Robert Wiggins and Michael Milward were in the kitchen, and deserve praise for a innovative and well presented meal.

For starters, there were antipasto platters chock full of  Asparagus,artichokes, ham, proscuito ,salami,gherkins,roasted red pepper, zucchini, and olives with a yoghurt fetta sauce for a dip.The first time in our collective memory that we have had starters served in this fashion.It was widely appreciated not only for flavour and variety of presentation it was the colour on the plate .

 This was washed down with a 2006 Gartleman Hunter Valley Semillon bottled under stelvin a good well made wine, pleasant on the palate. 

The main course was veal with an eggplant topping covered by a robust flavoursome sauce of reduced tomato.lime,sugar,soy sauce and garlic with some anchovies.capers,black olives and parlsey on top. Served with roasted cocktail potatoes and beans with almonds flakes. The veal was moist and the eggplant barbecued, to enhance the dish our chefs had chopped red chillis and served the dish with a slice of lime. Those that added this to the sauce commented on how much it lifted the dish and flavour spectrum. 

This dish called for some gutsy wines and our cellar master obliged with a portuguese red wine "Dao' 2009 13 % a blend of Touriga Nationale and Tinto Roriz* a well balanced wine clean dry red with flavour and a 2007 Calo Reserva Tempranillo 13.5% this wine showed a tannic end pallet it had some quality and style but astringent with hard edges..the preferred main course wine was the "Dao" 

The cheese, presented by Ross Macdonald our Cheese Master, was a Fromager d'Affinois a white mould cows milk cheese from the Rhone-Alpes area of France;  it was sweet satiny and buttery lingering to a pleasant lactic aftertaste if  a little cool due to late delivery. Simply matched with a leaf salad with pistachio and mandarin segments.

 The wines were firstly a Wynns black label cabernet from 200614% alc a wine commented upon as a work in progress good fruit yet under developed , and  the second wine the 2005 Ebenezer Shiraz from the Barossa 14.5% alc flashier, juicy, round full fruit firm grip with a good future. However the wine match was the semillon if you had some left in the glass!

The coffee was Royal  Exchange club blend.

*Touriga Nacional is the most revered variety for port and has now become Portugal's poster child for fine dry reds. Deeply coloured,concentrated, tannic rich in dark fruit and in some cases distinguished by their fragrance aromas such as bergamot, rosemary or violets.Many believe this is better in blend as in the case of this wine "Tinto Roriz " which is the portuguese name for tempranillo. 

source "Wine Grapes" Jancis Robisnon, Julia Harding, Jose Vouillamoz 2012