Guests had the opportunity to imbibe some beautifully distinctive wines during The Cliff’s inaugural Gourmet Getaway event. The hotel’s wine list comprises over 35 varieties, including rosé and ice wine. What caught Thursday Food’s eye was the number of bottles that are either hard or impossible to find elsewhere on the island. This week we’ll feature reds, and next week, whites.
Many of us have heard the antiquated saying, “spice is the enemy of wine.” However, the Food and Beverage team at The Cliff, along with wine consultant and certified sommelier Rimple Nayyar, have created a wine programme that pairs exquisitely well with the menu from the hotel’s restaurant Zest. The wines, too, can be enjoyed by themselves, sipped pool- or cliffside.
“Wine drinking should be fun,” said Nayyar. That philosophy has informed his career and how each bottle was chosen for The Cliff’s wine list. Though a trained environmental engineer, Nayaar found the oenophilia beguiling. In 2002, he opened a wine bar so he could “teach people about wines and make it more accessible without the intimidation”. His knowledge and approach to wine have made his services sought-after across the world. His résumé includes positions at the tony Peter Island Resort and Spa in the British Virgin Islands and Schramsberg Vineyards in Napa Valley.
The four reds that Nayyar and Thursday Food chose to highlight are Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma), Château Mont-Redon Côtes du Rhône (France), Ruffino Chianti (Tuscany), and Paraduxx Proprietary Red (Napa Valley).
Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon
A beautiful expression of char, juicy black fruit and chocolate flavours. Its medium-weight tannins make it ideal for pairing with spicy foods. It’s soft and smooth, with flavours of black cherry, plum and “baking spices” dancing on the palate.
Château Mont-Redon Côtes du Rhône
You could say that this wine has everything that makes a lower tannin red particularly appealing. Black cherry and liquorice top notes give way to Herbes de Provence and black peppercorns. Its “soft fleshy mouthfeel” and “elegant, medium-length aftertaste” make this wine a choice pairing with curry goat, oxtail, and butter chicken.
This is the sort of red that you could easily sip all day! It’s mouth-watering with a delicate bouquet comprising plums and floral notes that lead to a spicy finish. This red, along with Rioja, Valpolicella, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, is an excellent complement to spicy cuisine.
Paraduxx Proprietary Red
This critically acclaimed wine is a triumphant blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Tempranillo, and Merlot. It is “rich, luxurious, and complex” and possesses “alluring aromas of ripe cherry, red currant, cranberry, and blueberry, along with sophisticated notes of sandalwood, clove, anise, and black tea”. It’s magnificently lush, and there are even hints of toasted coconut. A perfect island wine, if there ever were one.