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A taste of the future of wine

With Federal Street now one of Auckland’s top dining destinations, SKYCITY is now taking on a new challenge, transforming its beverage offering with the help of internationally-experienced advisor and Master of Wine, Sam Harrop.

Customers at Peter Gordon’s Bellota on Federal Street have already had a taste of this new direction, in the form of seven nationally exclusive Spanish wines SKYCITY has imported directly.

“Our celebrity chefs have helped us to raise the bar on our food offering at SKYCITY, with our award-winning Federal Street restaurants. It’s now time for us to further enhance our beverage offering as a dining destination,” says Danny Bucalo, General Manager Food and Beverage, SKYCITY Auckland.

Sam Harrop MW

International wine judge and Master of Wine Sam Harrop joined SKYCITY in October 2015 as a beverage consultant. Over the last nine months Sam has been working alongside the teams at each SKYCITY outlet to assess avenues for improvement that are customer focussed. 

“I’m really pleased to help SKYCITY with this new and exciting challenge.  A key focus has been to review wine listings to ensure they best represent the food, service, personality and customer of each individual outlet. We want a diverse range at different price points and at the centre is a strong focus on value - and every wine listed must stack up in this regard,” says Mr Harrop MW, SKYCITY Beverage Consultant.

SKYCITY has identified two key areas to take action: adding diversity to wine lists across the company’s eight signature restaurants and importing directly as required to do so, and investing in staff training to ensure customers are well informed in their choices and can explore the beverage lists with ease.

Bellota’s seven new directly-imported Spanish wines offer customers a taste of premium quality wine at an affordable price point, a value proposition not often seen.

We have hand picked wines that we know are of exceptional quality and value.

“We have hand picked wines that we know are of exceptional quality and value. For most customers, choosing wine is scary so it’s easier to stick with what’s comfortable rather than branching out to a new favourite. We want to take away some of that fear by offering great advice on a list we know is filled with fantastic wines at every price point.” says Mr Harrop MW.

The new wines are imported from two wine makers – Dominio de Fontana and Franck Massard, and represent a number of wine regions and grape varieties to showcase a mixed palate. Typicity is also a key factor and each wine expresses a true a sense of place Customers dining at Bellota will not only have the opportunity to enjoy Peter Gordon’s authentic Spanish menu, but also explore Spanish wines that better represent Spain as a wine producer.

The seven new wines are all perfectly paired with the authentic Spanish tapas served at Bellota.Further developments are in progress across the business including the launch of new wine lists and a few other directly-imported products. The vast majority of products on SKYCITY’s beverage lists will continue to be sourced through local suppliers.

Further training of frontline staff across SKYCITY’s outlets has also begun, with a focus on passing on wine-knowledge to customers.

“We hope that in six months’ time we are much closer to our goal of having a redeveloped wine range and staff who are excited, knowledgeable and passing that on to our customers,” says Mr Bucalo.

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