The Battery, set atop the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, is certainly a location that impresses. With stunning views across the river and London’s most stunning, modern developments – and classic decor of dark greens and rich purples inside – it really is a vantage point you would struggle to find anywhere else in the capital.
We came for a wine and food matching evening and discovered that it would be run with a different take. I’ve often learned about matching wine to certain dishes, but what about doing it the other way around? All the food we enjoyed that evening was designed to get the most out of the wines we were trying, using flavours such as ham hock, asparagus, pepper sauce, cumin and apricot to literally pull the flavour out of the wine.
It was exceedingly illuminating about how wines have as many characteristics as food and how easily we take for granted the complexity of a wine’s flavours. The ham hock and foie gras terrine was classically matched with a strong, powerful Clifford Bay Estate 2008 Sauvignon Blanc. White asparagus spears and quails’ eggs were as fresh and crisp as the Domaine Daniel Dampt Chablis they were paired with.
For main course we moved onto Mercurey 2006 Domaine Voarick, which worked better than expected with a monkfish fillet and romesco pepper puree. The Tobia Selection Crianza was the star of the show, a velvety rioja that stood up to the strong and powerful Blixes Farm milk lamb with smoked aubergine puree.
Desserts were less impressive; rhubarb crumble with sparkling wine ice cream sat on top of sparkling wine and strawberry jelly in the same glass. The combination of desserts meant it was hard to match the Cava Perlada Rose and the Miolo Millesime with their respective dishes. And I think all of us on the table might have preferred sweet wine or port instead of two glasses of sparkling wine.
The evening was neatly punctuated with a short intro on each of the wines we were trying, with no hard sell or long-winded speeches, and we watched the sun set over the city while enjoying a final class of that delicious rioja.
It was a formative evening and a unique way to learn about matching food and wine from a different perspective.
34 Westferry Circus
Tel: 020 8305 3089