Fine-wine lover Keith Prothero is organising what looks like a seriously great dinner in the private room of The Square restaurant in London, W1, on 31 Oct. Hugh Johnson will be guest of honour, and I can assure you he is excellent company.
Prothero's pet charity is Pebbles, which helps disadvantaged children in South Africa's winelands, who mainly suffer from Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. He provides the wine from his own cellar and then asks people to bid for seats at the dinner.
There are places available for 10 people other than Keith and Hugh, and five have already been taken by wine enthusiasts who paid a 'buy now' price of £1000 a head via the forum at www.wine-pages.com
The wines to be served include, at its first public tasting anywhere, a magnum of Côte Rôtie, Hommage à Étienne Guigal 2005. This is the wine made by Marcel and Philippe Guigal from their premium vineyards in minute quantity (just two barrels), with the wine to be used exclusively for charitable tastings and not sold on the open market by the family. Keith acquired this wine at a charitable auction at the Hospices de Rhône and collected it himself at the cellar door. (See our members' forum for a magnificent picture of this bottle.)
The full list of wines to be served that have been selected so far are (not necessarily in serving order):
Trimbach, Riesling Clos Ste-Hune Vendange Tardive 1989 Alsace
Trimbach, Riesling Clos Ste-Hune Hors Choix 1989 Alsace
Egon Müller, Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese 1989 Saar
Ch Lafite 1950 Pauillac
Ch Pétrus 1950 Pomerol
Ch Palmer 1961 Margaux
Ch Lafite 1982 Pauillac
Ch Cheval Blanc 1985 St-Émilion
Ch Montrose 1990 St-Estèphe (magnum)
Comte Georges de Vogüé 1978 Le Musigny
Dom Leroy, Les Beaux Monts 1990 Vosne-Romanée
Emmanuel Rouget, Cros Parantoux 1993 Vosne-Romanée
JL Chave 1990 Hermitage
Paul Jaboulet Aîné, La Chapelle 1990 Hermitage
Paul Jaboulet Aine, La Chapelle 1978 Hermitage
Ch d'Yquem 1986 Sauternes
Ch Climens 1988 Barsac
Tokaji 5 puttonyos 1937
Bual Quinta do Serrado 1827 Madeira
The Square will, I am sure, provide some wonderful food, carefully chosen to match these amazing wines. The meal is offered at a special price of £110 per head by owner and wine lover Nigel Platts-Martin (who has already bagged one of the £1,000 tickets).
It does sound a quite wonderful array of wines... well worth escaping Halloween for. I am tempted to buy a ticket myself but have a very important family commitment that day.