I went to Maze and had to share with you their fantastic ‘Flights of Wine’ concept!
Maze is situated in Grosvenor Square, and is one of Gordon Ramsay’s iconic restaurants.
Maze breaks the mould, serving French cuisine with an Asian influence in Spanish style ‘tapas’ sized dishes. They are tasting size portions, allowing diners to sample a wide variety of flavours, textures and styles. These are great to share with friends and partners alike and are so incredible you will end up over ordering like we did!
This wide choice brings fun, interest and encourages conversation within your dining experience. This is something that I advocate, and when it comes to wine this is exactly the concept I am trying to encourage with Wine Angel. For you to discuss your wine choices and feel free and easy to do so, with your fellow diners and sommeliers alike.
And hats off to Gordon..his dining experience is complemented by a SUPERB wine list which has a broad range of wines to suit any palate and purse, a great selection of wines by the glass, and a sweet wine selection to die for.
Even better, it is easy to read! The list even includes rarely stocked Swiss Pinot Noir and Alion - a must taste Ribero del Duero gem!
But the beauty with the dining experience is that the tasting dishes can be complemented by Flights of Wine.
The Flights of Wine concept involves a choice of themed wine by the glass served to you in a trio of 125ml glasses, following a chosen theme. These themes are based on country/region, grape variety or vintage. They range from Aromatic whites, Burgundy reds to a Spanish red or white selection.
This negates you having to choose your wine, and seeing that you will be tasting a variety of dishes the flights have been designed to complement these. Best of all, you can ask the sommelier to choose a flight selection to match your chosen menu. Genius!
The sommeliers in Maze were incredibly helpful, informative and could really be seen to put diners at ease and not intimidate them in any way. They had plenty of time to discuss the wine list and what would meet your requirements. If only all sommeliers were like this!
I do think though, that the variety of flights could be expanded upon-
- more grape variety comparison from Old and New World. Same grape, different country
- different countries such as a South African, US or Portuguese focus for example
- introduce local grape varieties to encourage a wider palate and development of taster’s knowledge
- or a mix of red and white by a price bracket choice.
There is so much scope! People should go there just for the wine experience alone!
In an online interview with Wine Angel, Head Sommelier Laure Patry had this to say:
How popular the flights of wine are with your customers?
They are very popular, we have had them since we opened and it’s always been very successful. It works well here as we serve small dishes, usually a mix between meat and fish, so it allows guests to experience a variety of different wines to pair with the dishes.
It could be also that the guest is interested in an area, like Piedmont, and want to try different styles, including a Barolo, without having to buy a bottle.
Whether you have any future ideas regarding your wine choices offered and the list?
I always like to find a local grape and introduce it to our customers, as well as small producers. The list has been growing since the opening but I think there is always space for something else. The wine world is always expanding and no one can ever say they have the perfect list in my opinion.
Gordon Ramsay has had his fair share of knocks in the last few years. More so because he has been supposedly toppled from the ‘darling of the nation’ spot. But I disagree.
When his restaurants were all the buzz, there was little competition. Now there is a fantastic range of fine dining experiences for people to choose from. The competition has stepped up to the mark. But do remember this doesn’t make any of his restaurants a lesser choice now..just revisit, discover many of his different dining experiences and you will see that they are packed out with fresh, excited and jubilant diners.
In my opinion, competition sorts the winners from the losers. And like the best at their craft, knocks make you stronger. With their focus on aspects like their wine choices, customer experience and food and wine matching, this surely is something to shout about! They know what we want!
Just go and see what I mean…Team Gordon is now better than EVER.