What wine to drink on New Year’s Eve, according to Trivet’s Isa Bal

Raise a glass: drink better, not more, this NYE  (Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch)
Raise a glass: drink better, not more, this NYE (Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch)

There is much that is improbable about Trivet, the restaurant hidden on a street back from Guy’s hospital, by London Bridge. The name — a trivet is the mat, metal or otherwise, that protects a table from a hot dish — doesn’t immediately suggest wild success; it doesn’t especially suggest a high-end restaurant-cum-wine bar, either. Trivet first opened not long before the pandemic struck, surviving where countless other new spots couldn’t. And the location, as mentioned — this is not a restaurant anyone is likely to accidentally walk past.

Trivet, then, has its idiosyncrasies. One is co-founder Isa Bal; he is a master of wine who never drank the stuff until he was 19. His approach to pairing wine was not honed in old hotels matching Dover sole with white Burgundy; instead, his taste was sharpened and focussed attempting to match the likes of mock turtle soup, snail porridge and egg and bacon ice cream at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, where he worked for 12 years. As such, Bal is known for his unerringly precise palate, which was recognised at the start of this year, when he was named as Michelin Sommelier of the Year.

Below, Bal has put together a list of five wines that will see anyone through a night of waving goodbye to 2022 and cheering in 2023. All can be picked up from trivet-online.myshopify.com, as well as the various retailers listed below. Happy drinking, and here’s to a new year.

Isa Bal (Tom Osbourne)
Isa Bal (Tom Osbourne)

A wine to start the evening

NV Pierre Moncuit, Cuvée Pierre Moncuit-Delos, Grand Cru, Brut, Blanc de Blancs

 (Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)
(Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)

“A very good quality Champagne from exclusively grand cru vineyards, light yet complex with toasty favours and a lingering citrus finish.”

£78, trivet-online.myshopify.com

An easy-going white to last the evening

Mildiani, Tsinandali, Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane 2016

 (Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)
(Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)

“Something unusual and very well made from Georgia, the birthplace of wine. Subtle, almost an oily texture without being heavy. Great by itself or with various dishes.”

£21.95, wineorigins.co.uk

...And an easy-going red

2016 Chateau Haut-Segottes, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

 (Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)
(Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)

“As far as a claret — red wine from Bordeaux — is concerned, this is a very good example without breaking the bank. Your friends will love it and you won’t cringe opening a second or the third bottle.”

£34, winesdirect.ie

A top tier Champagne to toast midnight

NV Lamiable, Eclat d’Étoiles, Grand Cru Rosé, Extra Brut

 (Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)
(Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)

“A well made rose Champagne that is deep pink in colour and refreshing on the palate. It’s lively and sharp taste makes it perfect to follow on from previous glasses of the evening.”

£39.95, thewhiskyexchange.com

...And an affordable alternative

Forty Hall Vineyard, Brut 2018

 (Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)
(Courtesy of Trivet/trivet-online.myshopify.com)

“A sparkling wine made in London! With a traditional method using the three champagne grape varieties. A social project that Trivet has been a keen supporter of from the start.”

£28.89, grapebritannia.co.uk

Isa Bal is the sommelier at Trivet. All the the wines above, and many others, can be bought from the Trivet cellar. To do so, head to trivet-online.myshopify.com