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Someone's 40th at the Old Bridge 10/02/2004 RJB

I've noticed that restaurant critics in the weekend broadsheets are apt to use sobriquets for the guests they take to restaurants: the President, the Blonde, Carruthers are all examples I think I've seen. Well this was the Potato's 40th birthday - and he wasn't the guest, but the host at a dinner at the Old Bridge, Huntingdon. Potato is an expert in, er, potatoes, so I guess the nickname works well (Charlotte, Cara or Desiree wouldn't somehow have suited). For his 40th birthday, Potato chose the wines to go with the Old Bridge's menu (I went for smoked haddock chowder, fillet of beef and creme brulee - the starter disappointing, the beef good, and the pudding simple and glorious).

Whilst his guests gathered, Potato supplied the excellently drinking Veuve Cliquot 1989 - top notch stuff for the start of the evening. The next wine was served blind at the dining table. I hadn't a clue other than thinking it might be a Semillon, Sauvignon blend. It turned out to be a blend of Viognier, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Grenache Blanc going under the name of Palladius 2002 from Sadie Family Winery - not really my style of wine: a bit too soft. Clos St Urbain Rangen Tokay 1996 (Zind Humbrecht ) followed. I'm not sure where I am with Zind Humbrecht wines nowadays. I used to love them, but then got rather bored by their style (the residual sugar), and rather disappointed by the way many have aged. This wines though is brilliant. Not a wine to have in vast amounts (it would get tiring), but a wonderful food wine. Two other whites similarly contrasted: a chardonnay from Cullen and a riesling from F.X. Pichler (the old world wine again winning my favour).

Two reds probably didn't get my full attention m'lud. The Dead Arm Shiraz 1998 seemed rather obvious, whilst the Solengo 2000 is a wine I'd like to try again to rate properly. The last time I was at a function at the Old Bridge (when Potato got married) I think I broke a chair and set light to a menu. This time I kept clear of the candles, and I did notice they've changed the design of chairs.

added to Fine Wine Diary 10/02/2004   Return to top