Craig’s Wine Chat

 Craig, Jamie and Philippe of l'Art du Vin in Switzerland

Craig, Jamie and Philippe of l'Art du Vin in Switzerland

Wine is a very important part of our offering at The Wee restaurant and no one is more passionate about wine than our Chef Proprietor, Craig Wood. Below, he tells us about his favourite wines.

We change our wine lists a couple of times a year. Although not seasonal, there’s a notable difference in customers' preferences during the summer and winter months. In the summer we all crave a crisp white wine, while the autumnal and winter months makes us long for much heartier reds. Our customers’ personal preferences also play a huge role in what we choose for our lists. We recently added a few really special wines that we know our regular customers love. 

Let me tell you a bit more about a couple of wines on our list that I particularly enjoy. 

Rosé, Domaine Rimauresq, Provence, France 2016.

It’s crisp, it’s elegant, and I love the delicate floral and raspberry notes. It comes from the highly-acclaimed Cru Classé vineyards, overseen by the brilliant Pierre Duffort. It’s no surprise that Domaine Rimauresq has been lauded by critics in recent years for its excellent produce as Pierre leads a team of excellent winemakers. In fact they’ve been cited as being at the top of their game in the Guide Hachette, the well-known French Encyclopaedic wine guide, three times.

Named after the river which flows through the heart of the estate, the Real Mauresqué, Domaine Rimauresq is the home of nine grape varieties that are cultivated to produce red and white as well as rosé wines, which are known for being slightly darker than many other examples of rosé from the region. 

Pinot Noir, Les Deux Cimes, Valais, Switzerland 2016. 

I’m a huge fan of Les Deux Cimes and am fortunate enough to call its owner Jamie McCulloch a good pal. I’ve been lucky enough to have enjoyed quite a few trips to his winery and vineyards in Switzerland. He produces his wines with great passion, and is involved in every step of the process in a really hands-on style. This is not your typical light French pinot noir. It’s smooth, slightly spiced and lightly oaked and is perfect with steak or Scottish game. It’s good enough to open a bottle after a hard week in the kitchen and enjoy on a Sunday evening.

Originally from Stirling, Jamie headed to the Swiss Alps in 2007, a year after completing his oenology studies. Perhaps not the most obvious location for setting up a winery, but Jamie was attracted to the scope the alpine region offers for experimenting with a number of different grape varieties. I love that the wine scene in Switzerland is populated, for the most part, by small independent wineries. Over the last few years, the quality of the produce has risen dramatically, yet due to the small amount of wine produced, only around 2% of overall production is ever exported. So we feel very privileged to have Jamie’s wines on our list.

He’s always such a wonderful host when we visit, and that can quite easily lead to a little over-indulging. But as a chef and restaurateur, I believe it is very important to taste the products! I’m looking forward to visiting Jamie again later in the year for more tasting and a game of golf on the nearby Crans-Montana Course. And perhaps another glass of wine or two!