Saturday, 28 November 2015

Majestic wine course

Our local Majestic store is not really local being 20 miles away, however we hop on the train fairly often and enjoy a browse along the vast array of inviting bottles. Last Sunday we enjoyed another visit, this time with a group of friends, taking the opportunity to add in lunch too.

Our party of eight included two ladies in wheelchairs and although I was anxious in planning/making the train journey Cross Country trains were very helpful. I popped into the station a few days before to buy our tickets as we had various combinations; Railcard holders, Concessions with the wheelchairs, peak or off -peak - all to be considered.
Image result for cross country trains

Tickets purchased I was advised to contact their Travel Assistance team, where a very helpful chap took all our details including asking if we needed help with getting in and out of a taxis, had luggage or needed help getting to and from each station - he emailed me confirmation details within minutes of my call. Their customer service continued to impress as ramps were ready at each station, on and off, and so our journey to Leicester had begun.

The Parcelyard is a great pub located right next to Leicester Station - almost a secret as it's frontage looks nothing like a pub. Once the sorting office and parcel yard for British Rail it it now serves Steamin' Billy Real Ales as well as a selection of guest beers. They also serve good wine and great cocktails.
Image result for steamin billy

Their Sunday lunch menu at £10 for 2 courses or £12 for 3 had quite a choice. Our choices included garlic mushrooms, chicken pate for starters; roast beef or roast pork Sunday dinners; sticky toffee pudding, vanilla cheesecake, peach melba sundae for dessert. Great food all round.

And so to our main purpose - our wine course at Majestic. Just a short stroll from the pub we arrived to find tables laid with 6 wines poured ready, however before beginning on the first white we all enjoyed a glass of Italian Prosecco.

Prosecco Romeo & Juliet
 A lively bottle of bubbles poured with a fine light mousse settling into an off-dry applely easy drinking wine. Prosecco Romeo & Juliet was a perfect way to start our course, a great idea for pre-dinner drinks.

Our course began with three white wines - very different in the glass ranging from very pale to golden yellow. We had no idea of the wine varieties as all the bottles were hidden away.

I'm a big fan of sauvignon blan, especially from the Loire Valley, more especially Sancerre, but to my amazement I did not get the first wine at all - finding it having a pear drop taste. Others noted green apples and crispness and I wondered if I had a different wine as it was a Tourraine Sauvignon. Maybe my taste bud were still holding the sticky toffee pudding from lunch.

Our three whites 
Two wines to compare next, first a lovely chardonnay from France - Macon-Lugny. Full of apples with a hint of citrusy lemon this chardonnay would be perfect with cheese or a creamy chicken dinner.

Our second was also a chardonnay but this time from Chile, Luis Felipe Edwards Gran Reserva Chardonnay. This is one of my favourite chardonnays with it's added creaminess from being aged in oak for 3 months. It's full of peaches and apricots with a smooth finish.

Next was a real treat - another glass of bubbles - this time champagne and my Hubby knew instantly it was Heidsieck Monopole Gold Top 2009.

Hubby's favourite
We enjoyed a glass of Gold Top on our 25th Wedding Anniversary on our Seine River Cruise and although we both enjoy Nicolas Feuillatte this is a beautiful champagne full of elegant bubbles, biscuity flavour and a subtle dryness giving a soft full finish. Everyone enjoyed this champagne and is perfect for special occassions without being over priced.

Celebrating with Heidsieck Monopole
Moving on to our three reds, quite different in colour ranging from light with scarlet hues to very deep red with crimson highlights. The first was from Chile, Errazuriz Estate Series Pinot Noir. It was full of strawberries and cherries with a hint of smokiness from it's aging. I think for me I would prefer this with food, it would be perfect with the Sunday dinner we had at the Parcelyard.

A french red for our second tasting, a lovely bordeaux from Medoc. Cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes filled this bottle giving great depth of fruit and long finish. and our third red was a new concept to me, an Australian Malbec. I've enjoyed many malbecs from Argentina my favourite being Trivento Golden Reserve. This was full of cherries and dark fruit with that characteristic hint of spice on the finish - a little pricy but Smooth Operator Malbec Two Hands is a lovely wine.

Majestic Wine Courses always involve a bit of food pairing - and not always to show the good matches. We had great fun tasting tomatoes, smoked salmon, spicy crisps, goats cheese and pate with the various wines, some were amazing others were absolute disasters resulting in some very funny face pulling !

I love baking and often bake Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake which is a hit with everyone. I made two to take to Majestic (without the topping), one for our our tasting and the other for the staff to share over the week - I wonder how long it lasted. it's a very rich cake which you could pair with a heavy red but was especially good with our final wine ...... The Noble Wrinkled Riesling,

Amazing dessert wine
This dessert wine is so smooth, full of peaches, candied peel, honey, everything puddingy ! it was a real melting moment to sit and enjoy it's syrupy smoothness with a super finish of barley sugar. I'm very happy to now have one residing at Maison Hearnden ready for the upcoming festivites (if it lasts that long).

After browsing Majestic's vast array of bottles and making our purchases we happily wandered back to the station, caught our train with precise assistance from both station guards and made our way home feeling very satisfied from a day of great company, good food and amazing wine.

Thank you Cross Country, The Parcelyard and huge thanks to Majestic Leicester !

A fantastic range for our wine course at Majestic 

1 comment:

  1. So good to hear of someone having a good experience with the railways and their staff.


I'm so pleased you're enjoying my travel and wine ramblings - I love reading your replies too, thank you for posting a comment