Tom Kerridge’s new restaurant at London’s Corinthia Hotel boasts a budding, searching, flavour-forward list keenly exploring both England and Germany.
Before celebrity chef, Tom Kerridge became teetotal some five years ago, his “very versatile” palate saw he was “driven to try new wines from any origin,” says sharp-suited head sommelier, Charles Beaini, who has followed that philosophy on his 700 bin strong list.
Beaini, who studied maths and physics, was Thierry Tomasin’s protégé at Angelus, later moving to Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred Marlow pub with bedrooms and hot tubs, The Hand & Flowers. At Kerridge’s large London outpost in the former Massimo’s, characterised by two bronzes from Kerridge’s sculptor wife, Beth Cullen-Kerridge, arguably invasive pounding music, and paw print branding taken from the chef’s old dog, Georgie, wines must offer “quality, express their origin, and complement the current menu.”
There is a particular emphasis on homegrown produce, including an abundance of fizz, Welsh red, and a Surrey sown noble harvest sweetie – which could work well with a signature soufflé of banana with gingerbread ice cream and spiced rum sauce. “We are keen to grow this even further,” says Beaini, adding, “there is still a lot to explore and we are really excited by English sparkling and still wines.”
Compared to The Hand & Flowers, the wine list at Kerridge’s Bar & Grill is much larger, “reaching as many places in the world as possible.” Perhaps in honour of the origin of the charismatic, media friendly manager of The Corinthia Hotel, Thomas Kochs, there are no fewer than 30 from Germany. ‘But both lists share the principle of being terroir-led.’
Beaini gives the example of baked Mont d’Or cheese with 2010 Vin Jaune (Chateau Chalon, Jean Louis Tissot) as a particularly marvellous match, with his words describing both culinary match and working relationship betwixt Kerridge and Beaini. “A simple yet very rewarding combination.”