By Tom Wilkinson
A short walk down from St James’ Palace and Trafalgar Square on Pall Mall in London is 67 Pall Mall, an exclusive private members bar founded by wine lovers for wine lovers. Set in sumptuous rooms with a newly renovated upper floor, this fine establishment provides great food and a diverse wine list in one of the UK‘s most exclusive venues.
Currently open to new membership applications, the club boasts 500 wines by the glass and an impressive 5,000 by the bottle. Members may also store their own bottles of wine at the club to drink at their leisure.
Savour – The Food
Our waiter suggested that we should pick our food first so that the wine could be correctly paired by the sommelier. We opted for a range of smaller dishes to taste the wide variety of food on offer, starting with mussels, followed with bruschetta, rabbit and, finally, a dessert.
The mussels were served à la marinière with fresh bread on the side. It is easy to overdo a cream filled sauce by making it too rich, but this was everything one would hope for. Creamy and letting the white wine come to the fore, this sauce was a perfect match for the mussels.
The bruschetta set off my umami receptors with a delicate mix of smoked, warm mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto on a bed of chopped tomatoes. The slight heating of the dish made the cheese parcels melt in the mouth, leaving a delightfully warm taste lingering on the tongue.
The next course was rabbit leg in a crispy herbed breadcrumb coating with garlic aioli. We also ordered a side of monstrously large, triple-cooked chips. This was one of the smaller dishes, but full of flavour (the aioli also served as a lovely accompaniment for the chips).
To finish, we enjoyed delicious chocolate truffles and cinnamon sugar topped filo pastry parcels filled with custard. We enjoyed our dessert wines after letting the richness of these dishes pass so that we could fully appreciate their character.
Sip – The Wine
After providing our sommelier with our food choices, he set to work pairing wines with our forthcoming meals. My companion and I tried a Joseph Drouhin Rully, a Baron de Ladoucette Pouilly-Fume, a La Madone Fleurie, a Sorrenburg Gamay, a Domaine Gauby Muntada, a Lytton Springs Ridge Zinfandel, Chàteau Climens Barsac, a Quinta da Passadouro Porto, and Palo Cortado Sherry.
The Poilly-Fume and Rully were paired with the mussels. The Rully complemented the sauce, enhancing its already creamy taste. The Poilly-Fume went very well with the mussels themselves, bringing out their flavour without overpowering them.
The Fleurie and Sorrenburg were paired with the bruschetta. The Fleurie paired exceptionally well with the smokiness of the cheese, while the Sorrenburg was more interesting as the pairing was more discordant, but equally delightful.
The Muntanda and Zinfandel were paired with the rabbit. While my companion preferred the Muntanda, personally, I adored the Zinfandel which, while it did not pair quite as well, was delicious to savour after the course was finished.
Finally, the Barsac port and sherry were enjoyed after the desserts. The Barsac was light, fruity and sweet, a superb post-prandial. Both the port and sherry were prime examples of the drinks. The 30 year-old sherry was a particular delight and an exquisite way to end the evening.
Experience – Join the Club
If you’re looking for fine food experiences paired with exceptional wines, look no further than 67 Pall Mall.
While the club is currently open to new membership, it helps to be proposed and seconded by an existing member. Alternatively, the club will accept a short biography from prospects who don’t know members of the club.
For further details, visit the club’s website at https://67pallmall.co.uk.
Contributor Tom Wilkinson is a software developer by day and podcaster by night. He hosts a podcast about quality alcohol at https://drwilko.org and co-hosts a talk show podcast at http://hatofmanythings.com.