Tasting menu @ JSW Petersfield
This was my third visit to JSW and I always opt for the tasting menu because it is great fun exploring one of my fascinations, food and wine pairing. The owner is Michelin star chef Jake Saul Watkins and there are options of six- or eight-course tasting menus. You can also add the specially selected wines to go with each dish.
What is interesting is that for the eight-course menu there are three desserts, which for my husband with his sweet tooth is heaven!
The wine list
I decided this time to take advantage of their ‘awesome’ range of half-bottles. Jake is a big wine fan, but let’s hear it in his words…
“Jake’s passion for wine is self-evident judging by his vast choice of wine. His 700-strong list covers the globe. But, contrary to some Michelin starred restaurants (and many other restaurants), it is a fairly priced one.
“There are over 45 bottles under £30 with no less than 14 by the glass.
“Jake, whose Alsace wine selection is second to none, has chosen 50% New World, 50% Old World wines; which encompasses the Loire, the Rhone, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Alsace but equally Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, North and South America.
“His half bottle list of no less than 80 selections is rarely to be found in many restaurants. The choice is an eclectic one mainly sourced from French, Italian, German and Austrian vineyards.
“Dessert wines, a remarkable list of 38 half bottles, [including the opportunity for] pushing-the-boat-out [with] Chateau d’Yquem, Grand Cru at £175 (1998).
“The list also includes local beers, cocktails, ciders, seven port choices and a full list of spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.”
Our wine choices
For me it is always about choosing wines that my husband and I will really enjoy, over the best pairings. But doing the job I do and speaking to 100s of wine students I know that as long as the wines have enough flavour to stand up to our dishes, they will all probably work! The biggest challenge was finding a sweet wine for the sweet dishes, especially as strangely my husband doesn’t particularly like sweet wines.
So I chose (all half bottles):
Champagne Henriot Brut
Vincent & Sophie Morey Les Embrazées 1er Cru, Chassagne-Montrachet 2009
Bernard Magrez Chateau La Tour Carnet Haut-Médoc 2006
Hugel Tokay Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive, Alsace 1982
Needless to say everything, food, wine, service, ambience, was stunning. Not surprisingly, because of the dishes strongest ingredients, the Chassagne white worked best with the main meat dish and the Bordeaux red with the fish! The Champagne stood up to all of the savoury dishes and the Alsace was wonderful with all of the sweet dishes, plus it wasn’t too sweet for my husband due to its age.
To read about Andy and Erica’s visit in 2014 and a different perspective click here
To try an amazing food and wine pairing experience with Enjoy Discovering Wine click here