Forget the wine flight – Michelin-starred London restaurant Wild Honey is holding wine fights this winter to accompany a monthly series of gourmet game dinners (£85 per person, next dinner on November 21). Each evening of the series will see chef Anthony Demetre whipping up a five-course “feathered and furred” dinner while Wild Honey’s in-house sommelier Chris Cavaille competes in a wine-off against guest female sommeliers (Demetre instigated a similar battle at Arbutus last year). Diners will judge who best matches the wine to each course – and there can be only one winner.
For November’s wine-off, Laure Patry, head sommelier for Jason Atherton’s restaurants, will be the woman behind the corkscrew. Emily Harman of wine consultancy VinaLupa, who has curated lists for restaurants such as Moro, will serve her pick of the bunch in the run-up to Christmas (December 12). And the series will finish with sake samurai Natsuki Kikuya, sommelier and founder of the Museum of Sake, competing with Cavaille to match rice wines with game (January 30).
“Game season is my favourite time of year to be in the kitchen,” says Demetre. “There are only a few months to truly make the most of it.” The menus will change according to the hunter’s bag, but a starter might be partridge salad with pear and pomegranate or fresh pappardelle with slow-cooked Norfolk hare. Main courses include Scottish grouse with pumpkin and wild hedgerow blackberries; haunch of venison with autumn squash, wet walnuts and cavolo nero; a sharing dish of Goosnargh duck glazed with honey and Szechuan sauce; and woodcock with freekeh wheat and quince.