Edinburgh has such a rich choice of restaurants and bars it can be hard for any new opening to stand out, but, as Helen Arnold discovers, premium Italian wine company, Zonin, hopes to make a difference with the launch of a new hotel dedicated to wine in a new venture with local celebrated chef, Sep Marini, called The Wine House 1821, the year Zonin was founded.
South Africa, Australia and New Zealand are used to pitting their wits against each other with the annual Tri Nations rugby tournament. Michelin star chef Roger Jones decision to re-invent a Tri Nations Challenge for the country’s wine producers is equally as competitive. Even more so when a guest country is introduced. Here he reports back on the recent South Africa vs California winemaker challenge he hosted at The Vineyard Hotel at Stockcross.
When tennis star, Rafael Nadal, is looking for some home comforts whilst competing in London he heads to Cambio de Terco, widely respected and coveted for creating some of the most authentic Spanish food in the city. That’s all thanks to Abel Lusa who has been pioneering the Spanish food and wine scene in the UK since he first arrived from his native Rioja in 2003. So who better to receive the “Outstanding Contribution” recognition at the recent Rioja Recognises awards from Wines of Rioja.
When you tell friends that you basically buy and sell wine for a living it’s hard to get sympathy for the long hours and hard toil that involves. Which is why it’s always nice to be singled out and rewarded for your efforts. Which is what the Rioja Recognises initiative is all about. Celebrating individuals and businesses that are going the extra mile to support the region. In the first of a series of interviews we profile each of this year’s winners starting with the on-trade operator award that went to the ETM Group and its group wine buyer, Guillaume Mahaut.
Douglas Ankrah has always been at the cutting edge of the London bar scene, opening up LAB bar in 1999 and later Townhouse. Ankrah was also the inventor of the Pornstar Martini, of course, a drink that he launched as a ready-serve earlier this year, and which he still wants to set the record straight about…like, there is nothing sexual about it. At all.
Who better to give an insight in to the latest trends within German wine, particularly in terms of what diners are drinking, than Gus Pollard of 10 Cases in Covent Garden that only ever buys 10 cases of any particular wine and when it’s gone, it’s gone. German or not. Pollard was also one of the judges for the upcoming Get it On tasting that will highlight the best 50 German wines looking to find a place on restaurants and bars wine lists.
Joan Roca, head chef of El Celler de Can Roca, twice-ranked number one in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, delivered a rare masterclass to the top chefs of Scotland. In it he revealed why he operates a split-shift system in his restaurant, how El Celler’s 70,000-strong wine cellar informs his cuisine and how you go about making a dessert that celebrates a home goal by Lionel Messi.
When he’s not busy running M Restaurant’s launch site in Threadneedle Street in the City, Zack Charilaou is happy relaxing with his young family and chilling out to Luther Vandross. Here he shares what he has been up to this summer and how he is enjoying living up to the challenge of constantly finding new ways to give his guests fresh experiences and ever better hospitality.
The wine industry is well blessed with leading, influential personalities from all parts of the trade, but few, if any, are as respected, admired or as decorated at Gerard Basset. Apologies Gerard for not following your name with the usual list of qualifications, but they need a drum roll all of their own, for Basset is unique in being able to have MW, MS, MBA and even an OBE after his name. As he celebrates, literally today, 10 years since he has his wife, Nina, opened Hotel TerraVina, Richard Siddle sits down with him to talk everything from St Etienne FC, Sven Goran Eriksson, to mentoring the next generation of world leading sommeliers.
Has there been more globetrotting member of the wine trade than Joe Fattorini in the last 12 months? As one of the presenters of ITV’s The Wine Show, which he has just finished filming a second series of, Fattorini has been here, there and everywhere quipping lines to camera. So what does he get up to when he’s back home and planning a summer holiday?