Bolero Brasserie is absolutely one of my favourite restaurants. It’s perfect for an intimate dinner with a man who wants to whisper nothing but sweet nothings into your ear or a group of girl friends for gossip, giggles and everything in between. La Chaine des Rotisseurs, an organization to which I belong, had arranged a dinner on Saturday night which involved a blind taste test competition. 10 different wines? Bolero? Count me in!
The timing could not have been better as my hair appointment had been booked long before the dinner was planned. (If you’re ever in need of your tresses to be expertly cared for go to Strands and ask for Jette.) I enter the salon with my dead straight, dragged-through-a-hedge backwards, lack-luster hair and I leave hair-commercial ready! Too fab.
That night, the parking gods were on my side – thank heavens. I was wearing tower-high Christian Louboutin black suede pumps and a strapless charcoal grey cashmere dress: An outfit surely made for standing with one hip jutting out, my body curled around the arm of a handsome man and a full champagne flute in hand!
I was so pleased for Jonny Roberts, owner and executive chef, that the event was such a success; he certainly deserved it! The food was beautifully prepared and, with George at front of house, the service was great. With each course we were given two wines to enjoy and judge on the basis of not what we necessarily liked, but what went best with what was being served. Click here to read about the event – I simply would not do the meal or wines justice.
At the end of the evening, the results were announced. There was a huge disparity in results for two of the courses: The aperitif was rightfully won (cough) by New Age – my signature drink of the summer – but I was most suprised about the winning wine served with the Foie Gras Ballontine “Waldorf”: In my very humble opinion, the addition of the “Waldorf” accent to the Foie Gras threw out any sane thought of serving something full, warm and predictable like the Reisling dessert wine selected by Gosling’s. Instead, I loved the burst of flavour created by the Fratelli Moscato d’Asti 09 put forward by Discovery Wines. Admittedly it was daring and innovative, but I loved it. The wine itself was innocent yet cheeky and the hint of apple and spritz beautifully complemented the crisp green apples already present in the salad.
I caught up with Jonny at the end of the evening; he has always welcomed me like an old friend, and I was thrilled to learn his new book “Chefs Don’t Feel Pain” will be released during the first week of April. I was given a sneak peak at the advance copy. I didn’t even have to wiggle my way onto the invitation list for the launch – my name was already there.
I abandoned my car for a taxi ride home and during the journey, I reflected on the evening. With wine being my new language to learn, I ruminated over the choice of Foie Gras wines one more time; I was perplexed. But as I walked down the many steps to my home, shoes in hand, I realized the pairing of wine is subjective and very much like a relationship and that both sides are entitled to differing opinions. Wine too is a complex relationship: It requires development, understanding, patience and passion. And, in this case, what we felt was the right marriage between wine and food. And, as I woke the following day, I realized that wine is in fact about love.