Italy is named the world’s best wine country

Italy has been ranked as the best country in the world for wine lovers in a recent survey by Lastminute.com.

The survey compared thirty wine-producing countries by various criteria with Italy finishing with the highest score. It beat out other counties due to the fact that it offers the most wine tasting experiences; with 993 overall to choose from, and Italy has a total of 21 wine regions.

But how did Italy top France?

In three instances:

1. The number of wine tasting experiences – Italy 993 vs. France 406;
2. Italy has more vineyards open to the public – Italy 33 vs. France 31; and
3. The average price of a bottle of wine is less in Italy – €4.77 vs. €5.73 in France.

For the record, France came second, Spain third, South Africa fourth, Portugal fifth, while Australia came in 15th place, Canada 24th, and the US at 27th. The UK, which is fast making a name for itself for the quality of its sparkling wines, came in 30th place on the list.

https://www.lastminute.com/en/discover/wine-lovers-travel-index

Mirazur named world’s best restaurant

Mauro Colagreco’s Mirazur, a French Riviera restaurant with a backyard farm, has been named the World’s Best Restaurant. This is the first time a French restaurant has ascended to the top of the rankings since 2002. Mirazur, located right by the border with Italy, is known for its salted beetroot with caviar cream, and for its unparalleled views of the Cote D’Azur.

“This recognition from my esteemed colleagues and peers is a great honor. It recognizes the trajectory of my life from Argentina to the Riviera that welcomed me so warmly 19 years ago. I am overjoyed to bring this award back to France”, said Colagreco.

“I am from so many influences but above everything, I am a cook and I love to cook. My food is from my heart and I love to share it with my guests. From all of us at Mirazur, thank you – we are all celebrating tonight,” he added.

The votes were submitted by over 1,000 food writers, critics, chefs, restaurateurs and industry experts from 26 regions from around the world.

Colagreco creates modern, delicately flavored dishes made with local seasonal ingredients.
Mauro Colagreco grows much of the produce on his own farm and sources a lot of his ingredients from the nearby Ventimiglia market, making a hero of both seafood and vegetables. One of his signature dishes is oyster with tapioca, shallot cream and pear.
“I am proud to be one of the representatives of a new French kitchen that lives to the rhythm of all the influences of the world. I am not French, but I have made French cuisine my passion; it is so beautiful and so refined.

“I believe in mixing, combining and celebrating all influences. I am pleased to be able to open my kitchen to different inspirations,” he said.

Mauro Colagreco cut his culinary teeth in Buenos Aires, moving to France in 2000 to work at the Lycée Hôtelier de La Rochelle. A year later his big break arrived when he worked as an apprentice under Bernard Loiseau at Cote d’Or. He then went on to work with some of the biggest names in French cooking, including Guy Martin, Alain Passard and Alain Ducasse.
Branching out in 2006, he opened Mirazur in the grounds of a 1930s villa surrounded by orchards and gardens close to the French-Italian border. The restaurant received its first Michelin star less than a year after opening and now boasts the top accolade of three stars.

Here is the official list of the “World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019” which were announced last night in Singapore:

1. Mirazur (Menton, France)
Chef: Mauro Colagreco
Last year’s rank: 3
Average cost: €110-€210

2. Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Chef: Rene Redzepi
Last year’s rank: N/A
Average cost: 2,500 DKK

3. Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo, Spain)
Chef: Victor Arguinzoniz
Last year’s rank: 10
Average cost: €176 tasting

4. Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand)
Chef: Gaggan Anand
Last year’s rank: 5
Average cost: THB 6,500

5. Geranium (Copenhagen, Denmark)

6. Central (Lima, Peru)

7. Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain)

8. Arpège (Paris, France)

9. Disfrutar (Barcelona, Spain)

10. Maido (Lima, Peru)

11. Den (Tokyo, Japan)

12. Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico)

13. White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

14. Azurmendi (Larrabetzu, Spain)

15. Septime (Paris, France)

16. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée (Paris, France)

17. Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)

18. Odette (Singapore)

19. Twins Garden (Moscow, Russia)

20. Tickets (Barcelona, Spain)

21. Frantzén (Stockholm, Sweden)

22. Narisawa (Tokyo, Japan)

23. Cosme (New York City, USA)

24. Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico)

25. Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen (Paris, France)

26. Boragó (Santiago, Chile)

27. The Clove Club (London, United Kingdom)

28. Blue Hill at Stone Barns (Pocantico Hills, USA)

29. Piazza Duomo (Alba, Italy)

30. Elkano (Getaria, Spain)

31. Le Calandre (Rubano, Italy)

32. Nerua (Bilbao, Spain)

33. Lyle’s (London, United Kingdom)

34. Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

35. Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, USA)

