Studying—oof, the pain. Remember the hours of revision? The flashcards? Go on—take a Proustian sniff at a Stabilo Boss fluoro highlighter and fast-rewind to the stress of exams, the rituals and superstitions, the anxious waiting for results. Yes, acquiring an education can be a painful business. Wouldn’t go through all that again for all the mules in Moscow.
Except, perhaps, when it comes to wine, when learning can be really rather fun. But it’s not something that necessarily lends itself to solitary study. You need a few muckers around you to share out the volume, bounce ideas around, pool tasting notes. You need a good teacher, too.
It’s with all this in mind that the Covent Garden Hotel has launched its Winemakers’ Dinners series. The format is as follows: the hotel hosts a winemaker, or a group of winemakers, who get together with Paul Shields, the head chef at its Brasserie Max restaurant, to design a special menu to showcase and illuminate their wines. As ever, analysis of the wine in the context of a fine supper means you remember and appreciate what you learn.
On March 27, the spotlight will fall on Pommery: the illustrious historic maison that we have to thank for the Brut style of champagne. Pommery’s UK Brand Ambassador Barry Melton will present four seasonal cuvées of Pommery champagne: Brut Royal NV, Summertime Blanc de Blancs, Wintertime Blanc de Noirs and Springtime Brut Rosé. These are all paired with a classic-with-a-twist menu, featuring dishes such as Parmesan cones with minted pea risotto and slow-cooked pork belly, spring greens, roast potato and apple compote. And not a flashcard in sight. —Anna Blomefield