Superb Wine & Food at Braidwoods, Dalry

On the eve of the SuperBOWL wine event in Glasgow, a group of ten wine enthusiasts, fortunately including me, met for dinner at the Michelin-starred Braidwoods restaurant just outside the small town of Dalry.

Amuses of bacon and mushroom mini vol-au-vent type things.

Seared, hand-dived Wester Ross scallops on a bed of leek, beurre blanc and crispy Parma Ham

Huge, meaty scallops. Delicious leeks - among the best I've had.  All nicely cooked - a very good dish.

Warm tart of Parmesan on a rockette salad with red pepper coulis


Fabulous, really fabulous tart. Utterly ethereal pastry. The red pepper coulis, while in itself superbly done, didn't really work that well for me. I thought tomato would have worked better, or even something that you might more associate with parmesan, say some diced pear. But I think I was in the minority.

Roast loin of highland red deer with a Jersusalem artichoke puree, baby spinach and wild mushroom jus


Gorgeous deer, perfectly cooked and rested. Superlative artichoke purée. Very good gratin dauphinoise. There was a flavour in the spinach that I couldn't quite identify - it felt slightly fishy, but the only texture I could identify (other than the spinach itself) appeared to be bacon. Overall though, a superb, beautifully balanced dish.

A small taste of three British cheeses from Iain Mellis

Expressions of horror about the word "small" from the New Zealand contingent unfortunately fell on deaf ears.

Chilled caramelised rice pudding with warm Agen prunes in Armagnac
Dark chocolate truffle cake with an espresso anglaise and maple syrup ice cream

After representations, and weeping and imploring from Mr Wilkie, the "or" was replaced by an "and" ...


Has anyone had a better rice pudding? God, it was good. The chocolate truffle cake was so light, it was remarkable. I particularly liked the espresso anglaise too, and wished there had been more of that. The ice cream was beautifully made, but I'd have preferred more of that custard.

We took our own wines:

1999 Bollinger
Disgorged April 2007. Fairly rich on the nose with quite forward black fruit and slightly orangey brioche notes. Remarkably bubble-less. Fairly rich on the palate - it feels just a touch sweet, with mixed peel character, without actually being sweet. Fairly low acidity, I thought. Very long, but overall it didn't seem particularly special to me. 88/100

1981 Cristal, Champagne Roederer
A deepish gold. The nose is quite creamy with strawberries and candied orange. Lovely full palte - nicely evolved. Great depth. Creamy in the mouth with soft, slightly sweet fruit and a touch of cashew nuts. Very integrated, fine acidity on the finish. Very long indeed. This is a lovely drink and quite a treat. 94/100

1992 Chablis Grand Cru Blanchot, Jean-Marie Raveneau
A deepish colour. Fairly vivacious, buttery nose with some nutty savouriness. Open, wide palate, feeling fairly old, but not at all unduly so. It has great balance, nice depth, and finishes with very good length. 91/100

1966 Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru, Domaine Potinet-Ampeau, 13.5%
A bright yellow gold. Fairly - nay remarkably - slight nose: it feels quite tight and lemony and remarkably fresh. A lovely wine that for most of the time it's in your mouth feels really quite young, until right and the end of the finish, when it quite suddenly starts to make its age felt. 94/100

1986 Corton Charlemagne Diamond Jubilee, Remoissenet Père et Fils
Bottle number 666.
A mid gold. Rather closed on the nose with vanilla initially, then with time a mushroomy edge is revealed. It's quite forward. Then there's a nice, stylish edge. Spicy oak on the finish. Nice depth on the finish too. Very good length. 90/100

1993 Vosne-Romanée au Cros Parentoux, Domaine Méo-Camuzet
A very big nose: very meaty with a wild, gamey edge. I could be fooled into thinking this was syrah, or at least contained syrah. Big meaty palate with lots of sandy tannins. Good depth. Everyone else is wetting themselves over this, but in my blissful state of Burgundy ignorance, I just don't get what the fuss is about. For heaven's sake it doesn't even smell or taste like pinot noir, let alone Burgundy. Is this an attempt by Méo-Camuzet to win Keith Prothero's custom? Sorry, and I know it means I'll be spending tonight's dinner on a table by myself, but I just don't get this wine. 89/100

1978 Gevrey Chambertin Clos St Jacques, Domaine Pernot-Fourrier
A lovely nose with feral red fruit and a slight lift. Nice wide palate. There's a really engaging spicy, leathery feel to this. I find this quite an exciting wine which seems to me far more like what red Burgundy is all about than the Parentoux. 94/100

1955 Château Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Virtually label-less. A bottle that had, it transpired, been in the hands of more than one of those around the table.
It's a remarkably vibrant, bright colour that's far more youthful than it should be. What a glorious nose! It's difficult to write a note on the nose, as it's changing all the time. A lovely savoury character. Pure hedonism in a glass on the nose.
After that build up, thank heavens it doesn't disappoint on the palate: really lovely and mature. Very gentle and restrained, with some sweetness, perhaps from a touch of VA. Gravelly galangal notes. The palate doesn't quite live up to the nose, but it is a superb wine. 95/100

1964 Château Canon, 1er Grand Cru Classé St Emilion
Re-corked 2004.
This almost looks young:

Fabulous nose with sweetish, very concentrated black fruit, verging on the very intense. There's almost a hint of cherries there too.
A really good palate. Mature, but lovely with huge elegance. A superb, fascinating mouthful. Very clean and almost refreshing. A slight feel of a chocolatey richness on the finish. Huge length. 95/100

1985 Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol
A youngish, bright colour (young in comparison with other wines tonight - there's not apparent youth). Lovely nose. Very subtle, integrated fruits. Very good palate - it's yet to integrate fully and actually, certainly in tonight's company, feels a little youthful. Nice finish with a touch of fresh acidity. Very long indeed. 90/100

1973 Unico, Vega Sicilia
Laymont & Shaw labelling.
A very bright nose. Red fruits, mushrooms, truffles, citrus, a slight hint of VA. Lovely! This is very much in a Burgundy mode. Gorgeous palate. There's quite a ripe feel to the fruit. Very high acidity. Gorgeous finish. A fabulous wine. 95/100

NV Unico Reserva Especial Lot 006/01, Vega Sicilia

1990 Château Coutet, Barsac
A deepish gold. Orangey, botrytised nose. Very fresh, perfectly balanced nose. Gorgeous palate. Very fresh and open. Lovely drink. 93/100

NV Maury 12 Ans, Les Vignerons de Maury
Lovely nose with nutty red fruits and a gentle oxidation. Nice palate: good dried fruit and orangey notes. Just a little spirity on the finish. 88/100

A great night. Thanks to Toby Bailey, Tom Cannavan and Bryan Collins for their organising.


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Last updated: 13 March 2009