Dines Out: Let the Gusbourne see the Dog


Let the Gusbourne see the Dog

I could try to bluff away with that old chestnut that this is a tough job – but someone’s got to do it, but your not fools and I know that you know how much of a privilege this is. Especially when I am invited to join a small group to eat and dine well – and a few weeks ago I had such a privilege.

The good people at Butler’s Wine Cellar thought I might enjoy meeting Laura Rhys from Gusbourne wine makers – and at a favourite haunt The Ginger Dog.

The thrust of the day was to experience something that few have a chance to do, and that is to taste the base wines that are used to make the final blends that go into their delicious sparkling wines. Fascinating stuff it is too, some of these wines are pretty challenging to the palate, acidic and dark in flavour. It soon became clear how difficult and skilled the process is of blending these wines from both different grapes and different vineyards, to create not only delicious sparkling wines but also consistent wines in their flavour profile, year on year.


Finally we got to drink the finished wines with a menu of deliciously seasonal dishes prepared in the Ginger Dog kitchen and once again I was filled with admiration.

A croquette unapologetically packed with black pudding rather than a parsimonious whisper

We started witha black pudding croquette served with a peach ketchup, both great, especially a croquette that was unapologetically packed with black pudding rather than a parsimonious whisper.

Our starter of asparagus came with salty lardo and bottarga and lots of lovely brown shrimps, a marriage made in heaven. The main of roast plaice was equally delicious, perfectly trimmed, very important for the full enjoyment of plaice, and with a rich tomato and bonito butter sauce and my first Jersey royals of the season. Summer was definitely a coming in! Dessert of strawberry tart with basil and cucumber granita simply enforced the fact and a little cheese at the finish made the whole a delight.


We drank Gusbourne Brut Reserve, Blanc de Blanc 2013, another 2014 vintage, by this time the name becoming a mild blur, a rosé from 2014, and to finish the Pinot Noir from 2016.

To find out more talk to the team at Butler’s Wine Cellar in St George’s Road or Queens Park Road. www.butlers-winecellar.co.uk www.gusbourne.com

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