We celebrated the start of the New Year with a culinary journey across France, from the city of love to the rolling vineyards of Provence.

For our first Secret Foodies event of 2021, we invited 85 foodies to join us for their next adventure. A four course educational wine dinner exploring the different flavours and tastes of French cuisine.

At 5pm our mystery venue was revealed to be Bistro Rex in Potts Point, a modern Australian take on a classic French Bistro.

While France is known for its food, it may be equally known for its wines and for this event we partnered with the experts at Drinks Trolley. This wine-fuelled business was created during the COVID-19 lockdown when their founders came up with the idea of helping closed or struggling venues by purchasing their quality stock and delivering it to customer’s homes for excellent prices. We worked with the Drinks Trolley team to curate a range of incredible drops to match our four course menu. Plus, the team joined us on the night to teach us a thing or two about wine.

The sound of our French sparkling, (De Perriere Blanc De Clanc NV, Macon) corks being popped echoed through the venue signalled the start of a great night.

Once our guests were all seated it was time for our trip to begin starting in the city of love, Paris. Our first two dishes were inspired by the finest grocer in Paris, Petrocian, who is known for having fresh oysters and salmon, which is exactly what we started our meal with.

First up an Oyster Beignet paired with fresh 2019 Chardonnay from Loire and then Smoked Ora King Salmon which was cured, coated in spiced and smoked over hickory. In fact, this special dish is a secret recipe handed down through generations from Bistro Rex’s sous chef’s mother in Paris. The salmon was paired with a glass of Amalia Rose, a Drinks Trolley favourite (and now ours) a well-balanced rose with notes of peach and strawberries proved the perfect match.

Next, we made our way to Lyon and paid homage to this city’s exceptional charcuterie with Bistro Rex’s Pork Terrine seasoned with a dash of brandy and paired this a glass of Domaine de la Bastide, 2019 Côtes Du Rhône, an oh-so-drinkable drop.

Arriving in Provence, it was now time for our mains which was a mouthwatering slow roasted lamb shoulder, pulled and served with ratatouille and herb de Provence (of course). This bold main could only be matched with a juicy red and guests were treated to a Cab Sav/Cab Franc from Languedoc-Roussillon with a round, full-bodied palate and a rich, spicy finish.

Anyone who has spent any time in France knows that you could never choose just one dessert. So, we ended our night with two sweet treats: a Passionfruit Creme Caramel (a twist on the French classic Crème Catalan) and a Blood Plum Tart inspired by Australian summer plums which were given the French treatment macerated in sugar and citrus and served with Chantilly cream. Both dishes were inspired by Basque country as well as paying homage to summertime in Provence.

Our final drop of the night was a La Petit Maison Saint Sparkling Rose, crisp, dry wine with notes of raspberry and sweet spice, combined with a hint of grapefruit. The perfect way to end a perfect dinner.

All the wines mentioned above, as well as many more, are available for purchase at Drinks Trolley here.

Take a look at Bistro Rex’s full menu here.

See all the photos from the event here and the video here.