A sunny and almost balmy October day had turned into clear cool evening as we gathered in the magnificent and historic Merchant Taylor’s Hall in York for a joint meeting of the Commanderie de Bordeaux a Manchester and La Jurade de Saint-Emilion.
We had an opportunity to admire the wonderful interior of the hall and catch with long-standing colleagues and meet members from both groups that appreciate the fine virtues of the wines of Aquitaine. To get into the mood and get our tastebuds excited, we were able to enjoy a very tasty, well balanced Champagne from Verzenay.
It was particularly enjoyable to sit formally at a single table laid out in traditional style and after grace begin our meal.
The Commanderie had provided a nicely barrel fermented Cotes de Bourg from Chateau de la Grave with an unusual blend of Semillon and Colombard grapes which had a rich flavour and was well very matched to the asparagus and Parma ham with its Citrus Hollondaise sauce.
The main course was a well-cooked duck breast in a Madeira sauce and a generous selection of seasonal vegetable, including some very “morerish” dauphinoise potatoes. This was accompanied by a nice selection of 3 red wines provided by the Jurade from in and around Saint Emilion.
The tasty cheese board was accompanied by even more distinguished wines from Saint Emilion. For our desert we the returned to the Commanderie to provide a splendid Sauternes from Chateau Rieussec that, whilst it was a delight in its own right, paired exceptionally well with some apple tart.
A cup of coffee then set up on our way to reflect on the success of this entent cordiale between two esteemed wine groups in Northern England and a hope that we can have “ever closer union”, even whilst our political masters seek to increase separation from our European friends.