Browsing articles tagged with "M&S Rooftop Restaurant Archives - I Love Saturday"
Nov 14, 2013

O’Briens Wine Fair – Grape Expectations!

Me and Dad met on Saturday morning, outside BT as usual, all excited about O’Briens Wine Fair. Dad’s fave bottle shop were hosting a series of tasting sessions at the Round Room in the Mansion House. Don’t mind if we do! First up was some carb loading at M&S Rooftop Restaurant, to line our stomachs before the main event. We’ve long been fans of this place. M&S food already cooked for you. What’s not to love?

We went for the Dine Menu, 14.50 euro for two courses and a glass of vino. Well we had to start somewhere… I had a creamy Camembert tart with rocket, asparagus and onion marmalade, while Dad tucked into seafood pie with a golden breadcrumb topping. Both were absolutely top drawer. We followed with Eton Mess for me and chocolate tart for him. The best thing about the Rooftop Restaurant is that we were done and dusted in an hour. Satisfied customers!

Off we trotted to the Mansion House. The Round Room was kitted out with 45 different wine merchants from around the globe. We were handed a glass each, on arrival, and set free into a Willy Wonka world of wine. The tables were arranged in order of country of origin, with each producer offering their glug, San Pellegrino and Carr’s Table Water biscuits. Ambassador… The idea was to take a sip and move on.

We started with Norton Argentina, from – you guessed it – Argentina. 2010 Syrah Reserva for me. Next up was Bethany, from Australia, where I sampled their Old Quarry Tawny Port. A taste of Christmas. Vina Chocolan, from Chile, was an early favourite with their 2011 Syrah Reserva and 2011 Malbec Gran Reserva both tickling my tastebuds. We milled about the room, rather than from table to table.

I got talking to one or two wine buffs, chaps who were only too delighted to shoot the boozy breeze. I know nothing about wine, just that I like it. Dad bumped into an old pal who tipped us off to a couple of numbers. According to these sources, O’Briens Wine Fair was one of the better events they’d been to. Good to know! Certainly in terms of variety and ease we were impressed. And enjoying it very much…

In fact so much that I tried four wines from Spain’s Coca i Fito. 2009 Sao Abrivat, 2010 Jaspi Negra, 2009 Coca i Fito and 2008 Planets de Prior Pons. Modern and delicious, these bottles were beautifully packaged too. My must-have white was New Zealand’s Man O’War 2011 Valhalla Chardonnay. It’ll be on our table on Christmas Day. Domaine Duffour, from France, was a single 2012 Gascogne. Yummy!

And so to Champagne, darlings. Beaumont Des Crayeres Grande Reserve fizzed on my lips, decadent and sharp. Nothing like the real thing! Except maybe a really good Prosecco. Rizzardi Prosecco Spumante was the party tipple of choice for Mother’s recent birthday bash. I recommended it to a bride-to-be who was totting up a list of prospective toasts for her wedding. Seems everyone was having fun!

Two hours in, slightly tipsy but well diluted with water and crackers we had made our picks. Dad was a happy camper as many wines were discounted and there was a bonus 20% back on his loyalty card for every six bottles bought on the day. Deal-tastic. The final cut included the Sao Abrivat, Delheim Chenin Blanc, Chocolan Malbec and Privada Blend. It was soon high time for some well earned Americanos.