What about something to warm you up ?! I'd say we have exactly what is needed on a day like this

Bila-Haut Latour de France Occultum Lapidem, Languedoc-Roussillion 2013 at £16.30

Praised year after year on Robert Parker’s website, this cuvée’s 2013 vintage is keeping up the pace. Another example of Chapoutier’s constant pursuit of excellence and worth decanting to show its best.

Made of a blend Syrah,Grenache and Carignan
this dry purplish red coloured wine features medium animal, spicy, floral, fruity and mineral scents and offers a broad texture as well as fleshy tannins.

His coulinary partner is undoubtely a rich and flavoursome casserole … even better if local !

So why don't try it with the best known gem of Languedoc Roussillon's gastronomy?

CASSOULET is a simple casserole of haricot beans stewed with mutton, pork or sausages originated from Castelnaudary, the main harbour of the Canal du Midi that joins the Atlantic to the Mediterranean.

Here's a quick version of the original recipe :

QUICK CASSOULET

Ingredients

30 ml (2 tbsp.) duck fat
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced 
1 large garlic clove, chopped 
60 ml (1/4 cup) crushed tomatoes
125 ml (1/2 cup) veal stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 small bay leaf
2 duck sausages with dried tomatoes (or other game sausages) 
250 ml (1 cup) white beans, cooked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 ml (1 tbsp.) vegetable oil 
15 ml (1 tbsp.) butter
45 ml (3 tbsp.) bread crumbs

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). In a saucepan, heat the duck fat over medium-high heat. Sweat the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring continuously. Add the crushed tomatoes, veal stock, thyme and bay leaf.Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, cover the sausages with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water starts to boil, remove the sausages and set aside. Add the beans to the first preparation and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper.Simmer for 5 more minutes.

Place the mixture in the mini casseroles. In a skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat.
Brown the sausages on all sides for about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 or 3 minutes. Cut the sausages into 2 to 3 cm (1 in.) slices.
Add them to the bean mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot and enjoy it !

Good afternoon wine lovers !

As usual here at Grand Cru we are ready to open our weekly selection ! 
As the weather gets chillier this week we’re suggesting you three spicy, bold and characterful reds to warm you up as well as two aromatic whites, perfect for a dinner party aperitif.

William Robertson Chenin Blanc 2015 at £9,25

An appealing light straw colour. Light with lovely ripe, attractive rounded fruit. Fresh floral nose and an exciting acid balance. Enjoy now as ana aperitif or with seafood, smoked salmon, roast chicken and pork.

Langlois, Sancerre, Chateau de Fontaine-Audon 2013 at £17,90

Pale straw yellow with greenish hues. The bouquet is intense, pronounced, pleasantly aromatic and typically varietal with citrusy and exotic fruit notes. On the palate, very good balance and freshness with a slightly astringency on the finish. Marked minerality.

Gayda Figure Libre Freestyle Rouge 2013 at £13,75

With a helping hand leant by the guys behind The Chocolate Block, South Africa's cult wine, this is one not to be missed. A very big, full bodied wine with red cherry flavours fitted out with black fruit backgrounds. Pepper and spice playing their vital role too.

Izadi Rioja Reserva 2011 at £12.95

Bright ruby red in colour with intense aromas of red fruit. On the palate lively red and black fruit flavours abound with gentle hints of oak, spice and toast. Well rounded and wonderfully balanced with a remarkable freshness on the long finish.

Mitolo Jester Shiraz 2013 at £12.25

Deep, dark red. The nose is bright, lifted and aromatic,with raspberry, blackberry and mint chocolate characters. The palate is concentrated with a luscious rolling texture and packed with fresh blackberry and plum, dark chocolate, liquorice and a hint of white pepper spice. The wine is juicy and plush with silky tannins that linger, providing a drying, savoury finish.

Come and taste themat the shop or simply order them here on our website!

Cheers !

The Grand Cru team

NEXT WINE TASTING EVENING

MAISON NICOLAS PERRIN PORTFOLIO TASTING

Thursday the 27th of October from 8 pm to 10 pm

In occasion of this special event we will taste the excellencies of Maison Nicolas Perrin an exciting new venture born born from the cooperation of two of the great families of the Rhône, Nicolas Jaboulet, and the Perrin family of Ch. de Beaucastel.

In essence the finest producers in the south of the valley have harnessed the expertise of one of the greatest names in the North to forge a new and dynamic range, working with some of the best growers in some of the best vineyards.

All will be accompanied by platters of appetizers which will be served at mid-evening.

Towards the end of the evening guests, if they wish to, can complete their order forms which will be collected by the staff who will take care of processing them. Bear in mind that just for the evening you will be entitled to a 10% discount on all of our products.

