Connor is the Bar Manager at The Thomas Cubitt and knows a lot about wine and when we say a lot…The very best person, therefore, to ask about our brand new Cubitt House wine list running across all our pubs, with a few additions at each pub for a bit of a variety. We’ve asked Connor a few questions, to get right into the detail of our wines and there are a few little recommendations along the way.
What do you think makes the best wine lists?
For me, the best wine lists must firstly be easily approachable to every guest who walks in the door, but also offer something fun and interesting. The wine list is probably the first thing a guest looks at when they sit down at the table, so it needs to be exciting and will set the tone for their time with us. I think having a good mixture of the classics that everyone loves but also a sprinkle of something interesting and unique is key and ultimately is what keeps guests engaged and coming back. The range our new core list offers is fantastic, from some really approachable wines that offer great value to our guests, to some premium lines that showcase the best of what this list has to offer. I am particularly proud of our by the glass range, it is particularly strong and represents the group well.
I’m really excited to start to see guests drinking from the new list and getting some feedback!
Tell us a bit about our wine suppliers, what makes them special and how they support and advise you.
We now use multiple different suppliers, this gives us access to a huge range of wines allowing us to build really unique lists: Liberty Wine, Justerini & Brooks, Bibendum and Theatre of Wine are just some of them.
We worked with Daniel Illsley to create this list, he is perhaps the best in the industry at crafting wine lists and has helped us curate this list from the ground up. We really could not have done it without his knowledge and expertise we are thrilled with what he has put together.
One of our main suppliers is Liberty Wines who offer some fantastic wine from some exceptional producers. They are supporting us in creating our future lists and the training of the teams. Liberty also share our focus on sustainability which is great and we are really looking forward to working with them going forward. Another supplier is Justerini & Brooks who have great access to some top end wine that we are really excited to be introducing into the list .
We are also supplied by Theatre of Wine who have some fantastic and unique producers, I would particularly focus on the Fleurie by Anne-Suphie Dubois – a must try, utterly delicious.
Do you think it is important to match your wine choice to what you are eating?
I think this is important yes, being a food-focussed pub group, this is essential for us. Our by the glass range in particular is perfect for food, offering something that can compliment every flavour across the menus in the group. I am particularly excited to start seeing some food an wine paring from the variations of menus across the group and see just how much flavour the wine can bring out of the food, and the food the wine!
While food and wine pairing is important, I think it is also essential that a wine is just as good by itself – which every wine on our list is.
And now the age old question: Can you give us a favourite?
From our new list, I have a few favourites. I’ll choose two white and two red if I may!
We have a great Greek Malagouzia-Assrytiko on by the glass across the group, super interesting and fresh and is very on trend at the moment – a must try. There’s a fantastic Chablis 1er Cru by Moreau Naudet too, it is exquisite. Fantastic producer which we are very lucky to have access to.
For the red, our Pinot Noir by the glass is so fresh and fruity, it’s from the Jura – a very under appreciated area offering great quality and value. Also the Coudoulet de Beaucastel is fantastic, from one of the worlds best producers and is perfect when paired with a steak!