Flavours from the Cellar at Mercure hotels in the UK

Susie Barrie and Peter Richards select three top class wines which will be available nationwide. Peter Morrell reports.

TV presenters Susie and Peter are the youngest married Masters of Wine and are working with Mercure hotels to choose a selection of wines for Mercure’s new wine offering, which has now been rolled out across the 72 Mercure hotels in the UK.

This new concept, Flavours from the Cellar, offers a new and exclusive selection of locally inspired, quality and affordable wines to enhance the brand’s offering. The experts have handpicked the wines available to suit the season, and provide an easy and affordable drinking experience to excite and inspire hotel guests.

I was recently at the Mercure Hotel on London’s South Bank to see Susie and Peter launch the wines. The couple have a very engaging manner and gave us the background story about each of the wines, They neatly taught us the difference between taste and flavour and how, with a sniff and a swirl, we could identify the unique characteristics of each. Here are the details of the three wines they have selected

The Portuguese Special One
Adega de Pegões – Chardonnay Blend

With its elegantly nutty character and hints of orange peel, it’s like a cross between white Burgundy and autumn in the Algarve. Portugal is the next big thing in wine, making characterful wines at bargain prices – like this little gem from Setúbal, south of Lisbon. For grape watchers, this is an entirely original fusion of Chardonnay with the more local Antão Vaz, Arinto and Verdelho, assembled and briefly aged in oak barrels. Heralded as southern Portugal’s answer to white Burgundy, it is perfectly suited to rich fish dishes or full-flavoured hard cheeses.
175ml £5.50 | 250ml £7.50 | Bottle £22

I Want You
Boer & Brit Suikerbossie – Pinotage and Petit Verdot

The Suikerbossie name is inspired by an Afrikaans love song and this juicy red (named ‘I Want You’) is sure to bring a smile to your lips. The wine is made by Boer & Brit, a partnership between the Boer, Stefan Gerber, and the Brit, Alex Milner, whose forefathers led armies fighting against each other in the Boer War. The differences of a century ago have been forgotten and these two friends now make delicious and harmonious wines in the beautiful surroundings of the Cape. This wine is an eclectic blend of South Africa’s Pinotage grape with Bordeaux’s Petit Verdot to create a soft textured and smoky red, which Susie calls “dangerously drinkable.”
175ml £5.50 | 250ml £7.50 | Bottle £22

Italian Stallion
Passori Rosso Veneto – Merlot and Corvina

This impeccable red from Italy’s Valpolicella country is sure to delight wine lovers this winter. A rich, decadent and velvety red with a glossy and typically Italian finish, this beautiful wine is like Bordeaux meets Napa with a stylish Italian twist. The unusual combination of Merlot and Corvina grapes left to hang on the vine produces a modern wine with real depth of flavour. One to savour with game, casseroles and wintery comfort food.
175ml £5.95 | 250ml £8.50 | Bottle £24.50

These are three world-class wines, well curated by Susie and Peter, who applied their extensive knowledge during the selection process.

Mercure Hotels

Whether situated in city centres, countryside locations or by the seaside, Mercure hotels are rooted in the local area. The new Flavours from the Cellar wine list reflects this connection by incorporating wines from local areas where possible. The reputation of English wine has risen dramatically in the last few years and Mercure hotels in the wine growing regions of the South of England will be stocking a selection of the local wines for guests to enjoy.

The hotel on the South Bank, where the launch took place, is very well situated, with easy access to the cultural attractions nearby, which include the Royal Festival Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral, which is only minutes away across the Millenium Bridge.

For more information go to www.mercure.com