Willi’s New Web Site goes live !

Be one of the first 50 people in the World to order a poster on our new web site & receive a copy of the complete Willi’s PosterCard Collection, worth 29€/ 39$US, for free !!

The launch of our latest beast offers a more integral approach than our previous efforts

  • It is in both French & English
  • It is a Gateway to Macéo Restaurant & Willi-Links, our blog
  • The Bottle Art Gallery viewing experience of is noticeably improved
  • Our Bottle Art Collection of posters may be simply & rapidly ordered online for delivery Worldwide in both € & $
  • Transport options & costs have been significantly improved

Our long awaited ‘latest release’ will be out & available very, very soon. “The Noble Rot Years”, created by the photographic genius Peter Lippmann, winner of this years Gold Award at the AOP for his Christian Louboutin series, will be one of our more dramatic images. Watch this space.

In receiving this mail, as a client previously registered on Williswinebar.US, you will now find it a necessary inconvenience to re-enter your details to activate your account on the new site, as these have not transferred from .US – soon to be discontinued. This may be done by simply signing up or when placing an order.

We trust you agree that this « Markom » creation has been worth the wait ! We are out there, trying to better that amazing « click by click » experience, never forgetting that the ultimate pleasures will always be found in your wine glass.

Wishing you a wonderful week-end from us all at Willi’s,

Mark

Steven the Conquerer or the Brut of Bride Valley

A Sheepless Moment of Bliss

Steven Spurrier, who provided the World of Wine its Cinderella moment with the dramatic playoff known as the ‘Judgement of Paris’ in 1976, recently celebrated his 70th birthday with a splendidly joyous event in Dorset.

The man who bought the Wines of the World into the World of Wine has not finished surprising us all just yet.

Bride Valley Vineyard Litton Cheney Dorset

Steven’s latest bout of lateral applied thought has involved meticulously removing the charmingly quaint population of sheep, (he is fortunate that sheep do not live in caravans), from the superbly exposed amphitheatre shaped hillside directly above the church of Litton Cheney, itself a storybook like village on the Dorset coast outside Bridport. France is nowhere in sight.

Cheeky enough, you might think, to have removed his wife’s livestock, but this transformation was to involve convincing Bella Spurrier, who is clearly running for Sainthood, to learn to drive a tractor & to plant 3,5 hectars of vines there where once her lambs learnt to do the Cha-Cha.

Steven is convinced that the band of Kimmeridgian soil, so fundamental to the quality of the wines of Chablis & Champagne and that originates here, will be the key justification for his bold & brutal act. The rest is down to Global Warming, for even in the South of England the sun comes out on Sunday.

Bride Valley Vineyard Chardonnay Grapes

The Bride Valley Vineyard, still in its infancy, will harvest its first few grapes in October 2011, from ’3rd leaf’ vines of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay. Steven’s aim is to make a classy, up market ‘Methode Champenois’ and, based on the evidence currently visible in his beautiful vineyard, will succeed brilliantly.

The three year Chardonnay vines look particularly happy, clearly having established themselves in a manner not unlike the French community of South Kensington. While the crop from these young vines seemed modest this year, I am sure there would have been eager takers of these healthy grapes across the English Channel.

Dom Perignon could not have imagined this

Steven & Bella plan to plant a further 1,5 hectares over the next couple of years, giving the production 60% Chardonnay with an even split between Pinot Meunier & Pinot Noir.

I wonder if, 950 years after ‘all that’, Spurrier the Great shall not remove his Crown Caps & head back to the Continent to do battle once more. The man of whom it has been said “definitively ended the 100 years war”, may just be about to start a new one.

Splitting the Strawberry and other Great Dishes

News has been/is swamped by misfit dictators whom seem intent in remodeling themselves on myself, by tempestuous ladies called Emily & Irene as well as some of the problems one encounters when trying to get dependable room service in New York’s hotels.

Who, I ask, can compete with all that ? Clutch a glass, stay motionless & indoors. Shake your head occasionally. Perhaps invest your last €’s in reserve supply’s of wines for pure – & instant – pleasure.

I think, Summer passed, that I may have found a morsel left by a banker. Hold the back page.

It all started while reading an article in the Guardian – yes I know, but it is one of the few remaining UK newspapers with traction, substance & grip – on the closing of El Bulli. This enjoyable piece of writing ended with its author suggesting & wishing that we could all now move on, or possibly return, to the simple but noble pleasures of eating & drinking. She said something to the effect of  ‘it would be nice to have something on ones plate in restaurants again’.

Well, Paris is my starting point for that not so elusive plate of abundance, but I was pulled up short in my confident stride to the table by the restaurant critiques SnR* of the moment. With Fernand Adria safely eclipsed, there seems to be a movement underway to unearth his successor. Preferably & understandably in Paris. This ladies wishes may yet go unheeded. As I discovered, not without amusement, interest & undeniable pallet pleasure, the temptation to cross the room to serve two halfs of a ‘Mara des Bois’ strawberry can be greater than the wish to satisfy our understandably famished Guardian journalist.

This journalist will be welcome at Macéo where our new chef, Maître Park, is playing to her wishes while quietly developing new twists that are best described as ‘Culinary Subversion’. Maître Park, a native Korean, has spent more than a few years working alongside some of France’s most respected chefs & perhaps because of this experience manages not to achieve the obvious conjured up in the mention ‘Fusion’. Park’s culinary offerings most definitely do not resemble experiments reminiscent of molecular collisions.

There is no obvious violence in his carefully thought out preparations. In fact you may not even be immediately aware that subversive work is quietly at play in the kitchens of Macéo. “Circulez, il y à rien à voir”.

So what, I hear you ask, happened to Thierry Bourbonnais, Macéo’s great chef for the last 8 years ? Thierry, like many chefs I have worked with over the last 30 years, is to open his very own restaurant. Soon. I have absolutely no doubt that he will enjoy a long & successful career as patron-chef & wish him all the very best. He will be opening his restaurant in Crosne. When you find out where that is, please tell me !

No mention of ‘new’ would be complete without welcoming the soon to be not so Hidden Kitchen of the dazzling American couple, Laura & Braden, out into the lights of the Rue Montponsier. They are poised, on 3 floors & just 3 doors down from Macéo, waiting to open ‘Vertjus’ in the place of  ‘Alfred’ – just across the road from the Theatre du Palais Royale. See ‘Paris by Mouth’ for upcoming details on this & other essential morsels.

Finally, my great friends Juan & Drew are battling with shadows to complete their latest restaurant across the Rue de (in)Seine from Fish. Le ‘Temps Perdu’ which has done a great job making them do just that, is going to open some time in November under a more fortunate name. Just don’t quote me.

*sniff & rave