The cost of a single ticket is £35. To get your tickets you can drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 020 8650 0085. We will be very happy to get your place booked but remember we can't hold to a booking for more than two days.

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

The Grand Cru team

Rioja wines are known for being very food friendly.

They obviously pair particularly well with Spanish food especially lamb and pork and recipes that contain red peppers, pimenton, garlic and saffron.

The main thing to bear in mind is the style - whether it’s a young (joven) rioja which retain a fresh fruitiness with very little tannin or an older (Crianza or reserva) one which would be more robust and complex.

A Crianza Rioja like our 

Izadi Rioja Reserva 2011 at £12.95

is a sure match to the local dish ALBONDIGAS (meatballs in a rich sauce).



INGREDIENTS

MEATBALLS
500 g (17.6oz) minced beef or lamb
0.25 quarter of a Spanish onion, chopped
1 garlic clove
1 pinch Salt & black pepper
1 sprig of flat parsley
1 slice of white bread
100 ml (3.5fl oz) milk
1 egg

SAUCE
4 tbsp Spanish olive oil
0.75 3/4 of a Spanish onion
4 garlic cloves
1 small carrot
1 small tin of green peas
1 glass of Spanish red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 pinch Salt
1 tin of chopped plum tomatoes
1 tsp sugar

METHOD 

Soak the bread in the milk. Finely chop the garlic, Spanish onion and flat parsley
Whisk the egg and mix all the ingredients together in a baking tray and knead this dough with clean hands for 2 minutes (don't over work it as the meatballs will become rubbery).
Make balls by rolling the mince between your hands and lay them on a baking tray.
Roast them in the oven with a drizzle of Spanish olive oil for 10 minutes at 180 degrees.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with some Spanish olive oil, then fry the finely chopped garlic, carrot and Spanish onion until transparent.
Add the thyme, rosemary, salt, sugar, pepper and the glass of Spanish red wine and flambé.
Let the wine reduce by half and add the chopped tinned tomato. Cook for five minutes, add the green peas and meatballs and cook all together for another five minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked.

Enjoy it !

www.gradncruco.com

 

NEXT WINE TASTING EVENING

MAISON NICOLAS PERRIN PORTFOLIO TASTING

Thursday the 27th of October from 8 pm to 10 pm

 

In occasion of this special event we will taste the excellencies of Maison Nicolas Perrin an exciting new venture born born from the cooperation of two of the great families of the Rhône, Nicolas Jaboulet, and the Perrin family of Ch. de Beaucastel.

In essence the finest producers in the south of the valley have harnessed the expertise of one of the greatest names in the North to forge a new and dynamic range, working with some of the best growers in some of the best vineyards.

All will be accompanied by platters of appetizers which will be served at mid-evening.

Towards the end of the evening guests, if they wish to, can complete their order forms which will be collected by the staff who will take care of processing them. Bear in mind that just for the evening you will be entitled to a 10% discount on all of our products.

The cost of a single ticket is £35. To get your tickets you can drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 020 8650 0085. We will be very happy to get your place booked but remember we can't hold to a booking for more than two days.

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

The Grand Cru team

From central Italy, the Verdicchio grape's style ranges from fresh everyday white wines to richer examples capable of aging for ten years or more, particularly when produced around the area of Castelli di Jesi and Matelica.

Beautifully crisp and refreshing, Verdicchio has no obvious fruit flavours beyond a hint of citrus but is the perfect easy-drinking companion for a range of dishes including light young cheese, olives and light white meat. It would also work well with seafood and fishy pasta dishes and even handle tricky-to-match artichokes.

Today we want to suggest you to match our 


Verdicchio di Matelica,Cantine Belisario,2015 at £12.95



Pale with green highlights. Abundant aromas of vibrant grapefruit, white flowers and hints of honey dominate the nose. The palate shows refreshing acidity, interesting mineral characters, a light hint of ripe fruit and a final burst of zingy lemon to lift the finish. A beautifully balanced wine, with a soft mouthfeel that retains a wonderful lifted, fresh character.

With this exceptional and easy to make SPAGHETTI ALLE VONGOLE (Spaghetti with clams)

Ingredients 

Kosher salt
6 ounces spaghetti
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
2 pounds cockles, Manila clams, or littlenecks scrubbed
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot. Season lightly with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, swirling pan often, until just golden. Add red pepper flakes and continue cooking 15 more seconds. Add wine, then clams; increase heat to high. Cover skillet and cook until clams open and release their juices, 3-6 minutes, depending on size of clams. As clams open, use tongs to transfer them to a bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to skillet; bring to a boil. Add pasta to pan. Cook over high heat, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and has soaked up some of the sauce from the pan. Add clams and any juices from bowl to pan, along with parsley, and toss to combine. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Transfer pasta to warm bowls and drizzle with remaining oil.

Enjoy it !