TABLE TALK

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🍇 #8: Uncorking Wine and The Godfather of Soul 📻

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It’s been almost two months since I first set out my intention to celebrate our favourite dinner table conversations through Table Talk. The vision for Wednesday’s Domaine is centred in friends and families being able to meet, eat and drink inclusively any night of the week and Table Talk is very much a reflection of that. Thank you for your continued support and please do keep the feedback coming - it’s a pleasure to have you along for the ride.

Table Talk personified (and a far cry from a gloomy Wednesday in London)

Table Talk personified (and a far cry from a gloomy Wednesday in London)

🥘 Store Cupboard Staples 🥘

In my formative years, as with another champion of the condiment cupboard - anchovies, featured in #5 - sightings of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and its orange-hued exterior would set alarm bells ringing in my young brain. This feeling would only intensify as the bottle made its way from the depths of the cupboard and onto the side, ready to be dolloped over a Sunday evening’s cheese on toast or liberally applied to a midweek bolognese. I didn’t get - it was too tangy, too intense. Only with time and a greater understanding of its true versatility have I come to appreciate this most historic of condiments.

 

American branding of an early Worcestershire Sauce bottleAmerican branding of an early Worcestershire Sauce bottle

 

Created sometime around 1837 by chemists John Lea and William Perrins, its commercialisation was a stroke of dumb luck, the first ever batch having been discarded to a basement by its creators and only latterly rediscovered during a clear up. In the intervening 18 months, a combination including garlic, vinegar, anchovies and much more had matured into a compelling, complex liquid that was soon used to bolster everything from steaks to oysters and more recently caesar salads, stews and even Bloody Marys.

Supposedly the oldest commercially imported condiment in the US, its umami deliciousness now exists in various formats the world over. Whilst applications and opinions on this store cupboard stalwart vary, its reputation as a must-have at home is undoubted. Long live Lea and Perrins.

🍇 Uncorking Wine 🍇

Touching upon the vision mentioned above, I personally love the idea of a table filled with food and drink, littered with wine bottles and encased by people locked deep in great conversation. When it comes to Wednesday’s Domaine, the only slight tweak on that seasoned setup is that some of those wine bottles might have alcohol in them, others not, the point being that it doesn’t matter.

Grab a glass and settle in...Grab a glass and settle in...

Part of my own enjoyment of wine comes from understanding what’s happening in the bottle and your glass. With Christmas fast approaching and that oh-so-familiar feeling of not having a clue what to get anyone, you could do worse than snap up the books below. These beauties have shaped my understanding of wine and would bring joy to anyone lucky enough to receive them this Christmas:

  • Which Wine When - that the dedication inside that reads “For all the friends who’ve ever asked us what to drink” suggests this may be more an exercise in time management than anything else, but it provides a wonderfully accessible insight into wine terminology and food pairings.
  • The Knackered Mother’s Wine Guide - this quote from the author - “Wine makes us sit down and converse. Wine connects us with places, with stories, and best of all, with each other” - typifies the warmth and gaiety that runs through this brilliantly readable book.
  • The Sommelier’s Atlas Of Taste - described as “a wine bible” by someone who really knows their stuff, you could leaf through this for years and still unearth new nuggets of information.
  • Wine Folly - beautiful illustrations and succinct descriptions make this a delightfully accessible anthology.
  • Wines From Another Galaxy - whenever Ottolenghi speaks, people listen, so take his word for it when he says of this Noble Rot number - “Serious yet never dry, knowledgeable but inclusive” - or get started with one of their magnificently designed magazines.

📻 What We’re Listening To 📻

If I were to tell you that I was spending my days unearthing new music and discovering hidden gems, you would probably raise your eyebrows and tell me to get over myself. That would be especially true at this time of year, when let’s face it, everyone’s churning out Christmas classics 24/7.

Give this a spin come ChristmasGive this a spin come Christmas

Perhaps these efforts will result in nothing, but for me, the potentially glorious crossover of Christmas and Funk & Soul is too good to miss. Make some space in your living room and then go all in with The Godfather of Soul’s 1968 Soulful Christmas album or dip your toe with Santa’s Funk & Soul Christmas Party mixtapes #1 and #2.

We’ll be back next week with more, but in the meantime do please keep the feedback coming.

Thank you,

Luke

PS. Don’t want to wait a whole week for our next edition? Check us out on Instagram (@wednesdaysdomaine) for your daily tipple.

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