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The week in pictures

db’s Lucy Shaw was thrilled to be invited to a lunch hosted by Champagne house AR Lenoble at Le Gavroche this week where we were lucky enough to be cooked for by Michel Roux Jr. who chatted to every guest during service.

Among the treats on our menu, which Roux devised specially to pair with the Champagnes, was sea bass ceviche with yuzu, green chill and mango; roast T bone of turbot glazed in meat jus; and Norfolk black chicken breast with five spice.

Showing off the terroir of Chouilly on the Côtes de Blancs, the Champagne was in full flow, beginning with the non-vintage blanc de blancs and moving on to the rosé, the 2009 blanc de blancs, Cuvée Gentilhomme 2009 and the 1979 blanc de blancs. While at our table, Michel Roux revealed that he often chooses Champagne to pair with tasting menus at restaurants as he feels it’s the one of most versatile wines to pair with an array of different dishes, particularly Asian food.

The lunch was hosted by brother and sister duo Anne and Antoine Malassagne who run Champagne AR Lenoble together with Anne in the role of manager and Antoine winemaker, and the estate’s new communications director Christian Holthausen (centre).

A throng of venciadores show off their Sherry-pouring skills in Japan. The notoriously tricky skill requires careful practice, using a long stick with a cup on the end to draw Sherrry from the cask and pour it into a glass from a height in one swift action.

Shane Long, Franciscan Well founder and head brewer, and Dave Quinn, Jameson master of whiskey science, at the global launch of Jamesons Caskmates

Jameson officially launched its craft beer and whiskey collaboration to global markets this week, releasing its Jameson Caskmates worldwide following a successful limited run in Ireland last year. The expression was created by the Midleton Distillery in collaboration with micro-brewer, Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork, offering a taste experience that it promisees will “satisfy the appetite of whiskey enthusiasts, Jameson drinkers and craft beer fans”. Bottled at 40% abv, the whiskey is triple-distilled with the character of Jameson, but with additional notes of coffee, cocoa, butterscotch and gentle hints of hops.

The annual Cru Bourgeois tasting took place on Thursday, which saw a selection of some of the wines to have made Cru Bourgeois status on pour. This year’s official selection of 2013 Crus Bourgeois du Médoc was announced on Tuesday, with 251 châteaux making the grade. 142 of the selected wines were available at the tasting, which was held at the British Academy in London.

Amy Bendall, Clare Sturman, Collette Houghton, Rich Taggart, Charlotte Keeler, Shelia Goodchild

These spectacular cakes were prepared by the team at Greene King ahead of its Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Greene King pubs, restaurants and hotels will be running coffee mornings across the UK today in a bid to beat the £125,000 that they raised last year.

db’s editor-in-chief, Patrick Schmitt, hurriedly removes the remnants of Rugby World Cup decorations, taking down the Welsh flag in preparation for this week’s drinks business Cono Sur round table, which was held at the Prince of Wales Feathers in Warren Street. While not intending to offend the Welsh the flag was not in keeping with event’s theme, which focused on New World Pinot Noir. 

The team from the Wooha Brewing Company, a new micro brewery based in Nairn.

The very first Highland Craft Beer and Cider Festival took place in London on 18 September, which saw a host of craft beers and cider produced in the Scottish Highlands showcased. Hosted at Startisans, an indoor food and drink market in the heart of Covent Garden, traditional Scottish food with a twist was also available. Grants of Speyside offered Haggis Toasties, a twist on the traditional way of serving Haggis and the perfect accompaniment to a selection of craft beers.

db was also lucky to get an invitation to try the new 2011 Vine de Constance which winemaker Matthew Day described as “absolutely awesome”. And it was. Day also highlighted the slightly more “expressive” nature of the wines now which he did by including the 2011 in a mini-vertical that included the 1996, 2001 and 2004. Superb in their own right, there was a clear distinction between the plummy, nutty, almost Sherried and oxidative older wines and the ginger and lime marmalade of the 2011.

And finally, db took a particular liking to the artwork adorning this bottle of Devil Proof 2012 Malbec from the Alexander Valley in California. A competitor in db’s recent Malbec Masters, the bottle picked up a silver medal in the oaked, 100% Malbec, £50+ category.

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