Date: 17 November 2014
Location: London, England
Wine: Knipser 2011 Spätburgunder Kalkmergel
Cuisine: Modern Takes on Historic British Gastronomy

Wine List: I’ve always wanted to dine at The Fat Duck. It’s still on my bucket list, but I just enjoyed a different view into the brilliance of Heston Blumenthal at his three-year-old restaurant Dinner in Knightsbridge. At Dinner, Blumenthal takes centuries-old British classics and reinterprets them with cheeky presentations.

Pick: My dining companion was an American-born wine pal who now lives in Paris. We chose very different main courses – Spiced Pigeon and Chicken Cooked with Lettuces, and we agreed a light red was the best option. Dinner’s wine list is immense, so we knew we would find something we’d both love that would suit both dishes equally well. Burgundy beckoned, but it was as glaringly expensive as it usually is.

The terrific sommelier, Stephan, guided us to some new gems. We opted for a German Spätburgunder, or Pinot Noir. Produced in the Pfalz by Knipser, this single vineyard bottling matched the spice of the pigeon yet then took a back seat to the more subtle chicken. It was brilliantly versatile, and it cost less than three-digits! That was a pleasant surprise as German Pinot Noir can be as pricey as Premier Cru Burgundy. Yet again, having a talk with a gifted sommelier can lead to one of the best bits of a grand dining experience.