BA Galleries First Wine Menu August 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Tom Otley

    “The 542-seat Galleries First lounge has a bar decorated in gold leaf, Swarovski crystal chandeliers, a wine gallery and a Champagne bar….”

    This August 8th Sunday evening, the choice is….


    Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé 2000

    “a 50-50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and as is by now I hope obvious it is not sourced from Laurent-Perrier’s backyard vineyards, but instead takes advantage of Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims, and Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs. From the former, Laurent-Perrier have utilised fruit from Verzy, Mailly, Ambonnay and Bouzy, whereas on the Côte des Blancs the fruit originated from Avize, Cramant, Oger and Chouilly. A common source of Chardonnay for this cuvée, Mesnil-sur-Oger, was excluded this year as a result of August hail. As for the wine itself, it shows a vigorous bead in the glass, and is still a touch yeasty on the nose, but beyond this there is a nice praline note, alongside some bright citrus fruit elements. Very fresh on the palate, lively, with suggestions of smoky roasted nuts and praline, with a fruit profile like that on the nose. Freshly framed by acidity, although not over the top, good concentration and depth. More importantly it has a very forceful and vibrant style, sappy and youthful, to be honest brutally youthful at present, and so there is plenty of room here for development I think. A good wine, but I would advise popping it into the cellar for 3-5 years to see it at its best I think. 17+/20 (1 March 2010)”

    and two rose champagnes:

    Bruno Paillard Rose

    “A delicate, elegant copper-pink Champagne with subtle Pinot Noir redcurrant and cherry fruit balanced by some creamy, citrussy Chardonnay – all of which is carried by a soft, refined mousse.”

    and a

    Lanson Rose

    ”A beautiful pure colour with pale salmon touches. On the nose aromas of roses and fruit predominate, with discreet notes of red fruit.


    Catena Chardonay 2007

    “The 2007 vintage of the Catena Chardonnay combines the unique expressions of three high altitude vineyard sites. The La Piramide vineyard offers honeyed tropical fruit flavors with a rich, unctuous mouthfeel. The Domingo vineyard lends citrus notes with a crisp finish. The Adrianna vineyard contributes pear and fig flavors with a strong minerality. The wine shows an intense greenish color with light yellow notes. The aromas offer ripe mango fruit flavors with notes of peaches and hints of fruitcake spices. The mouthfeel is full yet clean, with fresh, crisp acidity.”

    Fog Head, Limestone Ridge Chardonnay 2007

    ”The grapes for this wine, comes from a cool block with almost white limestone soil in the San Bernabe Vineyard, and you can really smell and taste the mineral notes from the soil – which of course adds complexity to the wine. Fermentation is taken place in French, but also Hugarian and even American oak barrels, a small fraction of new barrels but most of them one to two years old. You will of course notice the oak, but it is very well integrated, and the personality of the wine is more the cool climate fruit with just small notes of sweeter tropical fruits. On the palate, it’s dryer that any of the wines from Delicato, which I find to be very good (and which also adds some extra points!) and it is indeed a much better chardonnay than you’ll find at much higher prices at a lot of much more fancy wineries than Delicato. It’s really a great choice! 1600 cases were made. Drink in 2010-2011.”

    Newton Johnson Sauvignon Blanc 2009

    ”A broad textured Sauvignon with great balance between richness of fruit & crisp acidity. Passion fruit & asparagus are all apparent with a touch of Semillon adding a herbaceous edge.

    Castro Martin, Albarino 2008, Riad Baixas.

    ”The delightful Angela Martin and her husband Andrew McCarthy run the Castro Martin estate, in Rias Baixas, on Spain’s Galician coast. A one grape winery, this Bodega is all about Albarino and Castro Martin has led the way in the grape’s recent revival. Angela was one of the first winemakers to recognise the benefits of cool, temperature controlled fermentations to protect Albarino’s delicate, aromatic fruit.


    Chateau La Grange 2001, St Julien

    ”This is slightly more aromatic than Les Fiefs from the same vintage, although it is predominantly the nutty and mocha aromas of youth. Quite balanced and elegant on the palate, with a gentle structure, showing some depth on the midpalate and finish. Not very expressive at the moment, but has potential. I think this will be drinking well in 2-3 years, perhaps a little longer. Very good.” 16+/20 (November 2005)

    Clos de L’Echo 2006

    ”An appealing nose, fresh white fruits here, rather forceful, deep and rounded in character. Full of flavour on the palate. Lots of depth, quite stony, all packaged very nicely. There is good style here.” 16/20 (August 2007)

    And on the food front…..


