Category Archives: Classes, training and courses

Pétrus launches fab new wine master class


Pétrus has just launched a new monthly wine master class.

The four hour class, given by Head Sommelier Naoko Tomita, will teach guests about different grape varieties, how to match wines with different flavour combinations, wine etiquette and basic tasting techniques.

The class costs £100 per guest, which includes the sommelier guidance, the Perfect Match menu, wine, water, coffee and a souvenir wine description.

The Perfect Match menu, consists of five courses, accompanied by wines chosen specifically to complement the textures and flavour combinations in each of the dishes. The kind of dishes you can expect to find on the menu are: Lobster and salmon cannelloni with Champagne and chive sauce, served with 2009 Vin de Pays d’Oc, Fleur Blanche, Mas des Agrunelles, Languedoc; and hazelnut parfait with a chocolate centre and praline crust, served with 2008 Maury Mas Mudigliza, St Paul de Fenouillet, Roussillon.

Sounds pretty yummy to me!

The next class will take place on Monday 21st March at 10:30am. To make a reservation, call 020 7592 1609 or email quoting ‘Food and wine discovery’.


Taste of London: Ever thought about pairing water and wine?


Many of you will choose your wine according to the food you are going to pair with it, but have you ever questioned what type of water you should be drinking at the same time?

I know very little about the water harmonisation and tend to choose by what feels right at the time, and the brand that is on offer.   I know I like some bottled water and not others but what I never really take into account is the effect that different water flavours have on the taste of the food or the wine that I will be drinking it with.

I’m going to find out more at Taste of London, so if you are interested in learning more about this as well, why not head down to the S.  Pellegrino stand (J17).  Andreas Larsson, voted the ‘Best Sommelier in the World,  will be giving free sessions on water and wine harmonisation throughout the whole of event, so you can learn from the top dog!

Unique Italian cookery class arrives in London: Pizza made with beer…


Birra Moretti, Heineken UK’s premium imported Italian beer, and popular TV culinary duo Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi have teamed up to offer Italian food lovers a unique opportunity to learn how to make an authentic Italian pizza with a special ingredient…Italian beer!

The two pizza and beer making evenings will take place at the Caldesi’s highly successful cookery school and restaurant La Cucina Caldesi in Marylebone Lane, London, on June 11th and August 13, and will teach attendees how to make truly authentic margherita pizza.  I attended a pre-launch course and it was great fun, Giancarlo and Katie are excellent hosts, the pizza really was delicious, and I learned how to make a light dough using beer – what more can you want?!

Jason Wills, Senior brand manager of Birra Moretti, Tiger Beer, Sagres and Zywiec at Heineken UK, added: “We are encouraging Italian food lovers to encounter more of the authentic Italian experience by offering these two exclusive pizza and beer evenings, run by two of the UK’s most revered Italian chefs”.

The beer reacts well with the yeast, therefore creating a lighter and crispier dough, and because Birra Moretti has a slightly bitter flavour it works particularly well in pizza.

Katie Caldesi commented: “We want to teach Italian food lovers how to make genuine Italian margherita pizza, with a special ingredient – Birra Moretti. This premium Italian beer is the perfect accompaniment to two Italian passions – great food and great conversation, which is why we love it.”

The Birra Moretti and pizza making events are perfect for a quick bite after work or as a ‘starter’ before more Friday night summer entertainment. Two classes will be run each night on June 11 and August 13 from 6pm – 7.30pm and 8pm – 9.30pm respectively. Each class will cost £28.

For further information or to book a place please call La Cucina Caldesi on 0207 487 0750/6/8 or email:

This course is selling out fast, so get in there quick!  There are also plenty of others to choose from so have a scout around their website.

Le Pont de la Tour wins ‘best wine list’ and ‘Sommelier of the Year’ Award


Nicolas Clerc, Head Sommelier from Le Pont de la Tour has just won the prestigious Best Wine List and Sommelier Award at the Tatler Restaurant Awards 2010.

With more than 900 bins from France, and many others from around the world, Le Pont de la Tour certainly has an impressive list and well deserves the award!

