Social Wine and Tapas
A dynamic and searching list by sommelier Laure Patry and another addition to the burgeoning Jason Atherton empire.
Open kitchen dining
Rare and small grower wines
The wine shop
Previously at Claridges and Maze, Loire-born Laure Patry rose to the role of Executive Head Sommelier of Jason Atherton’s The Social Company. She relishes bringing vinous discoveries home, and stocking them in this Marylebone wine shop and decidedly cosy cellar bar near The Wallace Collection.
‘Australia was eye opening,’ she told WLC ‘seeing the dynamism, passion and energy of those working with some of the world’s oldest vines to new-wave producers. At the moment we have Pet Nat Chenin (Jauma), Bloody Hill Pinot (Timo Meyer) and a line up of Domaine Lucci.’ Patry also visited Chile, ‘getting in touch with smaller growers from the southern part - Bio Bio and Itata. I am always looking for smaller, low-intervention growers and local grapes like Pais. Overall it was interesting to find out how Chile can be divided into coastal, ‘entre cordillera’ and Andes.’
Patry recently added the new release by Eben Sadie of South Africa’s Swartland as well as Yangarra PF (‘Preservation free’) No Sulphur McLaren Vale Shiraz by the glass, alongside Beaujolais (Julie Balagny), Jura (Domaine Octavin), Jerome Lambert in the Loire, Ad Vinum (Rhône), Domaine de Bedon (Switzerland) and Els Jelipins (Catalonia).
Guests could begin with a wine-pepped cocktail in the form of the Riesling Cup made with vermouth, rye whiskey, orange Cognac liqueur and lemonade) or a glass of Blanc des Blancs from Kent’s Gusbourne. Other wines by the glass could include Austrian Welschriesling from Lake Neusiedl, the largest endorheic lake in Central Europe, a skin contact Georgian, Peter Sisseck’s juicy, gutsy PSI, and drawn from bottle with the proboscis of a Coravin, Alter Ego Margaux or, being the list’s golden fleece, Grands Échezeaux (Romanée-Conti).
Given Patry’s origin, expect a flotilla of bottles from the Loire, such as Taille aux Loups’ Triple Zero sparkling Montlouis, various Muscadets including Terre de Gneiss by Christelle Guibert, Domaine du Closel’s Savennières, and a Domaine Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé. Also in existence are picks from Málaga, the Canaries, a Welsh skin contact Albariño, old vine Canadian Riesling, and representatives from Syria and Urugua, plus a delightful, understated Cognac from a former head of Chanel’s perfume division - Leopold Gourmel.
Mop up the liquid pleasure with British cheeses and Spanish charcuterie, a Jamón-Manchego toastie with quail’s eggs, Conwy steamed mussels, or Rose veal burgers with pulled pork.
By Douglas Blyde.
From the first listings of sparkling wines it’s clear that this list isn’t fumbling: Bride Valley from Steven Spurrier, Francis Boulard’s Brut Nature Champagne, and artisan Cava from Franck Massard. By-the-glass listings are particularly eclectic, taking in everything from Catalonia to Hungary, via the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Tempting wine flights are assembled with themes including ‘Skin Contact’, ‘Madeira’ and ‘Different Styles of Jura’.
The Loire leaning reflects the sommelier’s background, which includes her own bottling of white and red Anjou, Clos de L’Elu. There is also a substantial list on Coravin – which allows Patry to serve DRC by the glass.
The list sashays through classic styles and appellations, while taking the zeitgeist of ‘natural’ and ‘funkier’ growers, ensuring you will find a partner to tasty tapas such as salted cod brandade, or larger plates including whole roast lemon sole with garlic.