Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow West End
I was really excited to be invited along to try the nearly monthly wine lunch at Hotel du Vin. Dining at Hotel du Vin had been on our "to do" list since I moved to Glasgow, we just hadn't been able to find the occasion so far!
Sadly my co-blogger, Graeme, was otherwise engaged so I had the delight of dining with Miss D instead. We arrived and were seated in the bar with a glass of chablis to start - I was soon to learn there was a lot more to chablis than I first thought! I was very excited to see the above painting on the wall - despite my lack of wine knowledge and expertise, Yering Station is one of the few wineries I visited back in my home land, Australia.
We were greeted by the deputy hotel manager, Olly, who welcomed us to the wine lunch and told us that it was an informal and friendly affair. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect so I appreciated his run-down. Shortly after, canapes arrived - my favorites being the duck and plum balls.
We moved into the dining room where we were introduced to our host for the day, Anne Roque. She was there to guide us through the wines (provided by Domaine Laroche) and she provided a really interesting commentary throughout the lunch, without ever being boring or too technical.
First starter: quenelle of pike, mushroom duxelle, financ
Wine: chablis st martin 2009
This was absolutely delicious. The quenelle of pike was so smooth and tender, with a subtle and delicate flavour. The mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment and really gave the dish a great kick. The accompanying wine was a great starter wine, lovely and light without being overpowering.
Second starter: escargot vol au vont, celeric puree, red wine fumet
Wine: chablis le cru les vaudevey 2008, and chablis les cru les vallions vignes 2007
So, I had never
eaten snails before. Somehow, when quickly scanning the menu as we were seated, I missed that we were having snails. As soon as it was pointed out to me, I became quite anxious. Would I commit a food blogger faux pas, and be unable to eat the delicacy? I would have been mortified, especially in front of a French person! I shouldn't have been worried however - I actually really enjoyed this dish, and surprised myself. A similar nutty flavour to mushrooms (which I have only recently began to love) and the celeriac puree inside the vol au vont was a smooth contrast to the snail. I'm not sure I'm totally persuaded to the way of the snail, but I was glad to tried it - and devoured the whole dish, I must admit.
There were two wines served with this dish and we were invited to comment on which we thought was the better accompaniment. I'm not sure which was better with the dish, but I really loved the chablis les cru les vallions vignes 2007.
Main course: Saint Brides free range chicken, chablis veloute, soft parmesan and polenta
Wine: chablis grand cru les blanchots 2007
What a wonderful main course. I normally wouldn't order chicken when I'm out, as it rarely impresses me enough to talk about on the blog. This chicken was really tender and delicate however, as you can see it was the "brown meat" parts of chicken which was unusual, but it was packed with flavour and really delicate. The polenta, veloute and parmesan all oozed together to make a soft, creamy, heaven-sent pool of cheeseyness on the plate which I really loved.
The wine to accompany this course was a real show stopper. I never knew there could be such variation in chablis, and you could really see how this is such a well regarded (and expensive) wine.
Dessert: Classic apple tart tartin, star anise ice cream
This was a great dessert to finish the meal, and was served with a sweet dessert wine. Possibly a tad too sweet for me, but refreshing all the same. The star anise ice cream was a showstopper - the hint of star anise was slow to appear but wonderfully mellow when it did.
After lunch, the friendly and helpful sommelier took a lucky few to visit the wine cellar downstairs and told us more about the wines of Hotel du Vin.
Lunch at Hotel du Vin was a lovely treat - I got home and literally felt like I was floating on air (no, that wasn't from all the wine). A real blissful and relaxing experience where the service is impeccable, and the staff delightful.
The Glasgow Food Blog dined as guests of Hotel du Vin.