  4. Once mixed add the coconut cream and bring to the boil and reduce the sauce to your preferred consistency before pass through a sieve and adding the remaining 25g of butter and seasoning to taste whilst whisking.
  5. For the cauliflower purée blanch your half of a cauliflower until soft, drain and place in a blender and blitz until smooth. Then return the mix to the pan adding 100g of butter and cook on a high heat until caramelised. To create velvety smoothness in the purée blend for a second time and pass through a sieve.
  6. To dress the remaining of the cauliflower create blend using 600ml of olive oil, 400ml of lemon juice, 1 sprig of thyme and a diced bulb of garlic.
  7. Cut three quarters of the cauliflower left into florets and mix with some of the dressing over a low heat. Using the last quarter of raw cauliflower finely shave into the dressing a leaving to lightly pickle while to cooking the fish.
  8. Once the fish has rested for eight hours pan fry in a little oil until golden brown and place into the oven for 2 minutes then turn over and cook for a further approximately another 2 minutes until cooked.
  9. To serve your dish place the roasted cauliflower mix and puree in a bowl with the cod on top then add your raw cauliflower and sauce to finish.

Enjoy!

Wine Pairing

This dish pairs perfectly with a light, crisp and dry white wine that has some minerality such as a Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé (Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley)

If you are lucky enough to have our very own Peter Michael wine we would recommend Peter Michael “L’Après-Midi” Estate Sauvignon Blanc Knights Valley 2014 for a brighter fresher presentation or  “La Carrière” Estate Chardonnay Knights Valley 2011 for a richer, more hedonistic presentation

 

Judgement of Paris : 1976, The Year Californian Wines Made History

This May , we are celebrating 40 years since the seminal occasion of the Judgement of Paris. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976 we’ve created an infographic that tells the wine tasting story.

Organised by Steven Spurrier, the blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines changed the future of wine making and the perceptions of wine producing countries. Unknown Californian wines such as Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were chosen over some of France’s finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados.

The blind tasting established Californian as a major player in the wine industry and to date it is the fourth biggest wine producer in the world.

Judgement of Paris key facts

Learn more about the JOP

Recommended reading for the full story: The judgement of pairs book “Judgement of Paris, California vs. France, The historic 1976 Paris tasting that revolutionised wine” by George M. Taber, published by Scribner and available at reception.

Recommended viewing: Bottle Shock (2008) is a comedy drama film based on the Judgement of Paris, directed by Randall Miller and starring Alan Rickman (as Steven Spurrier), also available at reception.

Local Events this March

There is a lot happening this March, with Mother’s Day, the Easter Bank Holiday weekend as well as the clocks changing forward to British Summer Time. We’ve put together a round-up of the most exciting happenings in the local area this March.

Local Events This March


Romeo and Juliet

25th February – 2nd April
Opening Times: Times Vary
Call: 01635 523726
Tickets from £15
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury

An unforgettable production of this much-loved Shakespeare classic tale of an all-consuming love. Featuring live music and an outstanding new group of actors, this is the table of a young couple defy their feuding families and find love on the streets of Verona.

“I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”


Talking History – The English Civil War

24th February – 23rd March
Opening Times: times Vary
Call: 01635 519562
Tickets: £5
West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, RG14 5AS

This is a series of illustrated talks about history, heritage and culture surrounding the English Civil War. Presented by local historian’s David Stubbs and Dr. David Peacock, military historian Alan Turton and West Berkshire Council’s Archaeological Officer, Alex Godden.

Tuesday 1st March – Lord Falkland: his life, times, death and memorial, 6.30pm to 7.45pm

David Stubbs presents the story of how a sensitive, educated academic found himself catapulted into politics, and died in a cavalry charge during the First Battle of Newbury.

Wednesday 9th March – The Social History of the English Civil War Soldier, 6.45pm to8pm

Military historian Alan Turton tells the story of the ordinary soldier during the Civil War, told using actual artefacts and replica objects relating to daily life.

Wednesday 16th March – Donnington Castle, 6.45pm-8pm

Dr. David Peacock tells the story of this castle built by a knight who fought alongside the Black Prince, defended by the Royalists during a Civil War siege and left with only the gatehouse still standing.

Wednesday 23rd March – The Archaeology of the Civil War, 6.30pm to 7.45pm

Archaeological Officer Alex Godden presents the fascinating local archaeological and historical sites that have become associated with the Civil War across the District.


Mother’s Day Lunch

Sunday 6th March
Opening Times: 12pm to 2pm
Call: 01635 589407
£65 per person; £35 for under £12’s
The Vineyard at Stockcross

Treat your Mum to an elegant and memorable Mother’s Day with our delicious three-course lunch, glass of Champagne as aperitif and a relaxing, long catch-up in the stylish surroundings of our restaurant.


