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Sommelier Spotlight: Oliver Espersen from Kerridge's Bar & Grill

Oliver Espersen Head Sommelier at Kerridge's Bar & Grill in London

The WineBarn chat to Oliver Espersen, Assistant Head Sommelier at Kerridge's Bar & Grill, a sensational restaurant serving refined British food, based at Corinthia London.

How would you describe the Kerridge's wine selection?

The wine selection at Kerridge’s is an eclectic mix of firm classics from known appellations combined with new producers from around the world. Our wine list features 700 bottles, of which a significant number are from winemakers dedicated to organic or biodynamic principles in the vineyard and the cellar. For our 'by the glass' selection, we try to keep it fun with different wines that are usually not the classics, so people can enjoy new experiences and food pairings.

What attracted you to The WineBarn's wine selection?

The WineBarn's portfolio has a stellar array of Rieslings from various producers that really speak for themselves, but what attracted me most was the uncommon varietals from winemakers that you do not traditionally see from Germany (or at least on London wine lists) like German Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Lemberger and of course Pinot Noir.

What is your opinion on the reception of German wine in your restaurant?

In Kerridge’s we still experience the classic hesitation with guests when trying to recommend a Riesling. It is still a popular misconception that the grape is always sweet. However, we always try to guide our guests to new experiences like we do with the food, so reassuring guests that there are lovely dry styles from the grape usually results with a happy guest. The true winner from German wines on the Kerridge’s wine list is Pinot Noir without a doubt, we have around 10-14 references of Spätburgunder on the list that we always suggest when people are looking for high quality Burgundy, but then see the current price points of these wines. The WineBarn's producers offer gorgeous wines and are therefore pleasing to any Burgundy lover who can see the finesse and elegance in that usually ripe cherry note that I find in most German Pinot Noirs.

Where is the wine selection of the Kerridge heading in the coming months?

The Kerridge’s list is going strong. We're coming up to our first year and have learnt a lot from our guests and the kitchen during that time. We see the wine list possibly expanding to around 800 bins. The direction of the list will remain the same - to have wines at all price levels to reflect our humble roots in Marlow and the grandeur of Corinthia London, but always making sure that the wine, above all else, is delicious.

What’s your favourite food and wine pairing on offer?

Glazed omelette ‘Lobster Thermidor'. This dish is rich and decadent. It demands a serious wine and I always pair it with Dr. Heger’s 2017 Ihringer Winkerberg Chardonnay Premier Grand Cru, as the texture compliments the silky cheesy omelette filled with chunks of lobster, whereas the nuttiness and smoky elements just keep giving the dish length and pure deliciousness together.
Oliver Espersen Head Sommelier at Kerridge's Bar & Grill, The Corinthia Hotel

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