As per my previous blog post Nicolas Clerc also organises regular wine tastings in the Wine Cellar at Le Pont de la Tour, including informal tastings every Saturday afternoon.

Wine tasting at Le Pont de la Tour


Le Pont de la Tour has just launched a new series of fine wine tastings, beginning this April.

To celebrate the launch of these tastings, a special event, Fine Wine Tasting, Chateau Le Dome, Saint Emilion will be held on Thursday 15th April 2010.  It will be hosted by successful producer of single vineyard wines and owner of Chateau Teyssier, Jonathan Maltus.

Tickets for this exclusive event are £70 and include a tasting of five vintages from Le Dôme St Emilion Grand Cru followed by a glass of Champagne and canapés in the Salon Privé.

To reserve your place, call 020 7907 1840.

Additional tastings include:

Mount Difficulty, Central Otago, New Zealand
Thursday 25th March 2010

Hard cheese, food and wine pairing
Thursday 8th April

Livio Felluga, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Italy
Thursday 6th May 2010

Goats cheese, food and wine pairing
Thursday 13th May 2010

De Wetshof, Robertson, South Africa
Monday 17th May

Making Pizzas at Ponti’s – Perfect for a first date in London!


Photo is courtesy of Al Stuart

If you are struggling to find a suitable restaurant to take a first date, then look no further than Ponti’s Italian Kitchen just behind Oxford Circus, where you can make your own pizza.  What an awesome way to get to know someone better or just have fun with your mates.

I went with my sister and while we both had pre-conceived ideas about Ponti’s, we were suitably impressed to find a cleanly decorated restaurant full of fresh ingredients, friendly staff and most importantly for central London, affordable prices!

We didn’t actually make the pizza dough ourselves as it needs time to ferment, but we were each given a dough ball and shown how to make the pizzas: How to cover it in polenta flour, toss it in the air, manage to catch it without sticking your nails through it, roll it out and delicately spoon on the tomato sauce – ready for the toppings of our choice.

I couldn’t decide which toppings to put on so I went for a four seasons, which meant I had the excuse to try a bit of everything.  Delicious spicy spianata romana salami, fresh anchovies, portobello mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella, rocket – the list goes on!

Photo is courtesy of Al Stuart

The pizzas were placed inside the oven and brought to us at the table, cooked to perfection.

I am not going to lie and say that mine was as wafer thin as the pizzas I’ve had in Rome, but it really wasn’t bad at all, more importantly a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.

Pizza-making at Ponti’s is available Monday to Wednesday at £15 per person.  The deal includes a glass of prosecco on arrival, the pizza and some ice cream for pudding – perfect for a first date.  Just remember to call, as you have to book in advance. 020 3230 3018.


Wine tasting event 5th October: Bellevue Rendezvous, Wandsworth


For those of you living in or around Wandsworth, why not treat yourself and head down to the recently launched French restaurant, Bellevue Rendezvous, on Monday 5th October for its inaugural wine tasting event.

Chef patron Pablo Gallego has created a 6-course tasting menu which will be paired with a selection of French wines and will be priced at £60 per head.  Titled ‘When the Summer falls, the Autumn sun comes up!’, the event will be hosted in conjunction with Thorman Hunt suppliers and will feature ingredients that reflect the change in the season.

Dishes/wines on Pablo’s special tasting menu will include chilled cucumber soup with mint and langoustine served with Sylvaner 2008, Domaine Bruno, Sorg; red mullet fillet with aubergine, cumin and piment d’Espelette served with Pouilly-Fume 2007/8, Cailbourdin; smoked duck with fresh fig, foie gras and dry figs served with Tavel rose 2008, Montezargues; wild duck fillet with spiced pear and cep jus served with Langhe Rosso 2005, Luigi Baudana; warm goat cheese with walnut and caramelised apple served with Vouvray Moelleux Ch Gaillard 2005; and quince tarte tatin with honey ice cream served with Maury 2007, Domaine Pouderoux – Sounds amazing to me!

For more information telephone 020 87675810 or visit The restaurant is located at 218 Trinity Road, Wandsworth Common, SW17 (near the junction with Bellevue Road).

Bellevue rendezvous