La Petite Bouchée – how do restaurants choose their wine?


The Vine Lives team loves nothing more than finding out about and sampling new eateries, and one of Devon’s most recent additions to the restaurant scene is La Petite Bouchée, based in Witheridge, near Tiverton. La Petite Bouchée already had a large following and had achieved great success in south-east London, where it had won the Time Out ‘Love London’ award for the best restaurant in the area. Since moving to Devon, the restaurant has already won a ‘Taste of the West’ Gold award too, and since eating there ourselves, we can’t wait to see what other accolades they pick up!

Whilst there, we wanted to ask owner Anita-Clare Field (who runs the restaurant with wife, Caroline) about the restaurant, but particularly about the stunning wines offered on the menu.

Where does the wine at LPB come from?

Our wine comes from a wine merchant called Vinothentic in London. It’s the only non-locally sourced area of our business. We are a French restaurant so naturally, our wine all comes from France. We use Vinothentic because the wines on their list are made by growers who passionately believe, as we do, that wine matters.

How do you decide which wine goes well with a particular dish?

We're very lucky, we get very good advice from Vinothentic based on our menu, which changes every month. Also, Caroline is pretty knowledgeable about wine so I have two sources to draw upon if I am not sure.

How many different wines do you offer at La Petite Bouchée?

It’s a very modest list, although we think it includes a fantastic choice of wine! And it changes, according to that month’s menu. We have five white, five red, one rose and three sparkling and champagne.

Have you tasted all of them personally?

Yes, I have. As part of the overall service, Vinothentic take us through each wine, giving us its background, grape variety and taste, but we also use our own knowledge and experience when choosing them. Although of course, everyone has their own interpretation of taste.

Do you agree that it’s best to use white wine with fish and chicken dishes, and red wine with meaty dishes?

In the main, yes, however, there are some lighter reds that do compliment fish and chicken dishes perfectly. We’ll always recommend a wine to go with our dishes but at the end of the day, if a customer wants to drink a glass of Chablis with steak, then, of course, that’s entirely up to them!

Which is your favourite wine?

Without a shadow of a doubt, Pouilly Fumé, dry, beautifully crisp, and from one of my favourite areas in France, The Loire.

What drinks do you offer for people who don’t like wine, or can’t drink alcohol?

We have a range of delicious organic drinks from our local cider company Ashridge: Cloudy Lemonade, Ginger Beer, Apple and Raspberry, Apple Juice. There really is something for everyone. 

Thanks, Anita-Clare! Now, about that Chablis with steak? That sounds amazing. We’re off …