    The menu in August.



    Porridge with honey and cinnamon,
    Kippers with pached egg,
    Bacon and friend egg sandwich,
    Bacon Baguette,
    Mushroom, tomato and Brie roll or
    Banana and granola Yoghurt.

    There is also a breakfast bar with fruit, cereals and a choice of teas and coffees as well as rolls.

    From Midday until Close

    Fresh soup of the day served with croutons and bread rolls.


    Tuna Capri – brown bloomer with tuna, tomato, basil and Mozzerella;
    Classic Deli – Pastrami, Cheddar, tomato and rocket;
    Mediterranean quesadilla – mixed cheese, tomato, basil and olives,
    Caesar Salad; Tuna Nicoise salad,
    Vegetable tikka masala served with basmati rice, naan bread and mango chutney;
    Spaghetti carbonara,
    Pasta arrabiata and chicken noodles.

    Deserts and cheese

    Chocolate pod, vanilla ice cream served with chocolate flakes;
    Steamed berry sponge served with custard and mixed berries and

    A self service selection of hot and cold items.


    There has recently been a Pudding Wine in evidence, though they do insist on calling it Dessert Wine, which is frankly rather common.

    Good to see a summer Rose in amongst that bunch. Peter Nixson was never a fan, and despite my protestations would have nothing to do with the stuff; but since he moved on I have noticed it creeping in.

    I really hope they get some British wines on the list; some of them are actually rather good and I do think BA should look to buy this for smaller volume services like CWLCY.

    Having sampled Chapel Down wines last year, I journeyed to their vineyard in Kent to buy a few cases; excellent stuff (though avoid the reds) and highly recommended:


    I have heard that the Fog Head Chardonnay is awesome, sadly I am not due to visit the First Lounge anytime soon.
    Anyone know where I can buy this from in London?


    Thanks for the posting – I was sampling Chateau La Grange 2001, St Julien last week and made a mental note to find out more as it was stunning. So you saved me a job!


    They undoubtedly call it dessert wine as that is the internationally correct term. Pudding wine is the British term which may not be understood by those from outside the UK. Either way, pudding sounds far more common that dessert in my opinion!!

    I would strongly agree about the wines from Chapel Down – their sparkling wines are amongst some of best I’ve tasted and very reasonably priced.


    Well, it is BRITISH Airways, so I don’t see anything wrong with using the British terminology.

    But I see your point about ensuring everyone knows what product is on offer.

    It would still be a faux pas to describe it as Dessert Wine at most country house parties I attend.


    Without becoming overly pedantic, dessert should only really be used if the dish contains fruit, although dessert and pudding are fully interchangeable today.
    As to describing sweet wine, it gets trickier, as in France, for example, a sauternes is regularly served as an accompaniment to foie gras…….in which case neither dessert nor pudding work.
    And that’s what makes wine such an interesting subject.
    Chin chin.


    All this talk of desserts and the SiteAdministrator still hasn’t corrected their reference to them as a landscape of sand!

    But delighted to hear such positive comments about Chapel Down – I grew up near their vineyard in Kent and am a fan of their wines, some of which are available nationwide in Waitrose. Many London restaurants, particularly those which have a british slant to their cuisine, so I think it’s about time that our flag carrier (be that BA or Virgin Atlantic, depending on your viewpoint) should feature British wines, if nothing more than for novelty factor.


    “It would still be a faux pas to describe it as Dessert Wine at most country house parties I attend.”

    What is a country house – is it like a palace?


    Quite so, like a palace but only eight or ten bedrooms (not counting staff quarters or outbuildings).

    If you can smuggle it past the censor in Arabia, you might purchase a copy of Peter’s Friends which should give you the idea:


    I notice that there is a distinct lack of Rose Wine. Is this definitely the case?

    Tom Otley

    Two rose champagnes, but no rose wine, at least that evening.

    The same applies to the Galleries Lounge at Sat. B

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