On the glowing recommendation of our esteemed editor, I’d been meaning to try out Le Di-Vin for a while. The wine bar is housed in a former church, The Oratory of Saint Anne just beside the Tudor House, and also happens to be a mere minute from my work. On a belle of a June evening, Gourmet Mamman and I headed in to find a refreshingly unique venue.
The wine bar concept has peaked and troughed over the years, however with the nous of experienced restaurateur Virginie Brouard of La P’tite Folie fame, and her husband Ghislain’s wine trade expertise, you have the makings of a divine kind of a place.
Mile-high ceilings allow room for chatter from the busy bar to dissipate. Serving staff are spot-on with tips for a glass of refreshing white here, or a bite to eat there. The towering wine case behind the bar really is the star of the show, and with around 50 wines available by the glass, there’s every opportunity to take a grand tour of the world’s vineyards.
A table up on the high mezzanine level was great for people-watching, and we pledged to stick with French wines for the night. A glass of buttery white Burgundy for me and a particularly zesty Sancerre for mum started things off well, accompanied by a bowl of what I reckon are the best mixed olives in this fair city. If the wine list impresses (and truly it does) then prepared to be vraiment impressioné by the simple classic food offer which focuses on sharing platters, or planchettes.
A mixed platter with a selection of cheese and meats was recommended, and when brought to the table, the waiter’s reverential and diligent naming of each and every item on the board allowed us to drink in those hallowed names of the finest French and continental cheeses and charcuterie. Brie de Meaux, Livarot, Bleu D’Auvergne and other perfect temperature fromages, sat alongside a chunky home-made pâté de campagne, salty Jambon de Bayonne, and other delectable saucissons. Accompanying crusty rustic bread, a few crunchy cornichons, fresh green grapes were the quality finishing touches to make this feel like full dining experience rather than a bar snack after-thought. Amen to that!