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Wine and the rest III: Food for thought, and back to the floor.

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

No Perello olives here…

I’m very bad at sitting still. Beach holidays aren’t something I even entertain, I get bored shitless. In a mission to pack my diary even further, because I desire periods of life where I don’t have time to take a gasp for air, I came to a mutual agreement with a local restaurant (well on course to receiving a Michelin Star (you heard it here first)), called Wild Shropshire. The concept is Noma-esque. A farm, a development ‘lab’, and finally the intimate restaurant, where the new-Nordic meets the very best of Asian inspired cooking.

I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t step onto a restaurant floor as a sommelier or in any other capacity until it was my own. I broke the promise, because once you’re in hospitality, you can’t ever get away. This addition to my diary came at a period of increasing ennui; a fatigue from tasting so many wines so stylistically similar tasting after tasting. I like my palate to be continually challenged, and it certainly is at Wild Shropshire. I am thriving.

It was during one of the many intricately crafted, thought provoking courses that I thought, yeah, I like it here. The menu is always a surprise, revealed at the end. I won’t reveal the contents of the course, but you were encouraged to use the leaf in which the substance was wrapped to eat it, and finally lick the plate clean. I miss brave hospitality, seeking to do something truly out of place in the beige coloured food culture Britain has found itself in. I generalise, of course! Good food choices lend themselves well to a plethora of drinks pairings, depending on your courage as a consumer… there is much fun to be had.

This brings me on to my second note - the diversification of Cépage. On reflection, I’ve realised just how much trial and error is involved in starting a business. I have come to terms with positioning one's self with the right mentality needed to adapt, when things do not go as you might ordinarily expect. So, I’m trying something new.

Cépage, I truly believe, is at the forefront of vinous pleasure, just not many people know it yet. So, why shouldn’t we extend the range to equally impeccable and carefully chosen dried goods? People who generally wish to spend a little more on their wines probably, more often than not, reach that little bit further into their coin purse for even greater sensory pleasure when it comes to food, too. The Cépage Pantry, although in its infancy, is here. A luxury épicerie if ever there was one; the famed moutarde of Meaux; Somerset’s CULTJAR nuts, chutneys and preserves; COCO chocolate, with commissioned artists’ designs, and a fine selection incoming from The Newt, a newly named World Top 50 Hotel, just to name a few. It’s fun to geek out on something new, stick your teeth into. Real food for thought.

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