Wet your Whistle - Wine
Enjoyed the world over for thousands of years, wine is one of life's greatest pleasures. Yet it can be notoriously difficult to pick the perfect bottle, especially when keeping within a certain price range. Here to cut through the plonk, three of Cayman's ultimate oenophiles share their high-low favourites.
Cayman Distributors Group
Originally from Canada, Lee Quessy developed a passion for wine while living in Sydney, Australia. In 2009 he completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust programme to earn his sommelier certification, joining The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman in early 2010. After a year as their in-house sommelier, Quessy was recruited to Cayman Distributors Group as a wine sales representative. www.blackbeards.ky
HIGH - Craggy Range, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Martinborough, New Zealand $25.09
Aged in old and new French oak barrels, this wine expresses rich flavours of fresh lime, lemongrass, ripe nectarine and citrus. A powerful, crisp wine with a clean, dry finish, it goes well with seafood and poultry.
LOW - Infamous Goose, Sauvignon Blanc 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand $17.99
Great with fish, salads and white meats, the wine’s fresh aromas and flavours of nectarine, peach and gooseberry are followed by fresh acidity and a clean finish.
HIGH - Cakebread Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, USA $68.59
A classic Bordeaux blend, this full-bodied wine with supple tannins and a long finish maximises expression of fruit and terroir. Excellent with rich meat dishes, it presents distinct fruit aromas, while flavours of dark berries and cassis are joined by chocolate and roasted coffee.
LOW - Benziger Cabernet, Sonoma County, USA $23.39
Great paired with red meats and hard cheeses, this wine’s weight, structure and well-integrated tannins presents dark berry aromas, tea, tobacco and cedar. Aged in American oak barrels, its a full-bodied, classic Cab that is packed with black fruit.
A graduate of the Culinary College in Salzburg, Austria, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine in Christchurch and the Boston Grapevine School, Christian Esser hails from Austria but has called Grand Cayman home since 2009. With a deep knowledge of wines, Esser helps wine enthusiasts navigate the world of wines. www.glass3.ky
HIGH - Albariño Contrapunto, Rías Baixas 2012, Spain $28
Bright and clear, with a gorgeous lemon colour, this wine expresses fine aromas of peach and tropical fruit with a pleasant touch of floral connotations. It has a vibrant acidity that prolongs its persistence for a wine the goes well with seafood, white meats and sushi.
LOW - Makia Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, Mendoza, Argentina $15
With gooseberry, passion fruit, matchstick and grassy aromas, this dry, elegant wine pairs well with shellfish and rich fish. Its bouquet of flowers mixed with exotic fruits is fresh, round and somewhat lean, with just a bit too much sulphur on the finish to shine.
The union of two opposite worlds: the Dolcetto and the Merlot, Diavolisanti presents a dynamic bouquet of fruity and minty with mineral scents. A complex red that demonstrates great vigour and persistence, it goes well with beef, pork and game.
LOW - Makia Malbec, 2013, Mendoza, Argentina $15
Flavours of stewed berry and black cherry are quickly trailed by oiled leather, fresh berry bramble, mocha dust, sweet tobacco, violet and a lovely hint of graphite minerality. With mellow tannins, this inky red has a delicate, good structure that pairs well with beef, spicy food and hard cheeses.
The Tasting Room & Wine Cellar
GET 10% OFF AT THE TASTING ROOM WHEN YOU MENTION REAL LIFE.
Born in Tuscany in the heart of the Chianti wine region, Mario Lacoviello combines over 30 years’ international experience in the hospitality industry with an immense passion for food and wine. Co-owner of The Tasting Room & Wine Cellar, Mario is known for discovering unique wines and offering exceptional wine recommendations. www.caymanwineboutique.com
Aged in contact with the lees, this wine delivers expressive yet delicate fruit aromas of francs, flower, white stone and a touch of sulphur. The palate is medium-bodied with a hint of sweetness that goes well with seafood, fish and salads.
LOW - Almadi, Chardonnay 2013, Veneto Villa, Valpolicella, Italy $14
Bottled young and fresh, with a distinctive fragrance of melon and apple and a clean, dry fruity flavour, makes this wine highly versatile. Delicious paired with cold seafood or seared sea scallops.
Refined on the nose with good tannins, this ruby-coloured red offers powerful fruitiness with hints of raspberry and redcurrant. With a dry, firm finish this balanced wine goes well with roasts and red meats.
LOW - Emperors, Nero D’Avola, 2013, Sicilia, Italy $16
An intense garnet-coloured wine with violet hues and a complex perfume of forest fruits and blackberry with notes of violet and cloves. On the palate it is full-bodied and rounded with soft tannins and a clean balancing acidity. It pairs well with Italian meat dishes.
WINE CLASS 101
Bar boredom and pour some knowledge into your Monday with the West Indies Wine Company 'Wine 101 Class'. Hosted by in-house sommelier, Shaun Merritt, the complimentary class runs from 6-7pm and covers a variety of topics while offering wine samples to reinforce learning. Now that’s something to cheers about.
WINE SCHOOL 3
Glass 3’s latest business venture, Wine School 3, aims to provide high-quality training in the field of wine education. Certified by the Wine Spirits Education Trust (WSET) of London, United Kingdom, it is the second company in the Caribbean to be certified by the international organisation. Courses are for individuals who would like to enter the beverage service industry or those who wish to become certified sommeliers.
THE TASTING ROOM - CUSTOM WINE TASTINGS
A boutique, eclectic wine and gourmet food store, the Tasting Room also offers custom wine tastings for any sized group or budget. Each wine is paired with two or more freshly prepared nibbles, so guests can sip and sup while learning about legs and lees.
GET 10% OFF AT THE TASTING ROOM WHEN YOU MENTION REAL LIFE.
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