The Literally Late, Late 70th Birthday
The Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2DQ
Tuesday, October 12th 7.00 for 7.30 pm
Guest Speaker: Sebastian Payne MW, The Wine Society
Sir Lancelot Spratt, infamous for his everything-ist appearances in the “Doctor in the House” series, bore an uncanny resemblance to the senior surgeon at the old Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, where your Honorary Secretary* was a very junior doctor. He always kept us waiting for ages before he arrived for ward rounds with matron. Woe betide anyone of us who was not punctual for he would boom out in front of all the patients and across the ward: “Boy, you are late.” One unfortunate had the temerity to speak up and say: “but Sir, you are usually late” to which came the withering retort: “No young man you are always late; I am only ever delayed.”
So, our Dining Club is now threescore and a dozen and “by reason of strength” we have now exceeded our allotted time and continue on, despite adversity, in the appreciation of fine, mature wine, good food and excellent company. Hopefully, we will not be cut off and fly away too soon.
We start the evening in the stunningly and recently refurbished Drapers’ Hall with the wine created and championed by Champagne Charlie namely the Charles Heidsieck that we have cellared at Stevenage for five or six years now. The added bottle age gives a richness and maturity to this already excellent champagne.
2014 was a good year for white Burgundy especially Chablis and Samuel Billaud makes classic wines which are now starting to achieve cult status. We will have his Premier cru Sechet with our starter.
For the Reds to go with fillet steak we will have a Margaux then a St Julien finishing with Pauillac. We start with the 2009 Château D’Angludet and I think you’ll be surprised just how ready this is to drink. Then 2000 Ducru Beaucaillou which Parker gives an outstanding 96/100 when the wine was tasted last year. Finally the 1989 Château Lafite which we have had since we bought it en primeur. I will leave Sebastian Payne, MW our guest and good friend of the Wine Society Dining Club to talk more about these three.
Over the years there has been much discussion, sometimes heated, about whether we should have cheese and port followed by desert and a sticky wine or vice versa. I know this is a very first world problem and fully understand the passions that arise over this question which is rather like the Lilliputian egg controversy. So, on our delayed 70th anniversary dinner, we should try to please all comers by having cheese on the table with a bottle of the glorious 1970 Graham’s port – which Robert Parker describes as monumental – and serve dessert with a 2008 Doisy Daene, a very highly rated Barsac. What could be better?
Your metaphorically late, late Secretary,
* Editor’s note: As we have managed to lose yet another Honorary Secretary to personal circumstances, Tony Wright valiantly returns to organise what should have been in June 2020 his triumphal final dinner as Honorary Secretary
Tuesday 7th December 2021 – Christmas Tasting and Raffle at the Army & Navy Club
Wednesday 9th February 2022 – Dinner at the National Liberal Club