Two really good wines to buy from Help 4 Hospitality
As I'm sure you know the hospitality industry - i.e. restaurants, pubs and hotels - is in dire straits with no clear idea when businesses can reopen or even if they’ll be viable if they do.
Despite the British government’s most recent initiative 66% of UK hospitality businesses do not think they will survive three more months of lockdown measures, while 87% will cease operations without a nine-month rent holiday.
So it’s good to see a leading industry supplier, Berkmann, setting up an online wine shop called Help 4 Hospitality to raise money for struggling busineses.
I like the fact that the selection is not safe or predictable but full of interesting bottles that you might well find in a good restaurant and which should appeal to any adventurous winedrinker.
I’ve picked out two I really liked a Greek red and a Lebanese white.
The red is Thymiopoulos Xinomavro 2017 from Macedonia. 13% £14.25 which, despite its light colour, is deep-flavoured and brambly but quite refined - almost pinot-ish. It would be great with barbecued lamb or kid or with duck. (It was ace with a smoked duck salad and watercress and orange salad I had last night.)
The white Chateau Ksara Blanc de L’Observatoire 2018 13% £13.75 is a really unusual blend of 30% Clairette, 30% Muscat, 30% Obeidi and 10% Sauvignon Blanc but tastes to me quite like an oaked white Bordeaux. It’s richly textured and lush - not as aromatic as it might sound from the clairette and muscat - and with a crisp, refreshing lift to the finish though funnily enough I think it would go better with south-east Asian than Lebanese food.
For two really unusual wines I think the prices are reasonable plus Help 4 Hospitality is donating 12.5% of the ex VAT price to participating businesses, or to two charities issuing grants to those in need, The Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action. (If you want to support a particular business you'll find the code to apply here which also earns you a 5% discount.)
If the wines I've picked don’t particularly appeal to you, there are mixed cases on their website too, chosen by different chefs and sommeliers. I quite fancy the Walk on the Wild Side case myself.
The wines were supplied as samples by Help 4 Hospitality.
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