The Royal Cliff Wine Dinner
By Gloria Jones
A few years ago I was a member of the DeVine club and I still have very fond memories of some really excellent evenings spent with friends I met through the club. Therefore it was no hardship for me to write an article about the recent French Wine Dinner hosted by DeVine at the Royal Grill Room & Wine Cellar and featuring the wines of Famille Perrin.
The invitation said 6:30 pm and it would be a complete rooky mistake to arrive late to one of these events. Therefore I walked into the hotel after my temperature scanning test of course, on the stroke of 6:30. Already a full house of guests was in situ enjoying the Deluxe Canapes by Chef Nick accompanied by the first of the Perrin wines – La Vieille Ferme Luberon Rose 2018. With its light rosy hue and fresh aromatic bouquet heralded a very good start to the evening.
So before long, it was time for us to take our seats in the elegant Grill Room. The Royal Cliff Hotel amazingly has 11 restaurants and I must confess to The Grill Room being right up there as a personal favourite. It has a marvelous wine cellar and with its traditional wooden decor rather puts me in mind of the traditional clubs back in London.
The pristine table presentation had a useful addition of numbered stickers on each of the wine glasses to remind us all of the order of the accompanying wines, and so it was that we started our first course: Rillettes de Poisson The succulent fish serviced with potato blinis red onion compote, pink peppercorns, and sour cream was a rather nice nod to the fact that the dinner was taking place on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. The pairing for this course was La Vieille Ferme Luberon Blanc 2018. Now anyone that knows me well, will know that my personal preference is usually towards red wines rather than white. A brief conversation about this during the dinner put this down to the fact that perhaps some rather acidic versions were imbued in the early years whereas this pleasing wine was completely above such awful memories. A rather delicate and slightly “lemony” flavour made the Luberon Blanc an absolute joy.
The second of the white wines was the Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2018
of greater depth than the first, there was also a slight tang at the end which lent itself very well to the Bouillabaisse of Poached Salmon, Sea Bass, Prawns, Mussels and Bok Choy with the Salmon Roe
Full marks for not being boring with the Sorbet palate cleanser – pleasingly this was a Cointreau Orange Sorbet as per the French theme in a wonderfully decorated glass
Then to my favourite section The Reds! Famille Perrin Réserve 2017 was a fruity fresh
Cotes du Rhone that worked extremely well with the delicately pink in the middle, Rosemary infused Duck Confit. The following Beef Striploin steak was also perfectly cooked with accompanying port wine sauce paired with my favourite wine of the evening the Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Les Sinards” Rouge 2017. This well balanced, full-bodied red is everything you could want from a wine. I tore myself away from it to enjoy the light and inventive dessert of Mango cream, Coconut Mousse, and Passion Fruit Gel.