The menu created for the State Banquet in honour of the visiting Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping, hosted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace last night, was French inspired, and was paired with fives wines, including one from Constantia, a tremendous accolade to one of our country’s best-known wines.
The menu for last night’s Banquet was surprisingly worded in French, and listed the wines served separately, not specifying which wines were paired with which dishes, but one can assume that the order of listing the wines matched the order of dishes served.
The English Ridgeview Grosvenor 2009 Brut was the aperitif, while Meursault premier cru Santenots 2007 was paired with the fillet of West Coast Turbot starter. The main course of loin of Balmoral venison with a Madeira and truffle sauce was paired with Château Haut-Brion 1989, while Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2008 was served with a chocolate and lemon dessert. Warre’s Vintage Port 1977 was served with the Fruits de Dessert.
The analysis by The Drinks Business of the wines and vintages served last night, given trade deals to the value of £ 30 billion expected to be signed between China and the U.K., is interesting: ‘The wine choice is often carefully calibrated to suit the status and importance of the visiting dignitary. As has often noted for many years now red Bordeaux is extremely popular in China, especially as the colour is viewed as lucky, as is gold, hence the probable inclusion of a wine such as Vin de Constance. The use of vintages containing an ‘8’ for each is unlikely an accident either as again it is an auspicious number in China. An ’88 Haut-Brion might have provided a double whammy and was a very good vintage in Bordeaux but the ’89 Haut-Brion is considered one of the great post-war wines alongside 1947 Cheval Blanc or 1961 Latour’.
‘We’re thrilled that our Grosvenor 2009 was served on such a prestigious occasion and are honoured that it has now been enjoyed at three state banquets including being served to President Obama. This is testament to the British royal family’s support and belief in the quality of English sparkling wine on an international stage’, said Ridgeview’s CEO Tamara Roberts.
Klein Constantia was thrilled and proudly posted on Facebook: ‘Well well, our Vin de Constance is definitely fit for royalty! Last night the Queen of England hosted the Chinese president Xi Jinping and his wife at a State banquet at Buckingham Palace, on the menu was the 2008 Vin de Constance‘.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whalecottage.com/blog Tel 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@WhaleCottage Facebook: click here