A corner for wines and spirits

Tag: wine and food pairing

Staff Training

F&B Staff Training Session

In what could perhaps be considered a bit more of a formal environment than the previous sessions, I carried out a training session for the Food & Beverage and Front Office  staff at a Long Service Apartment in Edinburgh.

We started by  looking at their wine list and explaining the main characteristics of each of their wines, country of origin, grape, flavour profile, amongst others, as well as looking for what food would pair well with them from the current menu. I made the session very interactive by letting the staff try the wines and some of the dishes and prompting them to come up with the best pair.

I then moved onto giving them an overview of how Whisky is made and the different styles of Whisky availabe, before explaining the main characteristics of the various Whisky Regions in Scotland.

I told the team what the unique selling points for each Whiskies were and using their current Whisky List I suggested a few Whisky flights that could take customers on a journey depending on what they wanted to experince. Ranging from an introduction to Scottish Whiskies, to a discovery trip around the Isle of Islay.

This short sessions give a boost of confidence to team members since they feel more knowledgeble about the products they sell and can better suggest customers what to have since they have previously tried it.


Ozzie Wine Tasting at the Mercat Bar & Grill

Away from sunny Australia a day after their national day I hosted an introduction to Australia and its wines. Mercat Bar & Grill in Musselburgh was the chosen venue for the event which saw thirty people gathering together for the occasion.
The night began with a wee intro to the Climate and Weather in Australia, their vineyard management and wine making techniques as well as the main wine regions and their grapes.
The opening wine was the Rag & Bone from Magpie Estate. A very fresh and citrusy Riesling from Eden Valley. Big minerality with a clean and crisp finish characterised this wine.
Starters arrived as the second wine of the night made its appearance. Sixty Clicks a Sauvignon Semillon blend from Victoria. The tropical fruit and high acidity of the Sauvignon was mellowed down by the sweetness of the Semillon; making an excellent pair with the prawns being served.
Just after two glasses of wine, the room started getting louder which made the presentation of the third white of the night a bit difficult. It was time for Listening Station from Western Australia to strike. Un-oaked and without malolactic fermentation this Chardonnay was full of citrus and white peach flavours combined with a zesty, fresh acidity and a mineral finish.
After giving the audience a few minutes to finish what was left in the glasses, the reds started to flow. What best wine to start than with a 2015 Cabernet from McLaren Vale. Twist of Fate wants to accentuate the fruit notes and to create a very aromatic and vibrant wine, for these reasons oak contact has been restricted.
Generous platters of BBQ meats were served just in time to start sipping The Black Craft, 2015 Shiraz from Barossa. A touch of Petite Sirah adds structure and spiciness to a wine marked by intense savoury flavours of blackberries; with soft tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish.
To conclude the evening we had a Shiraz and Cabernet blend from South Australia. Stone the Crows is a rich and full bodied wine with notes of ripe red fruit and soft tannins.
Glasses were getting emptied and guests started to leave the Mercat, all of them praising the quality of the wines tasted and what a lovely evening they had.