It’s amazing where an interest in wine can lead you. For example, it was just a couple of days ago that I discovered that ‘Le Poivrot’ was French slang for a drunkard – not that I can see myself using that information very often!
But Le Poivrot is also the name of the latest addition to Bristol’s thriving wine and food scene – and just 10 minutes’ walk from our home.
We had to try it – and we were pleased we did as it ticks all the boxes that a good wine bar should: around 50 wines by the bottle starting at just over £20 and almost 20 by the glass or 37.5cl (half-bottle size) carafe, encompassing the familiar (Muscadet, Soave, Beaujolais) as well some more interesting and eclectic examples. I recognised several of the bottles as coming from Vine Trail, a wonderful locally-based importer specialising in wines from small, artisan French domains.
While most wine bars (including another of our favourites, The Library in Cheltenham Road) offer platters of meat or cheese or tapas-style plates to accompany their wines, Le Poivrot also has a small number of delicious sounding main courses: I had wood pigeon with asparagus and girolles while my wife enjoyed some pan-fried ling with poached pear and spinach – both dishes beautifully presented and full of flavour. To accompany these – and the lovely plate of cheeses we had to follow, I chose two carafes: a crisp, clean, fruity Alsace Sylvaner from Leon Boesch and an attractive Bergerac, simple, but with rich black fruits, both great value at £17 each. And all served by knowledgeable, friendly and well-trained staff – at least 2 of whom have a background in one of Bristol’s Michelin Starred restaurants, Wilks.
We walked home happy but certainly not poivrot!