Behind the cellar door with our Master Sommelier
Tue January 22, 2019
“A bottle of wine begs to be shared; I have never met I miserly wine lover.”
A catered chalet holiday is all about the food...but of course we understand that the wine on offer is equally important. Wine is a staple ingredient of VIP SKI holidays, be it enjoyed with your 3-course evening meal, quaffed at aprés-ski or sipped whilst bubbling away in the hot tub under the late afternoon sunshine. Three reds, three whites and a rosé are offered in all our chalets, with optional upgrades available too for special occasions or for those who prefer a particular grape. Our chalet hosts all had the chance to sample all seven house wines and are on hand to pair specific bottles with each meal on the VIP SKI menu.
Help from a Master Sommelier
Selecting the wines for each winter season is a task Pip, our Operations Director, and Alys, our Stores Manager, look forwards to every year. Thankfully the job doesn’t fall solely on their shoulders; they are ably assisted through the whole process by Xavier Rousset, our wine-consultant extraordinaire and qualified Master Sommelier.
Xavier was the youngest Master Sommelier in the world when he passed his exams in 2002. His career has had too many highlights to mention, but some particularly notable experiences include a period as head sommelier at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons under Raymond Blanc; opening his own Michelin-star restaurant in Marble Arch and running The Blandford Comptoir in Marylebone. Safe to say, he’s a giant in his field and we’re very lucky to have his expertise onboard.
Wine tasting? Someone's got to do it
Over the course of a long summer afternoon Xavier, Pip and Alys test each wine up for selection, imagining how it would taste in the snowy surroundings of a cosy chalet in the depths of winter. Did you know that wine has been scientifically proven to change taste depending on the circumstances in which it’s drunk? From the size and shape of the wine glass to the accompanying meal, to factors as obscure as the type of music playing in the background and the time of day, wine can take on different tasting notes at the drop of a hat. All our house wines are selected to appeal to a wide variety of tastes, so you can be sure there’ll be something to tickle your fancy. We’re assured that all the samples are spat out until the final selection has been made, at which point Xavier allows a celebratory glass (or three).
If you’re marking an extra-special occasion then a wine from our upgrade list could be the perfect addition to your evening meal. The selection on offer varies from resort to resort but tends towards wines made by established French houses, with the odd Italian or Spanish wine thrown in for spice and variety. Wines can be pre-booked before you arrive or, should you fancy, ordered during the week.
35,000 bottles enjoyed by VIP SKI guests
If there was any doubt about your enthusiasm for wine, the numbers speak for themselves. Last season VIP SKI guests managed to drink their way through 35,000 bottles of wine, which works out at a staggering 175,000 glasses. That’s enough to fill ten and half swimming pools. Hic. If champagne’s more your thing, we managed to pop over 3000 bottles of bubbles over the winter. That isn’t even counting the celebratory prosecco on a Friday when we hit our weekly sales target.
Our sales team are well-versed in wine and would be happy to chat through the wine list with you, as well as book any of our service or wine upgrades. Contact us on 0208 875 1957 to chat red, white or rosé.