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.
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.
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|
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|
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.
|Celebrating with Heidsieck Monopole|
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|
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|