Simon Weston: My Life, My Story

19th March
Opening Times: from 7:45pm
Call: 0845 5218218
Tickets: full price £17.50, concessions price £15.50

This is a truly inspirational show about one man’s journey from the front line of war, on the edge of death, to today a happy and contented father, grandfather and national treasure.

The conflict of a generation started on the second of April 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands with the aim of recapturing them. With the UK government quick to defend both the islands and its inhabitants the area became a battleground of a generation and in one of the most horrific moments of the conflict the RFA Sir Galahad was bombed by two Argentine planes, aboard at the time was Simon.

Please note this show does contain media which some may find upsetting.


Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race

25th March – 28th March
Opening Hours: from 6.30am
Call: 0118 966 5912
Kennet & Avon Canal

Held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948, this race is a real spectacle and atmospheric occasion, with a severe test of skill and stamina for the participants. Being 125 miles long with 77 portages it ends in the tidal section of the River Thames. Boats will pass through Hungerford on Saturday 26th from around 2pm onwards.


Easter Sunday Lunch

Sunday 27th March
Opening Times: 12pm to 2pm
Call 01635 589407
Tickets £59 for three courses; £35 for under 12’s
The Vineyard at Stockcross

Make Easter Sunday something special by joining us at The Vineyard for our three course Easter luncheon as you gather together with family and friends.


Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt

25th March – 28th March
Opening Times: 10am to 5pm
Call: 0118 984 3040
Tickets: The trail costs £3. Normal admission charges apply.
Basildon Park, Berkshire, RG8 9NR
The ultimate Chocolatey Easter adventure. Hunt for eggs in the house and win yourself a Cadbury chocolate egghead prize by solving the Easter Egg trail in the garden. With clues for the children hidden around the grounds, the trail is self directed and can be completed at any point during the visit with no time limit applied.

Wine of the Week: Non-Vintage Krug

Krug is renowned as one of the great Champagne houses and this week we have decided to ring out February with their rich yet refreshing Non-Vintage cuvée.Champagne

NV Champagne Krug, Grande Cuvée, Brut

Founded in 1843, the Champagne house Krug is still revered as one of the superlative names to produce Champagne. A so-called Grande Marque, or famous brand of wine, Krug has a very different notion of Champagne-making to any other house. Their Non-Vintage Grande Cuvée is the result of a blend of 134 wines from 12 different vintages from 1990 to 2004.

Krug uses all three Champagne varieties in their wines, and this particular cuvée is a blend is of 44% Pinot Noir, 37% Chardonnay and 19% Pinot Meunier. The bottles are then aged for at least 6 years in the cellar (the minimum requirement being of 18 months for a non vintage Champagne) to give the great complexity and richness defining the style of Krug.

This very complex Champagne shows aromas of cooked stone fruit, hazelnuts, honey, Acacia and marzipan. The palate is rich with a great intensity but a fantastic minerality remains.

Because of the elegance and complexity of this Champagne, I would suggest to have it with dinner – it is a great match to enjoy with our Halibut dish (or equally on its own!)

Icon Wine of the Week: 1999 Chateau Montelena

This time of year signals promise for the warmer months to come and positivity for what the rest of the year has in store. Our sommelier team have chosen a fitting Icon Wine of this week – an upbeat California red – not just any California red, but made by Chateau Montelena, winner of the seminal event Judgement of Paris in 1976.

Chateau Montelena

Our Icon wines are a real treat for our guests to try a glass of something that they would not usually buya full bottle of. We offer these bottles – for that week only – at cost price for a glass, meaning that you can explore and expand your vinous horizons.  This week, you will have the great opportunity to taste one of Napa Valley’s finest wineries.

Château Montelena was established in 1882 and gained a massive success after the winning of the Judgement of Paris with its 1973 Chardonnay. Since then it has become on of California’s iconic wineries.

This particular Cabernet Sauvignon has a beautiful depth of flavour and a great balance, as well as a wonderfully smooth and pure palate. At 17 years old, it has a wonderful mature nose.

The wine shows some lovely aromas of cooked dark fruit such as blackcurrant, blueberry and blackberry as well as notes of chocolate, coffee beans and cigar box.

The palate has firm but well integrated tannins with a very good complexity and a great concentration. Fantastic with food, it is also great to nurse on its own.

Icon Wine Of The Week: 2005 Taittinger

There can be no other wine that signifies romance like Champagne. For this week, the week of love, our sommelier team have chosen 2005 Taittinger as our Icon Wine, a beautiful expression of rich, toasty, vanilla-led Champagne.

shutterstock_154316906

‘Tis the weekend of Love and to celebrate St Valentine I have selected one of Champagne’s finest cuvées.