36. Le Bernardin (New York City, USA)

37. Alinea (Chicago, USA)

38. Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia)

39. A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil)

40. Restaurant Tim Raue (Berlin, Germany)

41. The Chairman (Hong Kong)

42. Belcanto (Lisbon, Portugal)

43. Hof Van Cleve (Kruishoutem, Belgium)

44. Test Kitchen (Cape Town, South Africa)

45. Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)

46. De Librije (Zwolle, Netherlands)

47. Benu (San Francisco, USA)

48. Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet (Shanghai, China)

49. Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)

50. Schloss Schauenstein (Fürstenau, Switzerland)

Emmanuel Macron Opens Presidential Wine Cellar to Public

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time this past weekend as part of a bid by President Emmanuel Macron to promote national heritage.

There were 350 members of the public who toured the cavernous cellar which houses 14,000 bottles, from all the wine growing regions of France.

“This is the first time we’ve opened the cellar to the public,” Virginie Routis, the Elysée’s sommelier for the past 11 years, told Europe 1 radio.

The three-meter high vaulted cellar is two floors below ground level and keeps a plethora of fine wines and spirits, from cognac to top champagnes, at an ideal temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

The also cellar contains prestigious vintages such as Cheval Blanc, Latour, and Puligny-Montrachet. Its oldest bottle is said to be a 1906 Sauternes.

“The wine is chosen according to the menu. I make a selection…Madame and Monsieur Macron also get to approve the choice. We really have to represent French gastronomy, so you have to choose wines that speak to a given foreign delegation,” she said.

The cellar was designed in 1947. During Jacques Chirac’s presidency in 2013, some 1,200 bottles were auctioned off as the quantities were too small to serve at official dinners.

Unlike his teetotal predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Macron is quite knowledgeable on French wines and has confessed to drinking a glass of wine at lunch and dinner.

He has chosen to open the cellars as part of France’s annual Heritage Days, where numerous state and listed buildings are exceptionally opened to the public.

Dom Pérignon Pop-Up at Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons Hotel, is celebrating summer in style with the launch of an exclusive Dom Pérignon Pop Up Bar in the Hotel’s lush garden.

Located in the hotel’s garden among the bougainvilleas, rosebays and hibiscus, the Dom Pérignon Pop Up Bar offers an ideal setting to enjoy a pre-dinner or post-dinner drink. The décor is themed after Dom Pérignon’s elegant black and gold colours in a chic and cosy spirit. Benches and chairs with comfortable cushions are set up in a lounge-styled atmosphere around a fountain while tables are lit by candles creating an utmost romantic feel. Guests can sip on Champagne and taste a selection of food pairings from Executive Chef Yoric Tièche while enjoying live music entertainment.

Two vintages will be poured: from P1 2006 and the P2 2000, both reflecting the exceptional savoir-faire of the brand. To pair with these exceptional vintages, Chef Yoric Tièche has created a selection of canapés combining Provençal flavours and sea influences.

The Dom Pérignon Pop-Up Bar is open from July 15 to September 16, 2017, every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 pm, with live music atmosphere coming from the Grand-Hôtel’s terraces. No booking required.

• Glass of Dom Pérignon “P1” 2006: EUR 64 with food pairing
• Glass of Dom Pérignon “P2” 2000: EUR 78 with food pairing

To enhance their gastronomic experience, guests at the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, may book the French Riviera Gourmet package including an aperitif at the Pop-Up Dom Pérignon Champagne Bar and a dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Cap. Reservations at + 33(0)4 93 76 50 50 or reservations.capferrat@fourseasons.com

http://www.fourseasons.com/capferrat/
https://www.domperignon.com/ww-en/

Global Champagne Shipments for 2016

Today, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne released its sales and shipment results for the Champagne sector in 2016.

Here is the list of the top markets for 2016, along with some findings:

  • Champagne exports continues to progress, especially outside Europe;
  • Consumers are diversifying their tastes and turning to Rosé Champagne and Prestige Cuvées  – Rosé Champagne grew (+8,6% in vol) and Prestige Cuvées grew (+4,7%);
  • 2016 is the second record year (4.71 billion euros) after 2015 (4.74 billion euros); and
  • Many countries confirm their status as growth drivers: (+ 9.4% Canada), United States (+ 6.3%), (+12% Mexico), (+ 15.1% in South Africa), (+ 25.4% in New Zealand), and (+ 14.2% in South Korea).