Wine and food go together like summer and ice pops at the Kosher Food and Wine Experience
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Wine and food go together like summer and ice pops at the Kosher Food and Wine Experience

A transport strike was never going to get in the way of Jews eating and drinking

Louisa Walters is Features Editor at the Jewish News and specialises in food and travel writing

An incredible 800 attendees swarmed into the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane last night to taste 240 different wines and feast on a sumptuous buffet by Arieh Wagner. It was a hot night but beautifully cool in the hotel’s art deco ballroom, which was lined with stands by 40 different winemakers from all over the world including Israel, South Africa, California, France and Spain.

I sampled a delightfully fresh Chenin Blanc from Unorthodox, part of the Backsberg winery in Franschoek, and a fresh, crisp Sauvignon Semillon from the Matar winery in the Golan Heights. A rose champagne from the Edmond de Rothschild portfolio went down a treat, and it was interesting to sample the no-added-sugar varieties from Champagne Drappier.

There was the full gauntlet of red wines, from the light for easy drinking to the full-bodied for savouring, whiskies aplenty and a crisp Mexican tequila. There was wine in cans and there were cocktails in ice pops.

We tasted our way through 150 cases from more than 40 wine makers. And then we ate. We couldn’t get enough of the freshest, prettiest sushi (7,000 pieces!). We devoured Thai rice and chicken, salt beef and beef short ribs garnished with truffle at the buffet. There were 7,000 little bowls of food being passed around – salmon or tuna poke, mini cones of goujons and chips, beef arancini, duck salad , babaganoush, turmeric-infused cauliflower.

Then there was dessert – mini crème brulee, tiramisu, Eton mess, churros. And then we tasted more wine. I chatted to Vanessa Feltz and her daughter Allegra – better known in these circles at the Challah Mummy. I spotted one two restaurateurs, no doubt choosing for their wine lists. And all the while the drink flowed and the conversation bubbled.

Creme brulees

As we spilled out into the warm night, sated and merry, we were, as one, filled with joy. The pandemic may have kept us away from the Kosher Food and Wine Experience for two years, but the tube strike was going to do no such thing.

 

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