Since its first release in 1952, only 30 vintages have been produced. For me, 2005 is among the best!

Comtes de Champagne is a blend of Chardonnay from five different Grands Crus from the Côte De Blancs.

It is not released before it has aged for 10 years in the Taittinger cellars and 2005 is the newest release. This Champagne develops some toasty and hazelnut notes due to a slight barrel ageing, as well as some lovely ripe stone fruit tones, aromas of citrus fruits and vanilla.

The palate shows a great balance with a lively minerality and a long finish.

A fantastic Champagne to have as an aperitif or to enjoy with our Scallops dish!

Californian Wine At The Vineyard

Our West Berkshire abode is home to 30,000 bottles from all around the world, many of which are Californian in origin. Romain Bourger, our Head Sommelier, tells us more about our Californian wines and what it means to work in one of the world’s finest collections of Californian wines.

Working at The Vineyard, I am very lucky to work with one of the world’s finest Californian wine selections. As we make wine in California, we have great longstanding relations with fellow producers in California. It is through our wine merchant, The Vineyard Cellars, that we import many rare wines that are rarely seen outside of the US. Around 95% of wine produced in California stays within the United States, so this is privilege for us oenophiles indeed.

California produces the gamut of wine types and styles, from sparkling and light whites to heavy reds as well as dessert wines, and we have the opportunity to offer almost everything in these categories. Our wide range contains Californian sparkling wine, top Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir as classics, as well as other international varietals such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Albariño, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah/Rhône blends and so forth.

Hit by the ‘Two Buck Chuck’ and ‘Anything But Chardonnay’ labels in earlier decades, California has some stellar producers, and wines for laying down. From artisanal producers to big brand names, with quality to match, our selection comprises the entire range.  Big names including the famous Peter Michael Winery, Abreu, Colgin, Diamond Creek, Chateau Montelena, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and more form a large part of our Californian collection.

Artisanal and boutique wineries such as Buccella, Donelan, Wind Gap, Bonny Doon Vineyards (especially know for its Rhône blends), Lokoya, Vérité and Cardinale form part of our list too – we want to be a true ambassador to the wines from the Golden State.

Being a Frenchman working in this “temple to Californian wine”, I have managed to learn a lot about this remarkable wine region and have tasted many that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Icon Wine of the Week: 2005 Puligny Montrachet

Now that our Iconic Indulgence getaway is available all week, there’s even more time to enjoy our Icon Wine of the Week. This week’s Icon Wine is a delicious Puligny Montrachet from an exceptional vintage, 2005.

2005 Puligny Montrachet Premier Cru, Clavoillon, Domaine Leflaive, Burgundy
This week, we are paying tribute to one of the most involved and talented producers in Burgundy: Anne Claude Leflaive, and one of the most exceptional vintages, 2005, which is drinking really well now.

Domaine Leflaive was established in 1717 and is nowadays regarded as one of the finest Burgundy estates. Mainly producing wines from Puligny-Montrachet, this week’s bottle is a Puligny Premier Cru from a vineyard of 11.84 acres called Clavoillon. The wine had a barrel age of 12 months and a following six months in stainless steel.

With a creamy texture, the wine develops notes of hazelnuts and roasted almonds as well as some baked apple and stone fruit tones on the nose. The rich palate is balanced by a chalky minerality giving to the wine a great freshness. It is a great pairing for our cod course.

Icon Wine of the Week: Les Pavots, California

High above the Californian Knights Valley planted between 1989 and 1999, Les Pavots is the flagship wine of the Peter Michael Estate with a rocky volcanic origin: a terroir-driven wine that would stand the test of time. It is The Vineyard’s icon wine this weekend. Our sommelier team tells us more.

PMW winery landscape

Les Pavots signifies Peter Michael’s flagship blend of red Bordeaux varietals from its Knights Valley Estate. Sir Peter Michael established his winery in Sonoma’s wild Knights Valley back in 1982. His goal was to produce a wine in a New World country but with Old World methods such as mountain vineyard and terroir-reflected wines.

First produced in 1989, the Les Pavots blend varies from vintage to vintage, and typically it is two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon with roughly equal parts Cabernet Franc and Merlot and a touch of Petit Verdot. Les Pavots captures an elegant refined expression of the terroir embracing the full spectrum of Cabernet family varietal expression with its trademark touch of herbes de provence. The name translates to “The Poppies” and is named after the California poppies that grow wild on the estate and are the inspiration for the winery’s logo.

This Cabernet Sauvignon Blend shows a great concentration of ripe blackcurrant, blackberry and blueberry as well as a touch of sweet spices from the oak ageing. 2009 was a classic vintage and the wine shows a lovely minerality and an exceptional balance.

This wine would go with lamb exceptionally well.