How will I go home and eat regularly again? This trip has been great food and wine followed by greater food and wine. Andrew made a thoughtful statement that some of the best wines we will ever drink in our lives will be on this trip. Now that’s a major reality check, a depressing thought from when I’m back in gloomy Melbourne.
We arrived in the beautiful Hotel Royal in Lyon, home to the Institute Paul Bocuse and were escorted upstairs to a private dining room. The food and the service were prepared by Chefs and Waiters in training, currently completing the practical component of their culinary studies. This did not effect the quality of the food or the service, and had I not known I wouldn’t have picked the difference.
For the menu was set by the restaurant so all we had to do was select the wine. Entrée would be Foie Gras, mains would be Le Magret (duck) and dessert La Pomme d’Hevre (an apple dessert).
The first wine selected was a 2016 Lanson Blanc de Blanc. Notes of ripe apricot, honey and sugar that begins as a mild-palette wine but rounds and becomes fuller with aeration.
The second wine was more interesting as I didn’t have much experience with this varietal. This was a 2015 St Joseph, Rhone Valley, Roussanne Marsanne. Ken explained that the Roussanne provides body whilst the Marsanne provide the freshness and acidity. The combination of the two, with Rousanne as the dominating varietal blended to a buttery and slightly bitter wine. This was fantastic with the Foie Gras as it brought out the sweetness in the pate.
The third wine was a 2015 St Joseph Syrah from the Rhone Valley. This wine was fruity on the nose, spicy and peppery, all the things we come to expect from a Syrah. I queried whether the full-bodied wine would overpower the delicate Duck main and was advised no, because the meat was cooked rare.
Desert was exquisite and was presented beautifully. We paired this with a 2014 Muskrat de Beaumes de Venise that I had assumed was fortified due to the intense sweetness. This Muscat was in fact not fortified but the sweetness simply came from the high sugar content in the grape varietal.
Unfortunately no cheeses were sampled.