Travel Retail and Duty Free Business Intelligence    Friday 31 October 2014

THE FOODIE REPORT

The Foodie Best Cellar: searching for the world's best wine lists

Published: 05/03/13

Source: ©The Moodie Report

By Genevieve Knevitt, Editor, The Foodie Report*

INTERNATIONAL. The Foodie Report is delighted to announce the launch of a new monthly feature championing excellence in travel food & beverage. Each month The Foodie Best Cellar will evaluate airport wine lists from around the world, recognising the ones we believe stand out as the best of the field.

We’re looking for creative selections that offer variety, value and a good marriage with the food menu; that (in a wine-producing country) champion local regions; and that are tailored to the travel experience.

First up is HMSHost’s Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Lounge 1.

HMSHost's Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Château Mouton Rothschild by the glass. Can many other airport restaurants or bars make the same claim? In a rare and outstanding offer, passengers using HMSHost’s Bubbles Seafood & Wine Bar at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can sample the great first-growth Bordeaux from Pauillac for €95 by the glass or €19.95 for a 30ml tasting.

Introduced in October 2012, Bubbles’ Premium Wines by the Glass menu includes two more of the world’s finest wines, at €75 per glass: a 2006 Penfolds Grange Bin 95 from Australia’s most celebrated winery; and a 2010 Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils, Montrachet Grand Cru – a classic white Burgundy from the Côte de Beaune.

The Bubbles wine list scored 40 points in The Foodie 50 rating system
“The aim of the new range is to play on the desire of some customers to try something special and offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try a world-renowned fine wine,” says Store Manager Jo Innes. It’s a compelling approach for this particular airport environment, where plenty of business and leisure travellers want a special experience but have neither the time nor the desire to consume an entire bottle.

But the Bubbles offer isn’t just about ultra-premium wines; it’s also notable for the eclectic range of varietals (12 whites representing nine different grape varieties, for example), compatibility with the food offers, wine ‘flights’ and a wide range of price points.

The offer is eclectic, albeit Old World dominated, the setting – complete with aquarium, a towering wall of backlit wine bottles and fresh seafood display – elegant but eye-catching. The wines are supplied through Oud Reuchlin & Boelen, which Innes says is the oldest and most reputable fine wine merchant in the Netherlands.

Click on the images to view the Bubbles wine and food menus
The main wine list is extensive, but concise enough to account for the time-sensitive airport environment. It caters for many palates and wallets with 14 whites, eight reds, two rosés and five Champagnes by the glass, ranging from a €4.75 Spanish Mas Rabell Blanco up to the €95.00 Château Mouton Rothschild.

The selection celebrates mainly Spanish and French wineries but also stretches out to Italy and, from the New World, Argentina, Australia, Chile and South Africa. Interestingly all the Champagnes are from Taittinger, with five different expressions by the 125cc glass ranging from €11.50 to €13.50.

Innes says that Taittinger Brut Réserve (€11.50 per flute) and Chablis St Martin (€7.25 for 125cc) are the most popular choices among customers, followed closely by Finca La Linda Chardonnay Unoaked (€5.50 for 125cc).

Wines are meticulously selected for their quality and compatibility with the food menu
HMSHost has also tapped into the wine flights trend, an appealing concept for customers who want a mini-tasting educational experience on their travels. The Bubbles Wine Flight is a selection of three white wines, served in smaller 80cc measures and with a short explanation about each. The Champagne Flight offers three different Taittingers – Brut Prestige Rosé, Nocturne Sec and Les Folies de la Marquetterie.

Innes explains that wines are meticulously selected for their quality and compatibility with the food menu, which consists of cold seafood and shellfish dishes. White wines predictably dominate the line-up, though there’s a nice mix of reds - ranging from €24.50 for a Mas Rabell Tinto from Spain’s Torres to a Cecilia Beretta Amarone della Valpolicella at €67.50.

Overall, a strong, varied menu that caters to many palates and wallets, but offers something really special for thos passionate or curious about fine wine.

To nominate a wine list or for more information contact Genevieve.Knevitt@TheMoodieReport.com


*NOTE: The Foodie Report is the sister title of The Moodie Report. Published monthly within The Moodie Report e-Zine, plus regular coverage on this website, The Foodie Report covers all revenue-generating travel-related food & beverage. For your free subscription please e-mail Genevieve.Knevitt@TheMoodieReport.com.

For advertising details, please e-mail Mike.Sawicki@TheMoodieReport.com. Both titles also organise the annual Food & Beverage (FAB) Conference & Awards, covering both airport and railway F&B.