5 Apr 2006

Chilford Hundred 'Aluric de Norsehide'

Chilford Hundred '01 Aluric de Norsehide
[£16.95, Chilford Hall; £19 Bedales]

ANOTHER OFFERING from Chilford Hall vineyard, Cambridge, where I worked whilst at university.

My friends and I enjoyed a bottle of their '01 pink from a year I worked there, at Bedales last Friday evening, a sunny spring day. It was organic Alaskan salmon pink in colour with a beautifully light brioche nose and charming wild strawberry palate. Overall clean, crisp and enticing and just the way I remembered it in previous vintages. Having had an albeit minor hand in its production, I must declare my bias, however.

The staff at Bedales, Borough Market (T. 020 7403 8853) really know how to sell English wines. As well as being a very good wine shop loaded with curios (check out the basement) it's also a wine bar in the non-Essex sense. Very much worth taking advantage of is their fixed £5 mark-up on wines bought and drunk in the shop, all served with light tapas-style bites. For real tapas however, Brindisa around the corner serves authentic tapas at slightly inauthentic prices. La Gitana manzanilla washes down whatever you choose, showing just what a good food wine sherry can be.

For a more filling approach, Roast which occupies the recently re-located Floral Hall, offers perhaps the best luncheon venue in London. No cooking smells prevail due to a glass partition between restaurant and kitchen. When I dined there rival Chef Marco Pierre White and Belle occupied the next table. He was diligently sifting through what looking like braised fetherblade with an exploratory guise... I have written a short review HERE.
Also within Borough Market, I recommend a pitcher of New Forest Cider from Barry, especially the mulled variety. A healthy glow in a cup.