The UK’s wine hotel knows how to celebrate, after all it is home to over 30,000 bottles of wine. The hotel is an oenophile's dream located in the heart of the Berkshire countryside. The festive season is the perfect time of year to raise a glass or two.
A Unique Christmas Tree
The Vineyard Hotel’s Christmas tree attracts plenty of interest each year. 321 empty bottles of wine make up this unique display with a magnum playing the role of the fairy on top!
The Vineyard Hotel is home to six sommeliers from around the world. The team of sommeliers is led by Romain Bourger who has won many awards including Young Sommelier of the Year. Here he selects his four preferred wines for the season, all available at the hotel:
Domaine de la Terre Rouge, Roussanne, Sierra Foothills, CA, 2010 / £59
Established back in 1986 by autodidact winemaker Bill Easton, this fabulous wine is made from a clone originated from one of Jean-Louis Chave’s Hermitage parcels. The wine shows classic nutty aromas with hints of ripe peach, beeswax and acacia honey. It is flavourful and warming that one can sip by a fire. It is a great complement to winter food, I’d particularly pair with a slow-cooked pork belly with a slightly sweet apple sauce, maybe mixed with a touch of honey.
Tokaji, Barta, Furmint, Öreg Király Dűlő, Tokaj, Hungary, 2015 / £64
Famous for its dessert wines, Tokaj is also home of some incredible white wines. The grape variety used, Furmint, can be reminiscent of Chardonnay in some way but without the oaky character. The wines usually show ripe yellow apple and pear notes with a hint of camomile. The texture is oily but with a great minerality. To me, it is a fantastic wine to have with oily/meaty/flavourful fish. I would serve it with an oven baked fillet of salmon cooked “en papillote” with a light beurre blanc sauce flavoured with a hint of curry and garnished of caramelised parsnips.
Côtes-du-Rhône, Domaine de la Milliere, Vieilles Vignes, Rhône Valley, France, 2016 / £38
I do love Rhone Valley wines and this region offers amazing wines at great value. This wine is a blend of Grenache and Syrah from hundred-year-old vines! It has elegance, finesse and depth but remains crunchy, juicy and develops an amazing complexity. It is an exceptional pairing to a roasted rack of lamb (preferably served pink) with Provence herbs served with some classic ratatouille to which I’d add a touch of balsamic vinegar to match the spiciness and depth of the wine.
Oak Valley, Pinot Noir, Sounds of Silence, Elgin, South Africa, 2015 / £38
In my opinion, South Africa is at the moment one of the most exciting wine producing countries. Oak Valley comes from the cooler Elgin area and has this juicy character balanced with a light smokiness and ripeness. This wine matches perfectly with gamey birds, an amazing accompaniment to the classic Christmas turkey, it would make wonders served alongside a roasted duck or pheasant with some cherry compote served with some red cabbage and smoked bacon.
Michael Caines MBE & Robby Jenks Dinner
On 21st November The Vineyard Hotel will host an exclusive cook off between Executive Chef Robby Jenks and one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs, Michael Caines MBE. As Michael’s former protégé at the award winning Gidleigh Park Hotel, Robby and Michael will express their culinary talents, which will no doubt be a passionate battle between old friends. Priced £229 per person for seven courses paired with one wine per course.
A Taittinger Celebration
Just in time for the festive season, The Vineyard are collaborating with one of their favourite champagne brands for a ‘Lunch with’ event. On Monday 10th December between 12pm and 3pm, guests will enjoy a three courses lunch paired with Taittinger Champagne hosted by Taittinger’s UK Director Kevin McKee. Priced £70 per person.
Christmas at The Vineyard
Guests can book a two- or three-night escape at the UK's wine hotel between 24th and 27th December. The Vineyard is ideally placed geographically in Berkshire to gather the entire family, close enough to main roads, a railway station and Heathrow Airport. Two nights priced £749 per person including a wine masterclass, several dinners, entertainment, breakfasts and use of the spa facilities.
New Year’s Eve at The Vineyard
As the grand finale to the hotel’s 20th anniversary, the New Year menu will pay homage to two decades of the finest food and wine at the UK’s wine hotel. Enjoy a New Year’s Eve Black tie event including a firework celebration. The stay between 30th December and 1st January includes dinner both evenings with a special five course pairing dinner on New Year’s Eve, afternoon tea on 31st and daily breakfast and use of the spa throughout. Two nights priced from £699 per person.
The Vineyard is home to an impressive collection of art including over 1000 pieces from Sir Peter Michael's personal collection. There are 49 suites & bedrooms, an award winning 3 AA Rosette restaurant and bar and a 5 Bubble Luxury rated Spa from the Good Spa Guide which includes an indoor pool.
Eat. Sleep. And drink wine.
The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU 01635 897589
Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £255 based on two guests.