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Restaurant of the year 2014 – The Chester Grosvenor

The Chester Grosvenor is winner of Decanter/Laurent-Perrier Restaurant of the Year 2014 - as published in the February 2015 issue

In detail: The Chester Grosvenor; the wine list

The Chester Grosvenor’s wine list has 1,000 bins, built up over many years. ‘It has to balance several menus,’ says sommelier Derek Scaife (pictured above).

‘The 10-course tasting menu is important, obviously, but we’ve also got the à la carte menu and a selection of vegetarian options as well, and each has by-the-glass recommendations, which I vary with the menu changes. The new Coravin list, which offers 75ml and 150ml glasses of fine wines, gives us greater flexibility too.’ The list has a treasure trove of red Burgundies from the 1990s, but Scaife says he’s now aiming to build up a choice of domaines from the next, younger generation.

‘It’s a different scene here than in London,’ he adds. ‘Good value is important, but we also have people who come back regularly, so we need diversity. Anyone can pack a list with big names, but we have a particular place in the community – we also have to think about the young couple on a bit of a budget, out celebrating an occasion.’

As well as service in the dining room and at high tea – very much a custom here – Scaife is also responsible for monthly winemaker dinners in the Riedel Cellar, a 12-seat private space in a corner of the wine cellar. ‘Among other things, they keep me on my toes,’ he says with a wry smile.

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