Communicating wine and food matching
Victorian Chop House Co, Manchester
The Victorian Chop House Company combine their love of hospitality with the best of British food and are dedicated to serving classic, locally-sourced food with a modern twist.
Comprising three of the finest-dining pubs in Manchester, this small, independently-owned business also keeps one of the best wine lists in the region. In fact, the Albert Square Chop House is the first and only restaurant in the city to hold a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for ‘one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world.’
Their ever-changing range of wines is built from the combined experience of renowned sommeliers George Bergier and Garry Clark, who lead a dedicated team of trained wine waiters in each restaurant.
Their friendly service and welcoming approach are there to enhance the dining experience for each guest. Great consideration is given to recommending particular styles of wine with a guest’s choice of food, whilst always allowing for personal taste. This often leads to guests spending more money on higher quality wines, and opting for that second bottle.
Dave Kelly is part of the team supporting the Victorian Chop House Company, along with other Matthew Clark staff. Together, they provide guidance with wine and food matching, recommending wines from Matthew Clark’s extensive portfolio that suit specific styles of food. The team also arrange ongoing training sessions for restaurant staff which are hosted by winemakers and brand ambassadors, providing WSET training for key staff members. Recently organised gourmet evenings have been hosted by Javier Martinez of Don Jacobo from Rioja, Laurent Sauvage of Fortant from the Languedoc and Alastair Maling, Master of Wine, of Villa Maria from New Zealand.
Not every restaurant is fortunate enough to benefit from two full-time sommeliers to lead the waiting staff. However, it is possible to develop staff skills and to guide customers towards great food and wine partnerships. ‘Arranging a list by style and describing which foods work well with particular styles on the list is a great place to start’, says Dave Kelly, ‘encouraging service staff to try the wines that go well with popular, profitable house dishes will provide them with the confidence to make recommendations; the goal of those extra bottle sales and wine as a quality driver in the business will swiftly follow.’
One of our Wine Development Specialists will be happy to work with you to create a wine list tailored to your food. Speak to your account manager for more information or take a look at our food and wine matching guide.