Our collaboration with Gayan and Nathan has opened up a world of boutique, professional wine advisory services from top duo, Marina Gayan MW and Helen Nathan, a renowned chef and food writer. Marina is one of only a few hundred Master of Wine holders in the entire world.
To meet Marina and Helen, along with the Cellar Maison team, secure your tickets here for the extraordinary Decorex 2016. We’ll be showcasing our Wine Walls, Wine Cellars and Wine Pods to designers and interested home owners. Marina and Helen will be answering your wine related questions around quality buying, cellaring and more.
Decorex Prize Draw: We have an exclusive Decorex Prize Draw to enter. Be in with a chance to WIN A Private Palate Profiling session and 6 bottles of expertly selected wine based on the winner’s palate.
The below article by Helen Nathan, gives a tantalising glimpse at of one of their exclusive Palate Profiling sessions and how very in depth, personal – and fun a night like this is.
Palate profiling is a very personal and often intimate experience. We can’t help but feel lucky that our clients open their minds and homes to us and are prepared to be led, with no preconceptions through a line up of wines – served blind. A few days ago we had the privilege and pleasure of guiding a wonderful couple, over a birthday dinner, through a red tasting where their favourite wines were noticeably absent!
The night began with us balancing bottles and beef in a tiny lift rather like contortionists from a crazy circus act up to their 5th floor Penthouse apartment. We emerged like two mad hatters to be greeted with incredible views overlooking Hammersmith’s Ark.
We started with a bit of a palate teaser, a glass of fizz (tasted blind of course) matched with 3 bowls of warm roasted almonds all with different flavours. Identifying them was the first step to engage their palates.
With an entree of freshly baked brioche and velvet smooth chicken liver parfait, Marina introduced the first flight of mystery reds. It’s very frustrating but ultimately liberating when you are told not to try and guess the grape variety or country of origin but purely focus on whether the filled glass pleases or displeases you. It is especially hard for an experienced wine lover, where the temptation to guess is almost too much to bear! Our guests last night gave in to our pleas and began to relax. Talk turned to tannins, mouth feel, structure, and ultimately life’s big question: ‘do I like this or not!’ Marina studiously took notes through out the night, asking leading questions, probing for specific answers that will lead her to fine tune her summary document. As a Master of Wine, she has tasted and analysed more wines than most people have had hot dinners. Over the years she has built up a ‘wine library’ in her head, which she uses to connect styles, regions, flavours and aromas. Joining dots, making links and correlations to help our clients unlock the mysteries of the wine world. Our view is that life is too short to drink wines that other people tell you you should like!
But I digress, next I served a four hour slow roasted jarret de boeuf (shin of beef) with another flight of reds. Our clients were getting into the swing of things now, relaxing and enjoying the blind wines presented to them. The wines were getting bigger and more complex, and their interaction with food saw the flavours changing and first impressions re-examined. Wines should be enjoyed with food but one man’s pleasure can be another’s pain – we all have our own preferences and there are no right or wrong answers.
The final flight was unveiled and tested with cheese (a creamy goat, pecorino, aged cheddar and red Leicester) Although many think red wine and cheese is a match made in heaven, you need a good back bone of acidity to make the pairing harmonious.
I lit the tiny champagne bottle candles on the lemon polenta cake, which we washed down with the remains of the opening fizz. Another great profiling evening came to a close. Hopefully our birthday girl will continue to explore the wonderful world of wine, armed now with her new profiling feedback to help guide her, when Marina is no longer at her side!
Marina Gayan MW and Helen Nathan
Tempted? Hope to see you at Decorex or contact us here:
Cellar Maison & Gayan and Nathan