“My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best” – Sir Winston Churchill
The taxi dropped us at the green front door of Hotel du Vin. It was a cold November evening in Harrogate and at six thirty, it has been dark already for well over an hour. Inside, it was warm and cosy. Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV was poured and we sipped and mingled. A tall, smiling girl in black served salmon gravadlax and caviar blinis with chives and créme fraiche.
We had dinner in an elegant room with an enormous table set for twenty eight. A trio of Cornish oysters – natural, Rockefeller and tempura was served and Pol Roger Purre NV was poured. Jonathan Smailes – Pol Roger Director of Sales, spoke about the House and its Style and introduced the wines. I am not a fan of zero dosage champagne but this wine complemented the oysters splendidly.
Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs with Grand Cru fruit from the excellent 2008 vintage was paired with scallops with a very creamy sauce and glazes with Gruyere. The wine was splendid on its own but stood up well to the cream and cheese.
Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2006, served in white wine glasses which are far more appropriate than the standard flute, accompanied a Duo of Pork – pan seared pork belly, roasted fillet, butternut squash puree and sautéed potatoes.
It was a privilege to drink Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill from the phenomenal 2004 vintage, again served pleasingly in a white wine glass, with pan roasted duck breast, dauphinoise potato, truffled spinach and kirsch cherry jus. Mostly Pinot Noir from Grand Cru vineyards, it has 9 g/l of residual sugar and had spent 9 years in the Pol Roger cellars in Epernay.
Pol Roger Rich NV from an equal mix of the three champagne grapes and a residual sugar level of 34 g/l was sipped with Pain Perdu topped with summer fruits and Chantilly cream.
All the dishes were well prepared and beautifully presented and service was splendid. However, I couldn’t help wondering how well the three vintage wines would have paired fish such as turbot or hake with a creamy sauce and partridge or chicken, specially Cuvée Winston Churchill, instead of the pork and duck. I felt the duck would have been better with Pol Roger Brut Rosé 2008! A little Champ-sur-Barse or Lys de Champagne at the end and a few petits fours with the coffee would have been the icing on an already splendid cake!