Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Happy Birthday Ffresh !

It was a great honour to have been invited to celebrate the 2nd birthday of Ffresh restaurant at the Wales Millennium Centre last night - and what a celebration it was !

Along with the cream of the crop of Cardiff food bloggers - including CardiffBites, Yourlastmouthful, the Tip Jar Wales, Fasting Foodie, and many others (apologies if I've left you out !) - we were treated to a three course menu from the Michelin Starred Chef, Shaun Hill of The Walnut Tree.

I'll say more about the food in my next post, but what made the evening for Drinks from Wales was the excellent food matching with the wines of Ancre Hill Estates in Monmouth.

We were treated to a pre-dinner aperitif of the excellent Ancre Hill Sparkling Rosé 2008 - which was pretty damn good ! Pale pink in colour, with a delicate nose and a very light biscuit note in the taste mixed with strawberries made it an ideal accompaniment to the canapes.

A red mullet starter brought the 2010 Ancre Hill Chardonnay to the table, which was still quite young and in my opinion almost a green wine. Very subtle oak notes, but exceptionally well matched with the fish.

As the main course of Roasted Partridge hit the table I must say I was slightly intrigued as I have yet to find a really good red wine from Wales, so the 2009 Ancre Hill Pinot Noir was something of a revelation.

Now I'm not saying it was the best red wine I've ever drunk, nor did I think it had enough body to totally carry off the match with the partridge, but it was pretty damn good. As it spent longer in the glass it got better too. It was bursting with berries in the nose, and whilst still a fairly light wine it was pretty smooth and drinkable.

The evening was all the better as I was sat next to Richard Morris, the man behind Ancre Hill Estates, and spent the time deep in discussion about all things wine and Wales - to see we were pretty much of similar mind in many things.

Richard and his wife Joy had some excellent ideas and I've promised to go up to the Vineyard next week to explore these further - and help pick this year's harvest !!

So, I'll report back next week on the 2011 crop and the views of Richard on the drinks industry in Wales.

Cheers !!

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