Drinks: Wines

By The Glass Awards

In the past, a By The Glass award has gone to wines that match specific dishes – the theory being that they could be served by the glass as ready matches with a meal. This year, we’ve altered the awards. The wines that are our top matches with specific dishes get our Food Match awards, while our tasters scoured the list to put together a selection of great value wines from the Gold List that would make a By The Glass awards offering.

When putting this range together, our tasters were looking for wines that were (and this is perhaps the biggest difference from previous years) friendly enough to drink on their
own, but also capable of working with a wide selection of restaurant dishes.

‘The quality of a “by the glass” offering has to be good, because customers are essentially judging your restaurant by it,’ said Hakkasan’s Christine Parkinson.

The tasters weren’t necessarily looking for wines that were the cheapest off the Gold List but they were looking for value for money. The six wines opposite make a great mini wine list!

By the glass awards

Domaine Carneros Sparkling Brut 2006, Napa Valley, USA
£12.49 @ Hatch Mansfield
Brilliant for the money and hugely approachable. Champagne quality for a sub-champagne price, combining fabulous gluggability with a proper, grown-up structure.

Morande Reserva Pinot Grigio 2010, Chile
£7.00 @ Bottle Green
Our tasters were delighted (and not a little astonished) to find a Pinot Grigio that they genuinely liked, and that had the weight, mouthfeel and structure to work both as a
pre-dinner swigger and as a genuine food contender. ‘This is an intelligent way to
handle the Pinot Grigio issue,’ said Martin Lam, Ransome’s Dock.

William Fevre Chablis 2009, France
£10.08 @ John E Fells & Sons
An absolutely rock-solid chablis that delivers good regional character, but is still highly customer-friendly. ‘You want something approachable – a really austere version wouldn’t work,’ said Hamish Anderson, Tate Group.

Senorio de Sarria Rosado Vinedo no 5 2010, Navarra, Spain
£6.44 @ Boutinot
Everything that is good about Navarran rosé, with none of the downsides. Incredibly accessible rosé but without any sugar, and with proper grip and structure. ‘What’s not
to like?’ said Hakkasan’s Christine Parkinson.

Domaine de la Porte du Paradis St Amour 2009, Beaujolais, France
£6.34 @ Boutinot
Proof of just how good 2009 Beaujolais can be. A magnificently soft, round wine that will fly by the glass sans food, but has a terrific lifted acidity and ripe integrated tannins as well. ‘This will work with so many types of food,’ said Hamish Anderson.

Agustinos Gran Terroir Malbec 2008, Bio Bio Valley, Chile
£11.99 @ Bibendum
At the upper end of the by-the-glass limit, but a superbly elegant example of the wine
from one of Chile’s southern valleys. Trademark plush fruit, but also elegant acidity and tannins as well. ‘There’s a real generosity in there for drinking on its own, but balance
and structure for food,’ said Martin Lam.

“The quality of a ‘by the glass’ offering has to be good, because customers are essentially judging your restaurant by it. ” Christine Parkinson, Hakkasan

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