Stuart Bathgate, Scott Dunn’s Guest Services Manager, reveals how he gives your holiday extra sparkle – and shares some of his favourite bottles
We take our wine selection process very seriously here at Scott Dunn – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it! Andrew Dunn, the Founder, and I sample up to 40 different wines, twice a year, to source the best bottles for our guests in our Mediterranean villas and our alpine chalets. We narrow the selection down to two reds, two whites, two rosés and something sparkling. Guests in our villas receive a hamper of wines to enjoy during their stay, while our chalet guests are served a different pair of wines each evening, which are specially chosen to complement the chef’s menus.
For the villa programme we use local suppliers in the South of France and Mallorca, and we love to surprise guests, so we tend to steer away from things that are already super-fashionable. Having said that, there are some bottles that guests love year in, year out – if you’re going to be basking in the sun in the South of France, for example, a bottle of delicious Côtes de Provence rosé always goes down a treat.
Once we’ve made the initial selection, we start thinking about what will complement the food. For summer, we look for light, fresh, easy-drinking wines that work with barbecues, salads and seafood. For our winter selection, we choose things that work with a broader palate, so whether you’re enjoying a rich Tartiflette or a spicy Malaysian dish, you’ll be sure to find a fantastic match to drink with it.
Of course, the luxury of being on holiday is that you can do exactly what you want, so if guests would like us to swap some bottles within the villa hamper and drink rosé all week, that’s absolutely fine. Once the final selection has been made, we arrange to have our Master Sommelier visit each resort to train the teams to ensure they know which wines complement which foods. And if you can’t wait until your next break, here is a selection of some of our recent villa favourites.
A local Mallorcan wine, the Ca’n Vidalet vineyard is 1km outside Pollença. Pale yellow with light green reflections, it’s delicate and tangy, with aromas of citrus fruits, hawthorn blossom, a hint of green-apple skin and jasmine.
Drink with light, summery dishes and salads. Serve at 8-10°C
Burgundy is one of only seven regions in France approved to produce Crémant, dry sparkling wine made with méthode traditionelle, as used in Champagne. It has fine bubbles and a light golden reflection.
Drink with shellfish, desserts or as an aperitif. Serve at 6-8°C
Great news that Chardonnay is regaining its well-deserved popularity. This one is fantastic and hasn’t been anywhere near oak! It’s an elegant, delicate white wine that’s smooth and lets the grape shine.
Drink with creamy fish dishes and white meat. Serve at 10°C and 12°C
Made from the pinot noir grape in the hot southern region of Hérault, this light red is great served slightly chilled. With sweet spices, red fruit nuances and a light oak from the barrels it was matured in.
Drink with a barbecue.Serve at 8°C and 16°C
A great example of the variety of Provençal wines. Aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry, with soft tannins, create a full-bodied red. Matured in oak, this wine is powerful but well balanced.
Drink with strong cheese, grilled red meats. Serve at 12-15°C
A fresh, modern wine from the Costers del Segre DO around Lleida (between Barcelona and Zaragoza). Although sweet on the nose, this is a surprisingly dry rosé with a light body.
Drink with oily fish, including tuna Niçoise salad, pasta, pizza and tapas. Serve at 4-6°C