Adrian Mourby

Back to Inspirations
There was a time when wine-drinking in Britain was either very expensive and shrouded in mists of snobbery, or cheap and downright unpleasant. Those of us who wrecked our student-years trying to enjoy the dreaded trio of Liebfraumilch, Piesporter and Blue Nun were almost put off wine for life. How things have changed! Britain is now a country that not only enjoys wine (despite punitive government levies) but understands it, thanks to the eminently sensible innovation of putting coherent and useful information on the label. With the progress of good wine shops and good wine bars has come the revolution in hotel cellars. No longer does a hotel wine list run to a few dusty bottles of claret in the basement and some lukewarm, over-oaked chardonnay, many British hotels are now temples to viticulture. Here are just a few of my personal recommendations.
Castle House

Castle House is a privately-owned boutique hotel in the backstreets of Hereford with 24 bedrooms overlooking the moated castle, but it's also a hidden gem for wine lovers. Don't be misled by the nine reasonably-priced house wines (four white, four red and a Coteaux du Libron rosé). France, South Africa, New Zealand and Italy feature at the cheaper end of the wine list but the full list is extensive, running to over 300 bins and featuring a local Herefordshire white (Broadfield Special Reserve 2010). There are also a number of good value Bin Ends and a special section on the wine list called Push the Boat Out. The furthest you can push it is a Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Tollot-Beaut 2010 for £140.

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