Nowadays food in Britain has evolved dramatically. Some of the best chefs from all over the UK are coming up with innovating and creative cuisine. What an exciting place to be at the moment.
The standards have never been so high.
Our Chef, Glynn, does just that. He pushes boundaries a little to make food different; to stimulate and revive our palate again.
Not only will you experience that with the three course A La Carte menu at Purnell’s Restaurant but more so with the tasting menu.
While people are busy getting educated with the culinary scenery, we would also like to think that we could do the same with wine. After all, food is made for wine and wine for food.
We aim to find out “ordinary wines” and have some exclusive to Purnell’s. I feel very fortunate to be able to express myself in this sense! Most of our wine list includes wine made uniquely by Proprietors as opposed to négociants and boutique wines made in tiny quantities. These are the wines to look out for. Of course, a "big name" are impressive but to me a little too predictable without a lot of imagination. This makes my job a nightmare. This means I will have to try as many wines as possible-perfect!
One of our wines comes from a small fishing village called Akaishi or Sea Bream in Western Japan. They have been around for over 140 years making this Sake. We have paired this wonderful and versatile wine with our Carpaccio of beef. It has been rolled in cinnamon and served with brown shrimps, caviar, Mouli and melon.
Together they make an explosion of flavours.
This Sake is made from Yamada Nishiki rice (considered the best rice for making Sake) and has been milled at 40%. By doing so, you are left with the core of the rice containing most of the starch thus making this rice wine complex with an amazing, long finish.
On the nose we find Lilly’s, white roses, sea salt, lemon and a touch of melon.
On tasting we find elegant, aromatic complexities; such as lemon and bitter orange. Although this Akaishi-Tai Junmai (pure rice) Daiginjo is served cold, as it reaches 14-16 degrees, the flavour develops liquorice and tamarind; simply superb.
We have 3 other Sakes from the same producer. The Genmai Aged Sake (made from brown rice-a first), the Shiraume Umeshu made from plums and the Tokiwa Shochu-a traditional spirit made from rice. They are all deliciously brilliant and really serious wines!
Sake has been around for quite some time; 300BC to be exact. The wine makers used to chew the rice and spit it out into a bucket thus creating fermentation. You will be pleased and be re-assured to know that this method is no longer with us. Times have evolved.
The rice is hand harvested at the end of the season towards the end of August and the beginning of September.
The rice is steamed (picture a sauna room), then sprayed in mould creating enzymes which will then convert into sugar. Water and yeast are added creating alcohol. This process is repeated 3 times doubling the amount each time. It is then left in enamel tanks for up to two months then bottled.
There we are, done!
I will be more than happy to discuss this furthermore with you should you wish to experience something different. This is what food and wine should be about. A little discovery of exciting textures and flavours.
24 February 2010