WLC recommends: NoMad, Covent Garden

Douglas Blyde heads to Bow Street hotel NoMad. While there, he samples the “killer” Nebbiolo selection, as curated by wine director Bella Babbitt, and tries chef Ashley Abodeely’s dish of suckling pig confit with wild greens and smoked bacon jam.

“The NoMad’s interior reads as an almighty post- pandemic flex; a sprawling, saucily darkened labyrinth of twinkling chandeliers, mile-long corridors and opulent, emerald accents, patrolled by a scurrying network of bright-eyed servers,” wrote the Evening Standard’s Jimi Famurewa of the former magistrates court turned à la mode five-star hotel.

The “constantly fluctuating beast” that is the 1,000- bin list is overseen by co-wine directors Amber Gardner, who once wanted to be a TV presenter, and Bella Babbitt, who harboured acting aspirations. “Bella is the exotic one – half-American and half-Swedish – but her downside is that she was born in a terrible vintage. I on the other hand am of very unexotic
British stock, but have a plethora of great wine to choose from my birth year – 1988,” says Gardner.

NoMad is definitely not “your typical ‘luxury’ hotel”, says Gardner, whose motto is: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Hence the duo’s ambition, says Gardner, “to create a list that was as dynamic as the various spaces and the people who walk through our front doors”. She adds: “I think it’s also important to note that, as wine directors, we don’t have the classic five-star hotel background in wine that one may expect. Together, we bring our myriad experiences into creating a unique wine programme.”

Gardner is proud that “well-heeled classics”, such as Cuvée Nomad Extra Brut by Billecart Salmon, “rub shoulders with the next generation” as seen with Le Clou 34 by Claire Naudin, and “lesser-known regions” such as Peru, represented by Viñas Queirolo Intipalka. “As long as a wine showcases balance, typicity and speaks to its origins, there may well be a place for it at NoMad.” Hence, don’t come expecting “flabby generic reds”.

With chef Ashley Abodeely’s dish of suckling pig confit with wild greens and smoked bacon jam, Gardner pairs Treinspoor Tinta Barocca by the Sadie Family. “The vibrant fruit notes play beautifully with the apple in the dish, while its acidity cuts through the delectable confit pig.”

Gardner and Babbitt are currently working on building a “killer” Nebbiolo selection featuring the likes of standout Barolo producer Davide Fregonese. Other wines, in their own ways iconic, might include Les Granges Pâquenesses Trousseau from the Jura and the wines of Burgundy-focused Australian négociant, Jane Eyre.

Score: 95.2 Value: 93 Size: 95 Range: 95 Originality: 97 Experience: 96

This was taken from the 2022 Wine List Confidential guide. To purchase a copy, either physical or digital, click here.

Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

WLC Eats: Jin Sha at Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake

Douglas Blyde takes a trip to the Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou, China. During his visit, head sommelier Olive Gao guides him through a list covering everything from lard-washed rice wine to tea.

The airline with an organic-only wine list

French boutique airline La Compagnie's exclusively-organic onboard wine list is designed to correspond with its "disruptive image", according to the company.

Kent vineyard battles opposition to wine tastings near graveyard

Nine Oaks Vineyard in Kent is seeking to allay concerns of local residents after facing opposition to its new licence to hold wine tastings, with villagers arguing that nearby mourners could be disturbed. WLC finds out more.

Analysis: a closer look at Majestic's acquisition of Vagabond Wine

Majestic's acquisition of Vagabond Wines, which was confirmed last week, is an interesting expansion for the well-known specialist retailer, particularly given the growth of its B2B business in recent years. WLC looks at what the deal may mean.

Michel Roux Jr to open new restaurant

Just a few months after he shut the doors of legendary Mayfair institution Le Gavroche, Michel Roux Jr will open a new restaurant at The Langham hotel this summer, with the menu taking inspiration from his childhood in Kent.

Most Recent Stories

WLC Eats: Jin Sha at Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake

Douglas Blyde takes a trip to the Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou, China. During his visit, head sommelier Olive Gao guides him through a list covering everything from lard-washed rice wine to tea.

The airline with an organic-only wine list

French boutique airline La Compagnie's exclusively-organic onboard wine list is designed to correspond with its "disruptive image", according to the company.

Kent vineyard battles opposition to wine tastings near graveyard

Nine Oaks Vineyard in Kent is seeking to allay concerns of local residents after facing opposition to its new licence to hold wine tastings, with villagers arguing that nearby mourners could be disturbed. WLC finds out more.

Analysis: a closer look at Majestic's acquisition of Vagabond Wine

Majestic's acquisition of Vagabond Wines, which was confirmed last week, is an interesting expansion for the well-known specialist retailer, particularly given the growth of its B2B business in recent years. WLC looks at what the deal may mean.

Michel Roux Jr to open new restaurant

Just a few months after he shut the doors of legendary Mayfair institution Le Gavroche, Michel Roux Jr will open a new restaurant at The Langham hotel this summer, with the menu taking inspiration from his childhood in Kent.