We are fortunate to have a handful of really quite excellent restaurants on our doorstep here in West Berkshire. Michelin-starred or otherwise, we’ve scoured the wine lists of our favourites to bring you our ‘Top 3 Restaurant Wine Lists’ in the local area, picking a few standout choices on each. Fear the wine menu no more! We’ve done the work for you…
From the Michelin-starred The Blackbird in Bagnor, the wine menu really is a feast for the senses, albeit manageable. The wonderful Rotem & Mounir Saouma, Inopia Blanc 2016, Cotes du Rhone Villages was a joy to find. An unusual (in a good way) white Rhone blend, made by Burgundy vignerons, and with a notable touch class to boot. They also do a brilliant selection of half bottles, which is a such a great idea in a restaurant. A personal favourite would be Le Potazzine, Rosso Di Montalcino, 2013, Tuscany – for those who like Brunello but don’t want the hefty price tag.
The Harrow at Little Bedwyn is no stranger to wine-lovers, but for the uninitiated they offer a brilliant pairing menu. The proprietor sits on the judging panel for Decanter, so they know a thing or two about it! If you’re up to perusing the extensive and excellent wine list, you’ll find treasures from all over the world. There are some legendary by the glass offerings, including the extremely rare Ben Glaetzer Amon-Ra Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia. Parker marks these up to 100/100. You may seriously never try a better Shiraz in your life! For a ‘different’ bottle of white, the Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko from Greece is a relative snip, for a wine of great calibre and character and easy to pair.
Over to The Pheasant at Shefford Woodlands- a classic English country pub, with an extensive wine list, heavy on the classics but with a few nice surprises to be found. A delight to see the Norman Hardie Niagara Peninsula Pinot Noir on the menu, at a price that’s appropriate to a decent Sunday lunch out. This bright, smoky, fresh-fruited Pinot is for those who like and appreciate their Burgundy (whilst being considerably cheaper). Another off-piste but excellent choice from North America is found in the Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl, Riesling, Washington State, USA. Super aromatic, with honeysuckle and white peach, full and juicy with bags of racy acidity. The perfect pair to any Asian-inspired dishes.