An evening with Jacob’s Creek Winemaker Rebekah Richardson

jacobs creek logoWhat better way to spend a cold January evening than having dinner at the Happenstance restaurant London with Jacob’s Creek, hosted by their amiable winemaker Rebekah Richardson, courtesy of the Tesco Wine Community.

We Arrived a little early around 7.05pm (dinner for 7.30pm) after a stroll past St Paul’s Cathedral, the restaurant was very busy a lively and loud but fortunately we were shown to an impressive private function room downstairs where we were met by the guys from Jacob’s Creek.

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Quick Photocall with Rebekah and a glass of Jacobs Creek Sparkling Shiraz

Jacobs creek 1My wife and I were one of the first to arrive and we were introduced to Rebekah over a glass of Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay/Pinot noir. After a few minutes the other guests from the Tesco Wine Community started to arrive and after more introductions we eventually proceeded to sit at the table.

Before starting the food Rebekah introduced herself and gave us a quick explanation of the wines we were going to taste alongside the food. The Menu was three courses starting with Chicken Satay in which Rebekah chose two wines to pair with, the first was their Fiano 2013 and the other was Twin Pickings Sauvignon Blanc/Moscato 2013. I must admit out of the two I preferred the Fiano especially as the Chicken was a little on the fiery side and the crisp tangy freshness as well as the stony fruit of the Fiano quenched the spices.

 

 

 

 

Twin Pickings SauvignonBlanc/Moscato which was low in alcohol (8.5%) was a little on the sweet side for me but saying that it was the majority favourite around the table.

After a few refills of each of our favourite whites the main course of Steak & chips arrived along with fresh glasses filled with the next wine duel, which was Sangiovese 2013 v’s Reserve Shiraz 2012. For me this was harder to decide as I liked them both with a slight preference for the Shiraz. The Sangiovese was full of aromas of fresh sour red berries and raspberries, taste wise red berries again with a slightly herbally dry finish, very drinkable. The Shiraz had a bit more depth with a hit of vanillary oak and spices along with dark plums and dark Chocolate, this time the majority favourite around the table was the Shiraz.Jacobs creek 10 Both paired beautifully with the steak.

Jacobs creek 12Finishing off with chocolate brownie, Ice cream and raspberries Rebekah gave us a glass of Sparkling Shiraz to accompany, this was something different and most people seem to enjoy, not sure it was quite what the dessert needed but as I said it was different, pleasant enough and well worth trying.

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Chicken Satay Starter
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Steak & Chips Main Course

Jacobs creek 8The evening was (as usual for these Tesco Community events) superb, big thanks to Jacob’s Creek and to Rebekah for being a fantastic and knowledgeable host.  Great meeting some of the new members of the community, my only regret was that we had to leave early to get the train back home at a reasonable time as we both had work the next day.

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Happenstance logo

Pernod Ricard UK – Winter Wonderland

Always nice to have a bite to eat and a few drinks over a Christmas period even better when the Co-leader in the Wines & Spirits sector worldwide Pernod Ricard asked me if I would like to attend their annual ‘Christmas Media Lunch’, not something I would normally be expected to get an invite for but a couple of weeks ago to my surprise, there it was sitting in my inbox.

At 12.15pm on the 4th December I apprehensively but excitedly made my way out of Gunnersbury station and made the short journey across the road to Chiswick Park Building 12, wondering why a humble amateur wine blogger would be invited to this prestigious event at the new swanky offices of Pernod Ricard UK. -Pernod room(600 x 450)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pernod guests(600 x 450)pernodtasting room(600 x 450)Warmly greeted at the door I was escorted to the floor that had been transformed into a brilliantly white (should have brought my snow goggles) Winter Wonderland. A small crowd had already gathered mostly around the bar, where the bartenders were furiously making all kinds of exotic cocktails made with Pernod Ricard’s vast array of spirits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacob Riesling 1(600 x 450)
Three Reserve Rieslings including the brilliant 2003 on the right

I was given a Rum cocktail drink which on first sip very nice but having realised that my first passion is wine I was quickly whisked off to the Wine tasting room for a pre lunch private tasting ( well, I was the only one in the tasting room at that time as everybody else was still hitting the cocktails) of Jacob’s Creek Rieslings and Cabernet Sauvignons where Anthony Gordon their Knowledgeable and friendly Wine Development Executive took me through some impressive back vintages of both Riesling and Cabernets, the absolute stars for me was the 2003 Reserve Riesling and the 2002 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a lovely start to the afternoon.

Jacobs cab sauv(600 x 450)
Three Cabernet Sauvignon Reserves including my favourite 2002

Lunch was served around 1.30pm and keeping in theme the tables were set with another winter backdrop which was like sitting in the Artic (only a lot warmer) kept looking under the tables expecting penguins to suddenly appear. For starters we were served Sea Bass, main dish of Smoked Venison and a chocolate and Honeycomb dessert. The wines to accompany the superb food was Brancott Estate Sauvignon Gris 2014, Jacob’s Creek Shiraz and a GH Mumm Rose Champagne.  pernod lunchtable(600 x 450)pernodmenu(450 x 600)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During coffee we were treated to a glass of the new Martell Cordon Bleu Extra Old cognac (I was told it would probably retail at £100 +), lovely end to the meal.

All in all this was a very nice way to spend a cold afternoon in December, a big thanks to the guys at Pernod Ricard for the  invite, the warm welcome and the brilliant food and of course wine, capped off by a generous gift of a bottle of Club Havana Rum., to see through the winter nights.

dinnertable pernod(204 x 317)

8.5corks

My Rating 8.5/10 Corks