The two oversized sheets are organised into categories such as Piggery Selection, “great value wines from around the world”, As Nature Intended “Organic, Bio-Dynamic and natural wines” and Vaulted Treasures “Fine and Cult wines from our cellar”. While the latter has such wonders as Sassicaia 1997 (£420 bottle), Penfolds Grange 1997 (£450) and Chateaux Leoville Barton St Julien 1996 (£195) the Piggery Selection offers 12 wines available by the glass (125ml and 250ml) and the bottle at more approachable prices (£19.50-£42 a bottle).
And the ‘interesting’? Well… there is a Spanish Albarino from Costers del Segre (Castell D’Encus 2011 £45), a Vermentino from Corsica (Comete Peraldi 2011, £37), and a Pinot Noir/Malbec from Patagonia, Argentina (Familia Schroeder 2005, £68). Not interesting enough for yer?
How about a bottle of Areni Noir-Karasi from Armenia (£55), a New Zealand Gruner Veltliner Yealands, 2012 (£29.50) or a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Bogaskere/Syrah from Urla in Turkey (£35)?
For our large party the Sommelier had preselected two wines. The white was a revelation to me at least and a stonkingly lovely match with the opening platter of ‘piggy bits’. Prior to this bottle, dry Hungarian Tokaji had been somewhat of a disappointment. But the Oremus Tokaji Mondola, 2010, Hungary (£42) offered so much more depth and flavour than I’d experienced before.
For a red a few bottles of Dominio Dostares, Prieto Picudo, Castilla y Leon, 2010 (£31) were opened. Old vines (40-90 years old) produced a concentrated, smooth, rich, eminently drinkable wine that might have preferred something a little ‘redder’ than my pork chop but was still lovely.
It is, as you might well surmise, all piggy down The Pig, Brockenhurst, here in the depths of the New Forest, just a five minute taxi jaunt from the station. The restaurant is all mismatched crockery and chairs. The on-site kitchen garden open for a wander. And the rooms well appointed, as a guide book might say.
Even on a windy day in cold February the garden has an attraction. More so if you bump into Ollie Hutson. With mud encased boots wielding a trowel in equally muddy hands, so obviously the head gardener. We didn’t see the pigs although they have them on site. Perhaps the thought of visitors seeing the little darlings prior to chomping on a chop or devouring the delicious quail egg Scotch Eggs was a step too far?
Wines apart, all the food served in the restaurant is sourced within 25 miles.
I should mention the sparkler provided on our arrival. Locally made, the Danebury Cossack 2005 had an elegancy and persistence plus a hefty dose of yeastiness that I assumed it was from Champagne….
I loved the place – in addition to the eclectic décor and interesting wine list. The food was top notch and the patio/gardens despite the roaring fire were not that enticing in mid-February. A return visit beckons. When the weather is warmer.
Photo Gallery: The Pig, Brockenhurst
Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7QL