“Game on!” – The perfect accompaniment to Autumn


71241[1]I was invited to the brilliant gastro-pub, The Wellington Arms,  in deepest darkest Basingstoke a couple of nights ago by a bon viveur of a client. Sadly, as I’m not the most well organised person, I’d left it too late in the day to plunder my own cellar (housed here rather than home, as the temptation is too great!) so I had to make a hasty stop in the shop to pick out a bottle of something modest and appropriate.

Unfortunately I’d totally underestimated the generosity of my host who brought along something wonderful, expensive and rare from the Rhône. As we tucked into a great game terrine with crusty bread and quaffed his delicious wine I looked nervously at my brooding plum/purple offering nestling at the bottom of a makeshift decanter. “Uh oh!” I thought.

So it came to the main course, he went for partridge and I went for the roast duck, both with savoy cabbage and mash. I chugged my wine, Ridge’s Lytton Springs 2006, into our glasses, swirled round and ……..

What on earth was I concerned about? Rich, sweet and spicy on the nose with the real essence of blackberries with a dollop of double cream. On the palate it was very similar, blackberry jam!!! Beautifully concentrated with a voluptuous, seductive finish. Fantastic in its own right but it was as the accompaniment to the rich, gamey food that it shone the brightest. I suppose the concentrated fruit is like a redcurrant jelly/game sauce supplement.

Now, I’m not saying it was better than my host’s legend, but for the food we ate, our mood and our surroundings we both agreed…..The Ridge was more, er, “appropriate”!

As the nights draw in and we look to comfort food this ticks all the boxes (and some I hadn’t even considered!) A real seductive treat.

Ready now but will keep well for another 5 years +