Last Friday I visited a wine merchant I’d read a lot about: Les Caves de Pyrene, in Guildford. My trip coincided (not, to be honest, much of a coincidence) with their annual bin end sale, and didn’t disappoint. They had lots of mad stuff, some wines that stank and tasted awful, others that stank and tasted great, lots of excellent discounts, and plenty of things I’d never heard of. I bought a pretty random dozen, Gilad (who came with me), an even more random 19 bottles. We got there two hours into a two-day sale, and they were already selling out of stuff – including, sadly, the handful of bottles of Bierzo (see below, somewhere) that I’d enjoyed at the Modern Pantry.
We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there, because we had lunch booked at Drake’s, a nearby restaurant with a £25 meal deal and one Michelin star. The meal was fine, not wildly exceptional and a bit over-fussy, to my mind. I’d have preferred another hour in the wine shop.
Then a horrific, three-hour journey through evil traffic and, by way of reward, a delicious white Burgundy – not from Les Caves – that showed how good chardonnay can be. Much, much more enjoyable than the flinty, austere new world style of my last bottle of chardonnay, from Maycas del Limari (who haven’t been a great hit with me all round), though at about £14 it’s also 50% more expensive and waaay too much to become a regular chez moi.