As first time owners of a restaurant and hotel, compiling a wine list for public consumption was a new and exciting experience. Nor before been required to give thought to the logistics of managing a commercial cellar, with a consumption of anywhere between 50 to 100 bottles per day. It was clear we needed some help. After “interviewing” a number of wine merchants and experts, we decided on teaming up with Chris Piper, of Chris Piper wines. Chris has been in the wine industry for some 40 years, having supplemented his student coffers by selling wines to University mates, he then went on to make a career in the wine industry, not only marketing and selling wines but also becoming a winemaker himself; producing a wonderful wine from the Bordeaux region in France.
In our opening meeting with Chris he asked a simple question, “what do you want from your wines, and what do you want to achieve from your cellar”.
To us the answer was quite clear, we wanted to develop a wine list where the winemakers had a progressive approach to vineyard management, a focus on terroir and ultimately consider the process in relation to the end product . At the same time, we wanted to look to the smaller, more boutique vineyards, where the cost of the end product was skewed towards winemaking and not marketing. With the intention of achieving a degree of individuality in our cellar, our hope is to consistently be able to offer wines at reasonable prices that match seamlessly with our seasonal food menus. Put another way, we aimed to identify wines that are as enjoyable as many of the marquis wines, at price points that can be enjoyed by our clients. A wine list that is easy to navigate and offers sufficient variety for lovers of wine to not only enjoy with our food but also have some fun exploring.
Chris immediately latched onto what we wanted to achieve.
With the underground cellars at The Arundell being able to hold around 1,000 bottles, we then set off on developing the respective wine lists for the various food offerings. Menus were produced, and wines were matched, and that was where the fun started.
Due to the different styles, flavours and degrees of sophistication in terms of cooking, we created two menus. The Arundell bar menu is designed to compliment delicious classics, such as our famous fish and chips, whilst more comprehensive wine selection & reserve menus provide the perfect companions to seasonal dishes served in our rococo restaurant. A list for the bar and a list for the restaurant, with the more comprehensive list being in the restaurant. Wines by the glass can be found on our bar list. (clients can access both lists on request.)
During summer we featured the Executive Chef, Ashley Wright, and his approach to food, which was simply, “develop menus with a seasonal emphasis, and modern twist on the old classics, as we have on our doorstep some of the best produce in the UK.The Arundell style of food is contemporary British, and our wine selections have been worked around this. For the upcoming festive season menu we have highlighted some suggested food / wine pairings for your enjoyment from our restaurant menu and to maybe venture off the path of where you would normally go in terms of the safe names. For our recommendation from the reserve list please speak to either myself or Luke Harris our sommelier.