For the first time ever, a major hotel group is taking Queensland wines seriously, with the launch last week of the “Grands Vins Mercure” wine list, showcasing some of the State’s most attractive wines.
The new Queensland Grands Vins selection is available at Mercure hotels in Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, giving visitors a true taste of the Sunshine State.
Wines come from a number of boutique wineries in the Stanthorpe region, recognised as Queensland’s premier wine area, as well as from the emerging South Burnett region.
White wine varieties such as verdelho, chardonnay and semillon-sauvignon blanc blends predominate, but red varieties including merlot, petit verdot and shiraz are also represented.
Accor Regional General Manager Queensland, Neil Scanlan, said that the launch of the Queensland wine list was not only significant for the Queensland wine industry, but also for Queensland tourism.
“Queensland wine has improved dramatically, but there is still reluctance by most hotels and restaurants to fully represent the State’s wine produce,” he said.
“When visitors come to Queensland they want to get an appreciation of the destination in many ways, but particularly via its wine and food, and Mercure is committed to providing guests with a real taste of the State, even if they don’t get the opportunity to visit the wineries.
“Mercure hotels have always positioned themselves as the ‘keys to the region’, providing an authentic taste of the city or the region in which they operate, so the Grands Vins selection is a perfect addition to the brand’s offering.
“What is really important with the Grands Vins wine list is the pricing. We want to dispel the myth that good wine is only associated with high-end restaurants and high-end prices. Mercure’s Grands Vins shows it is possible to enjoy great wines – many from smaller vineyards – at very attractive prices, by both the glass and by the bottle.”
The launch of the Queensland Grands Vins list is part of a national roll-out of the concept, with State-based lists prepared for NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. Internationally, Mercure has been offering Grands Vins selections in Europe and South America for over 20 years.
The Grands Vins wine list is designed to make wine selection easier, grouping wines in particular styles to help guests choose the most suitable wine for every occasion and for every dish, while introducing wines from a range of distinctive wineries that guests might not otherwise have a chance to experience.
Every wine offered has been selected by an expert tasting panel comprising sommeliers, wine connoisseurs and food and beverage professionals, and, importantly, final judging was conducted with appropriate food courses to ensure the wines are “food friendly”. Some 80% of wine sold at Mercure hotels is consumed with food, so compatibility with food was a major judging criteria.
The Grands Vins Mercure wine list has been designed to be simple and accessible for guests, providing four main styles to choose from:
- FRESH AND TASTY – these are attractive, expressive and slightly fresh wines that retain the flavour of fresh grapes and are easily distinguishable by their nose and mouth feel;
- FRUITY AND LIGHT – wines that are readily enjoyable, lively, simple and pleasing to the palate;
- BALANCED AND ELEGANT – wines with a harmonious nature that develop subtle flavours, delicate and refined;
- SPICY AND FULL-BODIED – wines with more character, more complex and powerful.
The Mercure Grands Vins regional lists complement each hotel’s standard wine list, which together provide a comprehensive range of Australian wines. Mercure Grands Vins was first introduced in France in 1983, and the programme celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Grands Vins lists are available in 20 countries around the world.