I’m not normally a white wine person, but I was in a hotel the other day and the minibar was calling to me, and I wasn’t feeling particularly enticed by their red option. So I popped open (well, unscrewed) the white from the mini-fridge and took it into the bath with me. And thus began a very happy evening which ended with me dining on pigeon wellington in their rather swish restaurant.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The hotel in question was the Hurley House Hotel which is located, oddly enough, in Hurley. I’d never heard of this little Berkshire village until Friday, when I had a sudden desperate urge to escape my day-to-day life and be fully pampered for a weekend. I looked for a nice hotel in the countryside, a short commute from London, with en-suite bathtubs, an excellent wine list, and good food, in that order. I found all of those things at Hurley House, and they also do spa treatments if the thought of someone touching you doesn’t make you want to puke.
Anyway I’d decided to raid the minibar and had run a nice deep bath in one of their luxurious tubs. I paired the wine with some sea salt & honey roasted nuts, which it transpired was a perfect match. Or maybe I was just in the mood to get drunk in a hotel bathtub.
Created by Domaine Gayda, a French winery nestled in the hills of Roussillon, it’s a light and not too dry white that slips down far too easily. The name amused me because I was indeed ‘flying solo’ at the hotel, but also because it’s the kind of wine one person can drink a bottle of within a few hours and then be like… whoops. Meant to keep some of that back for another day.
It’s fruity in a good way, i.e. not too sweet: notes of peach and pear, but the underlying nuttiness gives it a complexity that lifts it out of the trap of being too samey. The nuttiness also makes it a perfect partner for the roasted nuts and peanut m&ms you might find stocked in a hotel minibar. Just sayin’.
I hadn’t expected much when I opened it, my general experience with minibar wines being that they’re overpriced and not very good, but it was surprisingly pleasant and I’m considering ordering a few bottles for my wine rack.