Am I the only person to find a wine list on a tablet a complete nightmare? Generous friends have just taken us to lunch at 67 Pall Mall – and the reputation of its wine list, orchestrated by Ronan Sayburn, goes before it. I had been told that I had to earn my lunch by choosing our wines – what a pleasure, I thought. I was looking forward to browsing through a list and finding something unusual and unknown (to me), that perhaps had been overlooked and represented a bit of a bargain. My recent success on that front was a delicious 2010 Madiran from Domaine Brumont at Simpsons. I always like to drink the unfamiliar when I am out.
But confronted with a list on a totally unuser-friendly tablet with a mind of its own, I am afraid I gave up the struggle to explore and simply opted for the familiar, the Languedoc section, which provided discoveries for our friends, but not for me and my husband. Had we been able to browse in the old-fashioned way, I might have alighted upon Croatia, Lebanon, Israel, Santorini, I know not what. After this experience, my second with a tablet, I strongly feel that a tablet wine list discourages exploration. We were told that the list changes frequently and that there always new wines, but with the ease of printing these days it should not be a problem to have just one printed list for the Luddites amongst us who like the feel of paper. Also, I spend a large part of my working day looking at a screen, so it is not something I particularly want to do while I am out enjoying myself.
So what did we drink?
2015 Petit Trélans, Domaine Alain Chabanon
From a pioneering winemaker outside the village of Montpeyroux. An unusual and very successful blend of Vermentino and Chenin blanc. Light dry honeyed nose and more so on the palate. Beginning to mature and loose its acidity. Nicely rounded finish. And went a treat with some crab.
2015 Minervois, Domaine Anne Gros, les Fontanilles
From a talented Burgundian winemaker who is also exploring the potential of the south. Young colour. Lovely spicy fruit on both nose and palate, integrated tannins. Beautifully elegant, long and satisfying and just the thing with succulent roast pheasant.