Fine Living | The Reconnoisseur

At last – a decent wine list that doesn’t read like a ransom note

Terrific wines at cheaper-than-retail prices

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At last – a decent wine list that doesn’t read like a ransom note

Image: Paul Winch-Furness

December 06 2009
John Stimpfig

Like a lot of people, I am pretty choosy when it comes to eating out – particularly in the current wintry economic climes. Good, preferably great food is a given, but so too is a decent wine list that doesn’t read like a ransom note.

All of which brings me to Bob Bob Ricard in London’s Soho, which the critics either loved or loathed. Personally, I rather liked the ersatz 1930s design (American diner meets Orient Express) and the seriously digestible food. But, for me, best of all is the new reserve wine list. Essentially, BBR (not to be confused with Berry Bros & Rudd) has guaranteed to add no more than a £50 surcharge to the cost of any reserve wine. As a result, a 1996 DRC Echézeaux will cost just £462 at BBR compared with £1,800 at The Dorchester. Or how about £276 for the 95 Cheval Blanc versus £635 at Claridge’s?

Other bargains include the ’98 Léoville Barton (£89), ’99 L’Evangile (£109) and ’89 Pavie (£118), not to mention half bottles of 2002 Yquem (£97) and ’89 Rieussec (£55), which means that some of these prices are cheaper than retail. Next up, BBR are going to focus on adding more white wines to the list. I can hardly wait.