A glass of wine with Edd Simpson

Forge has re-opened for four evenings each week, for Thursday to Sunday evening reservations. The nine-course tasting menu created by head chef, Jake Jones is innovative, and the Forge experience is receiving the most fantastic reviews – even a mention in Vogue! 

The wine pairing at Forge has been created in collaboration with Edd Simpson, founder of Barrique Fine Wines. We caught up (over a glass of wine) with Edd to hear what to expect from the wine list and wine pairing at the restaurant. 

What can diners expect from the wines at Forge?

The unexpected. It’s been so exciting to work on this as Forge is so unique. I have been working with innovative producers to bring new and exciting wines to the offering. Wines from both the tasting and wine list include wines which pair perfectly with the flavours of the menu, wines that are uncommon, limited and daring. 

Why is the wine offering at Forge so unique? 

Wines tend to reflect the experience of each restaurant. Forge is so unique, from the strong connection to the seasons on the surrounding 200-acre estate which Jake cleverly uses to tell the story through each course he creates, to the atmosphere and interiors of the restaurant, which are warm, dark and welcoming. 

When I set to work on the wines for this, I knew they needed to reflect the extraordinary way Forge makes you feel. 

For this reason, I chose not to play safe; the list and pairing include a curation of wines you most likely won’t have seen before, adding to the distinctive dining experience. 

The list and pairing will change seasonally, or more often as new wines discovered from visits to vineyards make their way onto the list. 

If diners don’t opt for the wine paring, what wines can they expect to find on the list? 

When choosing wines for the list, I have worked closely with the Forge front-of-house team so they have the knowledge and understanding of each bottle of wine to assist you on the evening. 

I have ensured there’s a range of wines with varying profiles. 

There’s a range of grape varieties here, included to reflect and showcase the constant evolution of wine from a range of regions, giving diners a chance to try something new, whilst still respecting and appreciating the value of classic wines.

The wine list at Forge has an eclectic profile, creating numerous pairing options for the nine-course tasting menu.

Sustainability is very important at Forge. How have you ensured this is carried across in the wines you have chosen?

At Barrique, sustainability is also very important to us. We have a list of producers who we have worked with for a long time who have sustainability at the core of what they do. Wines for Forge have been chosen from these suppliers. 

Some regions provide greater challenges for organic viticulture, but farming sustainably and using modern takes on traditional methods are increasingly adopted. You can really see how the industry is moving to becoming more sustainable, from suppliers to restaurants and bars. 

And finally, what is your favourite course from the current tasting menu?

My favourite course, for the first time on any tasting menu is the bread course, it’s sensational. The beautiful acidity from the beer vinegar cutting through the moreish Old Winchester Custard. The roast chicken butter is decadent and delicious – ironically, it’s the one course not paired with wine!

Recipes from the Estate Kitchens

Inspired by the produce growing in the kitchen garden and those ingredients supplied by the local farming community each recipe we share is a celebration of a season, encouraging you to eat fresh, naturally growing ingredients which come with the equinoxes and solstices.

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