By now it will come as no surprise to our readers that we Radicals are partial to a cheeky tipple every so often. In fact, one of the area’s attractions is the variety of tipple options it affords – from a decent local boozer such as the Dacre Arms in Lee or the Red Lion in Shooters Hill, to a cocktail at Bianco 43 to, now – and at long last in our view – a glass of top quality wine of an evening at village new-comer Le Bouchon (www.lebouchonwinebar.co.uk @lebouchonbar).
And so it was that one Tuesday evening the Radicals, along with a ‘click’ of other local bloggers (click being the accepted collective noun for more than one blogger) headed to Le Bouchon to sample its finest.
We began with a glass each of champagne and sparking rosé. Both crisp, well chilled and exactly the way to start after a surprisingly warm mid June day.
To accompany the fizz we were served a selection (an amusement? Stop it! Ed.) of amuse bouche including green olives, stuffed peppers, and some lovely sun-dried tomatoes. All accompanied by fine bread from local favourite Boulangarie Jade.
Next up was a glass of the Picpoul de Pinet and a glass of organic Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley. The former is a light, refreshing, highly drinkable favourite. A session wine if you will.
Time for some more food. This time a selection from the meat and cheese boards accompanied by cornichons and more bread. We had the cured ham, Bresi (smoked beef) and the Comte sausage along with a grise de volcans, Comte 24 months and classic Rouqfort cheese. Each was tasty and collectively certainty made for a very substantial meal for two.
More wine, this time another favourite white, the Voigner, and a truly excellent Cote de Bordeaux. At this point it’s worth mentioning the service; Jean-Philippe and his well oiled (as in a machine!) team are friendly, unobtrusive and knowledgable.
The evening progressed with the aid of a glass of Sancerre – a lovely balanced acidity and a full flavour – and a glass of the Chinon, fast becoming a favoured red by one Radical. And finally a pleasant Pinot Grigio and a formidable Cahors to round things off.
We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating, Le Bouchon is a fine addition to the village, one which should attract people to the place and benefit other businesses. The ability to order an extensive range of good wines by the glass sets it apart from anything else in the area. And makes it quite a difficult place to not to visit. Frequently.