Let’s face it. Everyone needs more Chablis in their life. EVERYONE. As a keen consumer of Chardonnay — yes, just call me Bridget Jones — Chablis and I are well-acquainted. But to be fair, that’s about all I’ve ever really known about Chablis. It’s Chardonnay. Without the oak that American Chardonnays tend to so heavily favor.
Douglas Blyde, Masterof Big Words, did me the honor of including my name on the guest list for his Bacchus on a Knife Edge Supper Club at Andaz Studio in The Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street. (If you’re ever looking for an event space, you should consider Andaz Studio.) I returned the favor of his invitation with a dramatically, dramatically delayed blog post. See, I’ve spent the last six weeks, chained to my laptop, imprisoned in my own apartment, as I try to get a lot of work done in a very small window of time so that I can just hang out and relax for the rest of the year. (Right.) It’s been insane to say the least. Sorry Douglas. And sorry too to the lovely Thomas from Sopexa, the PR firm representing the Bourgogne Wine Board.
What did I learn about Chablis? It’s had a terrible year so far. Hail, floods and frost everywhere, significantly damaging yields. I also learned about the “Four Sisters” of Chablis: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Crus and Grand Crus.
Our evening started with tiny Norwegian fishcakes and cured cucumber filled with crab and avocado salad. They had been prepared by Martina and Magdelena of the NORDISH supper club. These were tasty little bites, but I wanted more! So I filled up on Chablis instead, quaffing as much as I could of the citrusy Petit Chablis (Pas Si Petit, 2014, La Chablisienne) while we waited to be seated.
Somehow, I ended up at the head of the table, with a fantastic view of the festivities. Douglas and Sopexa had assembled a great group of food and wine loving bloggers. It was great catching up with Tiki Chris, London Unattached, Ms. Food Blogger, Edible Woman, Felicia, and many others.
Shortly after taking our seats, Hana of Pickled Plates delivered a lovely summer vegetable salad with roasted radishes, brown butter dressing, pan-fried whiting and tempura samphire. I could have had two of these, but I couldn’t really because that would have been hedonistically rude of me. (I am a Taurus though.) So I drank more Chablis instead. This time, a clean and fresh Alain Geoffroy 2014 Chablis, which paired well with the spring-like flavors on our plate. (Even though it was summer.)
I was giddy now with anticipation of the main event…also, possibly giddy with hunger. Chef Rosie must of anticipated this because she presented us all with a hugely huge pork chop and a generous portion of rice. The soy and miso glaze on the pork chop was fantastic. Douglas chose Julien Brocard’s Chablis, La Boissonneuse to accompany our mains (also 2014). La Boissonneuse was the first Chablis of the night to demonstrate a little bit of oakiness, which helped it stand up to the flavors and textures of the pork chop. Now…now…you could roll me out ot Andaz Studio. I was FULL. Full of food, full of Chablis and having one of those “Life is grand!” moments as the conversation swirled around me.
Then something amazing happened. UNPASTEURIZED CHEESE. And BUCKETS of Chablis. I mean, let’s give Douglas some credit here. He knows how to throw a good party. EVERY party needs to end with huge boards of cheese and huge buckets of Chablis. In front of us, there was Stichelton from Nottinghamshire, Bleu d’Auvergne, Baron Bigod from Bungay, Camembert from Normandy, Montgomery Cheddar from North Cadbury, Somerset, and finally, my personal favorite, Comté. In the buckets, we found:
- Domaine William Fevre, Vaulorent, Premier Cru 2012
- Jean Paul et Benoit Valmur Grand Cru 2012
- Clotilde Davenne Les Preuses Grand Cru 2008
- Domaine Laroche Les Blanchots Grand Cru 2007
Given the tough year that Chablis is having, as you’re out there doing you weekly shop and perusing the wine aisle, find yourself some Chablis. Not only will you be enjoying a tremendously versatile wine, you’ll be supporting a region that’s been hard hit by weather lately, which may have knock-on effects in 2017.
Tremendous thanks to Douglas, Thomas from Sopexa, and our supper club hosts who put together a fantastic evening for both the attendees and for Chablis. I know what I will be drinking a lot more of this year. So should you!