As an old Yorkshireman, I'm totally chuffed that the Black Swan in
the tiny village of Oldstead, Yorks, has been named by TripAdvisor as the best
restaurant in the world.
Ten years ago Tommy and James Banks took over a rundown pub, They were seventeen and
nineteen years of age. With their parents and co-workers, the brothers renovated, invested, and created a new culinary style where ‘farm to
fork’ cuisine finds its finest expression. Everybody pitches in, cultivating the vegetable garden, and working the harvest.
The interior was designed and built as a
cooperative effort. Innovation and individual responsibility are the pillars on which the young enterprise has been built. It took only seven years for Tommy Banks – at age twenty-four – to be
awarded a Michelin star. Now, TripAdvisor has named Black Swan as the
best Fine Dining restaurant in the world, followed by another British
eatery, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, in New Milton.And there is a wine from Carnuntum (Austria) that catches the eye among
the wine-pairings for the Menu de Dégustation: its name is
Prellenkirchen, and it comes from Weingut Muhr-van-der Niepoort.
Grower Dorli Muhr tells about the wine: The wine is grown on the Spitzerberg in Prellenkirchen (Carnuntum). I
submitted it on five separate occasions for the official control
number, and five times it was rejected as ‘not meeting the quality
standards’. I ultimately bottled it as Landwein (instead of
Qualitätswein) – with which it could bear no more detailed designation
of origin, region or village. I was even obliged to disguise the name on
the label. (The wine is labelled P............N)
Prellenkirchen is served with the scallops
To make this wine, Grüner Veltliner grapes were foot-trodden and fermented on the skins – then matured for a year in large
wooden cask before being bottled with 10% Riesling.
"We vinified an ‘orange wine’ before we'd even heard this category exists," says Dorli Muhr. "Wines
of this type require time in order to develop. Now, after five years in
the bottle, it is simply splendid. In Austria we run up against and
push back against – and not only with the tasters for the federal
control number – rejection and lack of understanding. But sommeliers all
over the world are quite enthusiastic about the wine."
James Banks,the somm at Black Swan is one of them. He serves the 2011
Prellenkirchen with scallops accompanied by celery from the
restaurant’s own garden in fermented celery juice and dill,
reduced to a fine cream.
"The earthy/acidic notes with the
sweetness of the scallops, together with the white wine from
Spitzerberg provides an astonishing flavor experience," says Banks.
It's a great wine list -- blackswanoldstead.co.uk/assets/pdfs/wine-list.pdf
The Black Swan is a tranquil rural
retreat beside the North York Moors National Park, 20 miles
north of York in an area famous for its picturesque scenery, castles, abbeys, market towns, perfect for
walking, cycling and touring.