Friday, 21 August 2015

Burger Night at The Grape Escape Cheltenham

If you follow me on Twitter, chances are you'll have seen me banging on about my new favourite bar, The Grape Escape. I hold my hands up - I'm not even a little bit sorry - it's the best place to have opened up in town for ages. What's more, with a weekly changing 'wine by the glass' list, and the fact that it's just five minutes from home (on Bath Road), I really can't see me getting bored of it - ever. 

I wrote an article about their first tasting event for Vinspire last month; all Californian wines, and all frickin' incredible. I'd strongly suggest you read it *nudge*. 

Anyway, Saturday saw another event at The Grape Escape; Burger Night! The bar doesn't serve hot food, they simply have a fab selection of meats, cheeses, and even cake to go with their wines - so instead they managed to team up with @Burger_lad and @_Miss_Milkshake, along with the guys and girls at Real Burger Cheltenham, in order to bring the dream combo of freshly made burgers matched with some amazing wines.

Phone your request through, order your glass of wine, sip whilst you wait and tuck in once it's delivered. Easy.

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't the best burger I've ever had, however this may be down to my poor choice; I didn't think that you could go wrong with a classic, and I wanted to avoid any crazy flavours that might detract away from the mega wines. Because I don't often choose a burger when I'm out and about, when I do, I want it to be that juicy, still pink in the middle, saucy number, which drizzles down your chin, goes all over your hands, and leaves you feeling a little dirty. Unfortunately my 6oz Classic from Real Burger didn't shame me in such a way, though looking at The Chap tackling an 8oz beast, I think his did the job. I'll know for next time.

As for the wines, we were in for an absolute treat; Ant & Zoe (the owners of The Grape Escape) are big into their Californians, so decided to open some pretty special bottles from their extensive list. At £12 a glass, or £60 a bottle, you just knew they were going to be "the shiz".

I started with a glass of English fizz, whilst The Chap took on the challenge of a whole white wine flight (£12.50), and although I gave him disapproving looks for his decision, it probably worked out for the best seeing as we had to wait quite a while for our food; I've taken note, Saturday night is prime time for burgers!

The Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, 2011, was a clear winner for wine of the night for me. Back in the famous Judgement of Paris, Montelena's 1973 wine stole the show, beating the very best wine that Burgundy had to offer. This 2011 is the 40th vintage of the Chardonnay, and it shows the excellent juxtaposition of the old and new wines of California; powerful oaked Chardonnay (yes yes yes) with a delicious fresh streak of acidity that leaves your gums tingling.

We had a duo of Ridge Vineyards Zinfandels; Lytton Springs 2009 and Geyserville 2010. You can read about Lytton Springs on my recent Vinspire post, but as for the Geyserville, at 14.3% it's a weighty percentage wine without the overly weighty mouth drying effect you might expect. Rich ruby in colour, with ripe and refreshing cherry and plum flavours, it had some lingering peppermint and earthy notes that partnered wonderfully with the salty food.

Other wines we tried whilst the vinyl player was busting out some tunes (yes - this bar is that cool) were the Hirsch 'San Andreas Fault' Pinot Noir 2012 and Copain Syrah Halcon 2009; lucky us! I don't need to tell you how great they tasted, do I?

This was the second Burger Night at The Grape Escape, so there are bound to be more in the future, and they've had pizza nights too if that's more your thing. Check out their event listings online, where you'll find all the details of their tastings, 'meet the winemaker's, and general weekly offers... 

I'll see you at the bar, yeah?

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