Fortnum & Mason wins “least rip off” prize

My last (and first) visit to Fortnum & Mason 1707 Wine Bar was such a success, the very next time I was in London I revisited.

This time my flight comprised three Pinot Noirs and I also added a plate of charcuterie to nibble on.  At £13 an American would starve on this dish, but the quality soared.  The meat was, interestingly, not Italian, the most notable of a good bunch being Gloucester Old Spot Prosciutto which stood up to any Italian prosciutto I have ever tasted.

The Pinot Noirs were all worthy of drinking, for the record:

Fortnum & Mason Bourgogne Rouge Drouhin 2004 – soft and supple, the most subtle of the three with redcurrants and a creamy finish.

Merricks Creek Pinot Noir Victoria 2004 – a powerful strawberry flavour wine, jammy and louder than Ian Paisley in full rhetorical flow.

Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Waipara 2004 – the most interesting of the bunch.  Cherries and some mineral.  A bit like the French one but with a bit of kiwi intensity and sharpness.

I couldn’t resist trying one more wine and was pleased to see the Fortnum & Mason Pomerol Clos Rene 2003 served in a Riedel Bordeaux glass from the Vinum range. Black fruits prevailed in contrast to the red fruited Pinots.  A bit of cooked cabbage, quite tannic with a long finish.  Quite a serious wine as you might expect

I tolerated some rude treatment from the staff because of the excellent pricing policy, £10 corkage being added to the shop price no matter the value of the wine.  Clearly the place to go if you fancy a 1961 Latour.

So I award F & M my top prize for least rip-off wine drinking prices in London wine bars or restaurants.

I also enjoy trying the flights of three wines linked by grape and comparing the different treatments.  But next time I think up an award, I really must construct a snappier name.

Finally, you don’t have to drink wine, coffee and tea is available.  It is also very quiet, so I use it for meetings when I am in Piccadilly/Mayfair.  I used to frequent The Wolseley for this purpose but it is nowadays too busy.  Oh well, my secret is out.  I’ll have to find somewhere new, now.  Ciao.

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