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Which wines do sommeliers really love? Laurent Chaniac of
The Cinnamon Club talks spice, stones and sardines WORDS LUCY BRITNER
THE RESTAURANT INSIDER
What do you drink on your night o� ?
I like to drink wines that are o
beaten track - more natural styles
or higher-end wines that I collect.
So if money was no object, which
two wines would you drink?
I'd drink Burgundy. For the red, I'd pick
a mature Vosne-Romanée from a good
year such as 1985, 1990, 1999, 2002,
or 2003, and a renowned producer -
Vosne-Romanée is Cros Parantoux Henri
Jayer 1999. For white I'd pick a mature
white from Corton, such as CortonCharlemagne
Whereabouts in France are you
from and do you have a favourite
wine from your region?
I was raised in Normandy but born in
the Ardèche. My favourite wine region
is the northern Rhône. I love to drink
Hermitage from M Chapoutier.
In the UK, there is a big tradition
of drinking lager with spicy food.
How do you convince diners in your
restaurant to go for wine?
We have tasting menus that are suited
to wines; the dishes are speci cally
designed for the wines.
How do you go about matching
wines with spicy food?
I assess the spices in the dish rather
than the protein, and see if there is a
harmonious angle or a contrast that
would be suitable.
What's your favourite wine
and food match ever?
I would say grilled sardines with a
Which is your go-to grape
variety and why?
Syrah. The panel of avours it can
deliver on various soils and in various
climates makes it a stunning variety.
From leaner fruit to spicy to big and
bold: it can do it all.
If you weren't a sommelier, what
other career would you choose?
I'd be a property developer. I like
stones, old homes and antiquities.
What makes London such a
special place for restaurants?
It's all here - wines and foods from
all over the world.
And which particular
restaurants do you rate?
The Square, which is a two-Michelinstarred
restaurant in Mayfair.
Laurent Chaniac devises the wine
lists for The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon
Kitchen and Cinnamon Soho.
Clockwise from top:
The Square, which is a two-MichelinAlvarinho;
The Square, which is a two-Michelinlists
for The Cinnamon Club, Cinnamon
Clockwise from top:
The Square, which is a two-Michelin-