Decanting Winter at the UK’s Wine Hotel – Seasonal dishes paired with winter wines

  • New dishes by award-winning Head Chef Robby Jenks complemented by 30,000 bottle wine cellar
  • Award-winning Sommelier Romain Bourger offers the ultimate endnote in paired wines to new seasonal dishes
  • November Wine Festival Weekend showcases over 150 wines to taste
  • New video by Fiona Duncan offers insight into the UK’s wine hotel

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This winter, The Vineyard hotel, invites guests to indulge the palate and refresh the spirit in a unique atmosphere in the heart of Berkshire. Home to some 30,000 bottles of wine and an award-winning restaurant, The Vineyard offers the perfect backdrop for longer evenings over the winter months discovering seasonal dishes with paired wines. The award-winning Head Chef and Sommelier team make recommendations for a balanced experience.

Head Chef Robby Jenks, recently awarded an Acorn Award, recognising him as one of the industries rising stars works with Romain Bourger, the hotel’s Head Sommelier, winner of the UK Young Sommelier of the Year 2016. Here they pair several new seasonal dishes and wines available now:

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Halibut Carpaccio, pickled tapioca shellfish jelly paired with a Rioja Crianza, Lopez de Heredia, Vina Gravonia, Rioja, Spain, 2005

Romain comments: “A delicious wine made from Viura but with a long oak and bottle aging even though the wine is labelled as Crianza. It is dry, full bodied, toasty and nutty with a hint of white truffle that matches the ceps in the dish. The nuttiness and richness balance the meatiness of the fish and the fresh finish makes you want to eat and drink more of this delicious pairing.”

Slow cooked partridge, caramelised celeriac, pears and parmesan paired with a Alsace Pinot Noir, Kuentz Bas, Trois Chateaux, Alsace, France, 2013

Romain notes: “A very unique wine for us here at The Vineyard, as it has been imported to the UK for us. Different to a Burgundian Pinot Noir, this style of Pinot Noir has a vibrant acidity and is loaded with ripe summer berries such has redcurrant, raspberry and cassis. The Trois Chateaux range is made using traditional and natural technique with no addition of sulphur with wines purely expressing their terroirs, reflecting Head Chef Robby Jenk’s style of cooking which focuses on each ingredient’s flavour. This wine has a beautiful freshness which contrasts with the soft texture of the partridge and the sweetness of the celeriac puree but matches the natural acidity of the pear and the parmesan crisp.”

Venison, red cabbage puree, pearl barley and venison jus paired with Justin Vineyard, Cabernet Franc/Merlot, Justification, Paso Robles, CA, 2012

Romain comments: ” A match made in heaven, the wine is from one of California’s finest vintages and more of a Saint Emilion style of blend. It is expressive, fruit driven and delicate. The nose shows sensational aromas of ripe wild strawberry, luscious dark fruits and chocolate coating the venison with flavours. The wine has soft and well integrated tannins matching the beautiful texture of the dish.”

Over the weekend 25th/26th November, guests and visitors can experience The Vineyard’s Wine Festival Weekend where a 150 wines will be available to taste.

The Wine Festival Weekend begins with a five-course dinner on the Friday night matched with a superb wine per course (selected from wineries who will be showcasing their wines for guests to taste the following day). The next day after breakfast, Saturday, over 150 wines will be available to taste from suppliers around the globe between 11am and 4.30pm. Visitors can have fun and deepen their wine knowledge, speak with suppliers and winemakers, and attend masterclasses throughout the event. Wine tasting ticket available to non-guests priced £30 per person. Winemakers include Peter Michael Winery, Schramsberg, Rudd Estate, Champagne Taittinger and Les Caves de Pyrene among others. Five course dinner with matched wines, overnight stay, breakfast, use of spa and entry to wine festival including tasting ticket is priced from £707.00 per room, based on two guests sharing a luxury double room.

The Vineyard hotel’s menus include the Discovery Tasting Menu (5 dishes £75.00), the Judgement of Paris Tasting Menu (7 dishes £89.00), a Vegetarian Tasting Menu, a lunch menu (3 courses £29.00), a dinner menu (3 courses £65.00) and a more relaxed California Bar Menu. Afternoon tea is also available daily and Pastry Chef Anthony Millon works directly with Robby to deliver this simple, light and fresh menu.

The 49-room Vineyard, with each suite and bedroom named after an iconic international wine is the ideal place to celebrate wine this winter. Guests can expect a feast for the eyes too with the walls around the hotel full of art by artists including Henry Martin, Ronald Searle, Boris Smirnoff and Doris Zinkeisen. The Vineyard is also home to a spa with an indoor pool for hotel guests only. Whilst staying at the hotel, guests can explore nearby destinations including Highclere Castle, more famously known as Downton Abbey, just a few miles from the hotel.

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Recently, hotel critic Fiona Duncan, visited The Vineyard to tell the story of the hotel on film, this can be viewed here.

Eat. Sleep. And drink wine. This is the hotel’s motto which fully invites guests to indulge the palate whilst refreshing the spirit.


*Decanting: process of pouring wine from a bottle to a larger container. Process is carried out for either the removal of sediment from older wines or to allow younger wines to soften in texture.

*Endnote: the feeling of flavours the palate experiences after swallowing. The longer the endnote, the better the wine.