Tag Archives: The Vineyard hotel

Icon Wine of the Week: 2004 Meursault

This month heralds our Wine Festival, and our Icon Wines this month are all diverse and superlative in their class. Cue 2004 Meursault: an undervalued gem.

Meursault

 

We are now paying tribute to one of the most talented producers in Burgundy: Anne Claude Leflaive. Domaine Leflaive was established in 1717 and is nowadays regarded as one of the finest estates in Burgundy.

This wine is a 2004 Premier Cru from a four-acre vineyard. 2004 is quite underrated but is actually a fantastic vintage for white wines, maybe even better than 2005!

With 12 months in barrel and a further six months in stainless steel, the wine has a creamy texture and develops notes of hazelnuts and roasted almonds as well as some baked apple and stone fruit notes. The rich palate is balanced by a chalky minerality giving a great freshness to the wine.

It is a great pairing to cod.

Icon Wine of the Week:2004 Clos St Denis, Burgundy

Continuing our Burgundy theme this month, and a massive match for seasonal fare including game and earthy autumn vegetables, the 2004 vintage of  Clos St Denis Grand Cru made by Pascal Lachaux in Burgundy is one not to miss.

burgundy

This weekend, I wanted to show one of the finest Burgundy wines I have ever tasted.

 

Pascal Lachaux produces exemplary wines at Domaine Robert Arnoux where he continues to take the domaine from strength to strength.

 

He has extended his range by buying small quantities of grapes to make wines under a négociant licence. The wines are splendid; authentic and individual and all in limited supply.

 

2004 might not be regarded as Burgundy’s best vintage but this wine is just fantastic and drinking amazingly well now!

 

The wine develops aromas of ripe Bigarreau cherry, cranberry and freshly crushed strawberry. This beautiful wine also offers notes of sweet spices like chocolate and licorice, hint of black pepper and a touch of caramel.

 

The palate is ripe, perfumed and delicate with a great concentration, a silky texture and a long and soft finish.
I would suggest this unique wine with our delicious Duck course.

Fine rosé from the heart of Provence

Our wine list features benchmark rosés from the Old World, including celebrated Ch. D’Esclans from Provence, the ‘finest rosés on the planet’, according to Matthew Jukes. It is time to take rosé wine increasingly seriously. Here we learn a little more.

Historically, rosés were seen as fun, unsophisticated and the great addition to a girls’ night out. Fast forward a few years and premium rosé is one of the fastest growing categories. This is thanks in part to a host of Old World stalwart producers crafting some serious bottles, with the notoriety to raise them on to the big stage.

Pink, blush or rosé wine – whatever your preferred name- is now seen as a serious industry, and as Jancis Robinson attests, this is thanks in part to the efforts of Sacha Lichine and his team at Château d’Esclans who have set the bar and raised ambition among producers.

In the heart of Provence, Lichine and his compatriot Patrick Leon (previously winemaker and managing director at Mouton Rothschild) purposely tried to craft a world class winery that made the world’s best rosé – and it is widely believed that they succeeded.

Indeed, according to Matthew Jukes, Ch. D’Esclans from Côtes de Provence produce among the finest rosés on the planet. We’re inclined to agree – so much so that we’ve chosen to offer three wines from this infamous château on our wine list (which, we are very proud to say, just won European Hotel Wine List of the Year).

Made using Old Vine Grenache, as this high altitude site is known for, the vines are hand picked and blended with Vermentino. Top cuvées are aged in oak – and are capable of ageing. Generally, good rosé is not heavy or overtly sweet but fresh, dry and offers a complex aroma of herbs, fruits and a balanced acidity. These bottlings offer all this and more.

One thing has remained true throughout – these wines are ideal served chilled outside with, or without, food in the summer sun.

Fresh, delicious, seasonal asparagus

Locally-sourced and seasonal produce is absolutely our aim, with 90 percent or more of our foodstuffs hailing from Britain, and local farmers very much being our main suppliers. Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche has ‘picked’ the star vegetable of the moment- asparagus.

Asparagus

May heralds asparagus season

Late spring is harvest time for asparagus, both green and white – a mere seven or eight week season – and the best is whatever you can buy locally. You can often get hold of it throughout the year, but as ever I like to get seasonal, locally sourced produce, not only because it truly does taste better.

Green asparagus has more of an intense nutty flavour than white varieties and really works well with creamier sauces, such as hollandaise. I like to keep the flavours simple so you can appreciate the freshness and flavour of this wonderful vegetable.

