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.