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An evening at Berry Brothers & Rudd

By Natalaigh Taylor

When you walk into Berry Brothers & Rudd on St James’ Street, it is like stepping back in time. Like walking onto an old boat, with slanted wooden flooring, low ceilings and dusty old bottles, BBR is the country’s oldest wine merchants, and were suppliers to the Royal family in the early 20th century.

Stefano Vallebona at Berry Brothers & Rudd

The teaching room is the best classroom you will ever enter, each seat complete with 9 wine glasses, tasting notes and a map of Italy.

Wine tasting senses

A Thursday evening, post-work 6pm the room fills with a mixture of suits, young couples and wine enthusiasts for an education of Italian food and wine.

Stefano created an incredible range of cheese & salumi and collaborated with Wine and Spirit Education Specialist Barbara Drew to match the unique delicacies with the chosen fine wines.

Stefano Vallebona and Barbara Drew

Stefano relayed the history and importance of food heritage.
Each product has a story of it’s own, and that comes from the passion of the small family producers. Barbara reverted with wines to match. The pairings really delighted the senses.

Cold smoked tuna loin paired with whites from Marche and Piedmont. Salame Finocchiono (fennel salami) and wild thistle pate with a light Tuscan chianti.

In only a couple of hours, we had tasted our way through Italy and finished with cherry chocolate truffles on blu in vinaccia (blue cheese coated in grape pressings) with a 1987 Sicilian Marsala.

Cherry chocolate, blue cheese and marsala wine

That is why Berry Brothers and Rudd say “Italian food and wine is a match made in heaven”

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