Preparation is key and often it will naturally snap between your fingers at just the right place – to do this, when you cut it, hold a spear from both ends and bend.

When you cook asparagus, remove the bundle from the pan and plunge it into ice cold water. This helps to keep the chlorophyll (and therefore the goodness and colour) locked in.

Depending on how it is prepared, this vegetable is best served with a lovely glass of medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, such as white Graves when served simply, or white Burgundy when served with Hollandaise sauce. Currently we have a number of asparagus dishes available at The Vineyard.

And…when the asparagus season is over, leeks make a great alternative!

Get your body Summer-ready

Our experienced head therapist Kirsty Hughes imparts her wisdom and suggests some do-it-yourself treatments to help you get ready for the sunny season. Here is the first of three excerpts from her over the forthcoming three weeks – just in time for the longest day of the year!

Summer Ready

With the shops starting to optimistically display barbecues at this time of year, and the British Summer calendar around the corner (cricket, Henley, Wimbledon, Ascot and Glyndebourne to name a few), the social summer season is almost here. Happily, we can look to wear summer dresses, sandals and pretty shawls. With our feet and skin about to be on show, it’s time to get our body-best for the summer. Here are some top tips to slip into your routine and soon it will be second nature.

Perhaps the least cared-for part of the body over the colder months are the feet. They deserve pampering; after all, they do serve us very well! It is so easy to care for them, too. Just set aside some you-time and follow the tips below.

Pumice stones gently remove hard areas, and nightly moisturising (pop some socks on after to keep the moisture in) helps to soften skin and get rid of any super-dry patches.
Mavala’s Hydro-Repairing Foot Cream (£12) is ideal to resolve dry or cracked skin.

Our toes’ cuticles need attention too, and caring for them straight after a shower or bath is best, because they are soft and can be pushed back easily. For more stubborn cuticles you can use Mavala Cuticle remover (£11).

Summery nail colours on toes really add a touch of glamour. I always apply a base coat to stop colour staining and help the colour apply evenly to your nail. Two coats of colour varnish and then a top coat seals the colour in to extend its life. Reapply every few days to prolong the life of the paint. Sit back and relax as it takes around 45 minutes for the paint to become rock solid.

If all this sound like too much effort then treat yourself to a Deluxe Pedicure (£50 for 55 minutes) and let us do the hard work. Your feet will be exfoliated, nails shaped, cuticle work, massage, a paraffin mask and last of all a paint. Your shoulders also get treated with a heated body wrap to ensure you have a relaxing time.

Daniel’s Bitter Chocolate Dessert with Orange Zest

Mousse au chocolat noir et zest d’orange – Bitter chocolate mousse with orange zest

This is a fantastic chocolate dessert from Daniel Galmiche’s new book, Revolutionary French Cooking. It’s quick and easy to prepare and tastes delicious.

Bitter chocolate moussePreparation time 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling
Cooking time 20 minutes

1 orange
90g/3.oz/heaped 1⁄3 cup caster
sugar
100g/3.oz plain chocolate
(66–70% cocoa solids), chopped
into small pieces
3 egg yolks
150ml/5fl oz/scant 2⁄3 cup double
cream
1 tbsp icing sugar

Pare the zest from the orange into fine strips using a zester or a small, sharp knife, cutting any pith away. Put the zest in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from the heat. Refresh under cold water, drain and repeat this entire process once more.

Using the same pan, return the zest to the pan and add 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar and 3 tablespoons water, stirring to dissolve. Bring to the boil and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the zest becomes transparent, then leave the zest strips to cool in the syrup. When cold, drain and set aside.

To make the chocolate mousse, put 75g/21⁄ 2 oz of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest it over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Heat for 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted, then remove from the heat and keep warm. In a separate heatproof bowl, mix together the remaining sugar, egg yolks and 2 tablespoons warm water. Rest the bowl over the saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Beat the mixture for 8–10 minutes until it turns pale, thickens and forms ribbon-like shapes when you lift the whisk and the mixture falls back into the bowl. Slowly stir in the melted chocolate until well combined.

In another bowl, whip the cream and icing sugar until soft to medium peaks form, then gently fold it into the chocolate and egg mixture until you obtain a lovely, smooth mixture, taking care not to overwork it. Divide the mousse into four glasses, glass dishes or large ramekins. Cover with cling film and chill for 1 hour before serving. If chilled for longer, remove from the fridge30 minutes before serving.

Just before serving, melt the remaining chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Swirl the chocolate over each mousse, then top with the orange zest and serve.

