Wine Pairing at L’Ortolan

Posted in Wine on 12/09/2013
Wine Pairing at L’Ortolan

Exceptional cuisine, exquisite wines and first class service all combine to make the dining experience at L’Ortolan truly memorable. To complement the food, Sommelier Craig Steven offers recommendations from our extensive wine list, including flights of wines to accompany each course on the menu. We are constantly tasting and tuning our wine offering with the ever changing menu and love to introduce the ‘fruit’ of that work.

Whether you are looking for the ideal bottle to accompany your food choices from the menu, or a selection by the glass to go with each course from our tasting menus, our Sommelier would be happy to guide you. In this blog Craig shares his wine choices for our signature seven course Menu Gourmand.


Gazpacho, tomato confit, basil

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, California, U.S.A
The Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel works well with the tomato Gazpacho as both the wine and the food can be described as being intense and fruity in flavour with a spicy finish. It is these similar characteristics which allow the wine and food to work in harmony with each other.

Goose liver & smoked breast, pain d’épice, spiced cherries, chicory jam

Els Pyreneus Maury, Languedoc, France
Paired with this course as a traditionally French pairing with goose liver is Sauternes, another famed sweet wine. The accompaniments then ask for a wine that has more fruit and spice than Sauternes which is why the Maury works so well. The way the wine expresses itself helps to match the food as well because it starts off sweet and rich, to help cut through the goose liver, you then get all the fruit in the middle and finally the wine finishes with a touch of dryness. This dryness helps to counter any greasy or oily feeling that may be felt from the goose liver.

Fillet of turbot, citrus fregola, fennel & anise salad, lemon pureé, sauce Vierge

Charles Smith, Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Washington State. U.S.A
Charles Smith’s King Fu Girl Riesling works so well with the turbot dish because of the citrus harmony that happens between the wine and the food. The slight ripeness of the wine benefits the Turbot itself after which the acidity elevates it off the plate.

New season lamb, loin, shoulder & ribs with BBQ flavours, red peppers, sweet corn & new potatoes

Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Reserva, Spain
This Reserva is an excellent pairing with lamb as not only does the oak ageing allow the wine to blend in with the smoked characters of the dish and the barbeque sauce, but the wine follows three simple rules for making Lamb taste great. It has low tannin (nothing restricting in the wine), big fruit characters and a nice spicy finish.

Poached raspberries, white chocolate cheesecake, raspberry sorbet

Coteaux du Layon Chateau Pierre Bise, Lore Valley, France
This is such a great paring, as though the dish was made around the flavour of the wine. The sweet, honey styling brings both the flavour of the granola and white chocolate to their fullest while the creamy finish enhances the raspberry perfectly.


Take a look at our current wine list or for further information please call the restaurant on 0118 988 8500 or email