The month of May is always the release of the new Beverage List. This is after the budget announcement, trade tastings, research and copious amount of tastings and haggling with the F&B Manager Joao Da Silva and Director Gary Payne in darkened rooms as we hide away and come up with new wines for the list.
My ‘hidden gems’ this year include a white Côtes du Roussillon from renowned winemaker Michel Chapoutier. The Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Macabeo blended wine is made organically, bio-dynamically (as all Chapoutier wines are); hand-picked and cold pressed which make a delightful fruity and light mineral wine that showcases the terroir it was grown on.
For the reds, I have included this year a Romanian Pinot Noir of very good quality and affordability; a country that is now often found on many high street shelves. Plus a stunning Cabernet Franc from Chile that has deep coffee and bitter chocolate flavours, alongside the typical spearmint flavours I detect, in comparison to the riper red fruit / peppermint flavours that is typical of a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Talking about Cabernet Sauvignon, the highlight of the list for me is one of our last New World red wines – Mitolo ‘Jester’, Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale, Australia. I came across this winery on my travels (which you can read all about in a previous blog) when travelling through Australia at the beginning of this year. I was highly recommended to visit Mitolo, however they were building their new Cellar Door; which is only going to be opened later this year. When I then came across this listing in one of my wine companies’ portfolios, I was very excited to try it; and it did not disappoint. The wine is made with 20% amarone style grapes, where the grapes are dried over hay stacks after being picked to concentrate the sugar levels before being added back into the wine to ferment, giving a stunning lusciousness and deep concentration of flavours.