The Vineyard currently has a delicious chocolate dessert on the menu, Chocolate, salted caramel, cacao nibs, fromage blanc sorbet, which is a favourite among many of our guests. Take a look at our current dessert menu

Charcuterie by Daniel Galmiche

MeatPlatterBy Daniel Galmiche

The word charcuterie comes from the French terms chair cuite  ‘cooked meat’. Today, it has come to mean the art and science of the pig – in other words, the butchering, fabrication and preparation of pork – but it is also a term used more generally for all sorts of cold meat, poultry and fish products and dishes.

I remember when I was younger, we used to go down to the local town square for market day every Tuesday and choose our livestock. My family always bought from the same charcutier  as Maman and Papa liked his products and he came from near Maman’s village. Several years later, when I was starting my apprenticeship at a hotel in the town of Luxeuil-les-Bains, I learned how to make a few of the charcuterie products I used to eat. It was also a coincidence that Maman and Papa’s charcutier supplied the hotel. During my training I often had to prep the fowls, rabbit, deer or other animals before I started to make a dish. It wasn’t easy, but I was learning – after all, that was why I was here.

One of the most important charcuterie dishes I learned to make was terrine: a mixture of meat, fish, poultry or seafood, packed into rectangular dishes and often cooked in a bain-marie. Usually served in the container in which they are made and accompanied by pickles or even a sauce, they formed part of a buffet display. At The Vineyard, I always have a terrine on the menu and currently it’s guinea fowl and parsley terrine, apricot, chicory, almonds, which seems to be very popular with our guests at the moment.

Another great charcuterie dish I learned to cook was foie gras terrine. This is very popular during the festive season in France. A rare delicacy for food lovers, but a sensitive subject in general, it is made with goose or duck livers. Our pressed confit foie gras, peach, cucumber and ginger ,currently on our a la carte menu, is a dish that is often enjoyed by our guests during lunch and dinner. Our charcutiere boards together with our cheese boards that can be order from our California Bar menu are a great starter or sharing platter to be enjoyed with friends and family.

You’ll find more about the history and the different types of Charcuterie in my first Cookbook, French Brasserie Cookbook, as well as lots of great charcuterie recipes that are extremely tasty and easy to cook at home.

I hope to welcome you to The Vineyard soon.

Daniel Galmiche

Daniel’s guide to fish – his favourite subject in the kitchen

Vineyard-64 - 914 x 437The topic of fish and shellfish is almost as vast as the sea itself and one that I have a particular love for. It’s my favourite subject and section in the kitchen.

Pan fried sea bass, spaghetti rollWhen I was younger I remember local fisherman coming to the door every morning with a massive quantity of fish, the quality of which was unbelievable. One of the most popular was sea bass, a very meaty fish with firm flesh, which is equally delicious whether grilled, pan-fried, braised or baked. Versatility and tasty, they are available all year round, although it’s best to avoid them in March to June when they are spawning. Other favourites were sardines, nutritious oily fish, which will grilled or barbequed whole, or made in bouillabaisse and ling, which are perfect for fish pie. These days they are much in demand and therefore over fished, so I only buy them if they are line caught and have them occasionally as a treat.

The sustainability of fish is a big issue these days and one that we need to consider. At   TheScallops Vineyard, we try to make sure we buy from a sustainable source. It is very important that we find the right suppliers who will provide us with the best possible fish that is also sourced from sustainable stocks. It is all too easy to forget that most species are over fished, and therefore becoming not only expensive, but increasingly rare. So, for, example, we buy hand-dived scallops, not dredged ones, line-caught not net-caught fish, and farmed, but organically reared fish, where possible.

We currently have hand-dived scallops on the menu served with vegetables “à la grecque” and walnuts, and also many other fish dishes;  fillet of Cornish cod, Heirloom tomato, ratte potato, chive, fillet of Scottish salmon, aubergine, kumquat, lime  and South Coast turbot, girolles, rocket, chicken jus. View our current menu. Our food and wine matching dinners are also proving popular and I have included a particularly lovely turbot dish on the Clarendelle dinner menu on 25th September. Discover more about this dinner

I can’t stress how necessary it is to buy fresh, quality produce from a good source. A fish should be firm to the touch and its skin and eyes should look bright – dullness or discolouration denote it is past its best. And smell it – a fresh fish has clean, not overly ‘fishy’ odour, and sea fish often smell slightly salted or like seaweed. Lobsters and crabs should look undamaged and feel heavy for their size, while shellfish should have tightly closed shells.

Daniel Galmiche