Our By The Glass series sees sommeliers and wine experts share some vinous inspiration for your next pour.
From the Michelin-starred establishments of London to Hong Kong’s leading culinary spaces, Francois Ferrand has managed a range of fine dining restaurants. Currently looking after front of house operations and the drinks programme and chef Vicky Lau’s Tate Dining Room, he has a penchant for pairing food and wine and is longing to share a certain Sauternes with his guests.
An early (in your career) wine that made you go wow (I want to be a somm)?
In 2007, I had started working at the five-star hotel The Stafford London with Master Sommelier Gino Nardella and I was amazed by the Cote-Rotie La Turque 1995 by E. Guigal. Made from syrah, it boasts unique dark berries flavour with hints of tobacco and leather… I knew I was tasting something rare.
Most memorable pour?
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache 1937, because it is most certainly the oldest wine I have tasted.
Tipple for a Tuesday?
I like to enjoy a glass of a mineral and zesty chardonnay from Burgundy—Chablis and Pouilly-Fuissé are my favourite appellations and are a perfect match with seafood dumplings or fish dishes.
Sun, sea and …?
A fine rosé from Chateau d'Astros in Vidauban, Provence.
Wine of the moment?
Chablis 1er Cru Cote de Lechet 2019 from Maison Pommier in Burgundy. This is a boutique production that makes a fine chardonnay.
What you wish a customer would order (so you can taste it—for taint, of course)?
A sommelier always wants guests to order the rarest wine or one the somm has not yet tried… today, I wish a guest would order our sweet Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes.
What you love to recommend to guests?
My personal favourites, which also match very well with chef Vicky’s food, are chardonnays and pinot noirs from Burgundy, close to my hometown Lyon. Both the white and red wines have the minerality and acidity to make them very good pairings with many dishes.
Best from your by-the-glass list?
Red wine La Truffiere 2019 from Domaine Danjou-Banessy. The unusual blend of carignan noir and grenache noir by the two Danjou brothers in the South West of France delivers a wine full of flavours yet surprisingly light for the region.
A special something?
Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Nature Rosé by Philippe Starck 2006. Amazing with seafood, especially crab and lobster. I cannot wait for the next available vintage in Hong Kong.
Bottle to bring to a dinner party?
A nice bottle of pinot noir—Les Boucherottes 2006 from Anne-Francoise Gros. It will go well with any meat course and cheese.
One for the cellar?
Last year I started gathering wines from my birth year 1983 to try. I have a few bottles of medium range wines, mainly from Bordeaux so far.
Champagne Duval-Leroy, Cuvée MOF Sommeliers, Blanc de Blancs, 2010. Mineral and mature, perfect to start or finish a meal.
If not wine, then what?
A gin and tonic, of course! My latest favourite is L’ô de Jo, a London Dry Gin style distilled in Clos St Joseph (Meursault, Burgundy). It’s a delicious small production with a unique recipe.