Food Type: British
Glass Price: £ 8 (175 ml)
Phone number: 0207 242 8963
Chefs Stephen Harris and Paul Weaver from the Michelin-starred The Sportsman in Whitstable have revitalised the kitchen of this homely wine bar founded in the 1970s, but originally built in 1700.
Expect a tangibly tasty bar and restaurant menu, where Colchester rock oysters (we found a pearl in ours) might be offered alongside perky gazpacho with smoked eel and chervil, and bigger dishes such as Landes guinea fowl with bright vin jaune sauce and game in season. Also on the menu is the latest issue of the acclaimed, Technicolor magazine that gives the restaurant its name and much of the art on the walls.
More than 25 wines are served by the glass, most of which hail from the Old World, including a Tenerife blend supplemented by intriguing, wine-slaked cocktails, such as the 'Noble Rotter' (Chateau d’Yquem ‘Sauternes 2’, Lime, Mint and Ice).
The list proper is amusingly, and indeed accurately divided by region and sentiment, such as 'Pinot Noir / The Heartbreak Grape', and 'Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot & friends Bordeaux / So un-cool it’s cool'.
As well as hallowed French regions, Spain gets a good look-in, including older bottles such as Perez Pascuas, Vina Pedrosa (Ribera del Duero) from 1990.
In the restaurant's own words, the wine list 'ranges from deliciously undervalued wines by the glass to hard-to-find gems from the worlds leading winemakers; expect to find mature bottles from legendary domaines like Jean-Louis Chave, Armand Rousseau, Château Latour, Château Rayas and Domaine Tempier at reasonable prices'
By Douglas Blyde
• Premiere Cuvée NV, Hambledon, Hampshire, England - sparkling - £76
• ‘Séchet’ Chablis 1er Cru 2005, Dauvissat, Burgundy, France - white - £119
• ‘Furstentum’ 1996, Albert Mann, Alsace, France - white - £58
• RPM 2013, Gamay, California, USA - red - £60
• ‘Paiagallo’ Barolo 2012, Giovanni Canonica, Piedmont, Italy - red - £69
• Lopez de Heredia 1995, Rioja ‘Tondonia’ Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain - red - £115