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The Curious Case Of Holiday Wine That Tastes So Different Back Home

Rockliffe Hall's Head Sommelier, Daniel Jonberger, explains why wine you drink on holiday can sometimes taste totally different when you drink the same wine at home.

Imagine you are sitting outside your favourite holiday restaurant, a warm breeze soothes your sun tanned skin and all the stress has fallen off your shoulders. The wine you have in your glass tastes marvellous. You promise to track it down when you get back home.

But when you manage to find the bottle and with fond memories, open it up to discover it tastes so different. Not at all how you remembered it.

This is because your brain processes things differently, depending on your surroundings and how you are feeling. A relaxed evening in the right environment is opening different taste senses than an early evening after a week at work. The more all of your senses are involved and are stress free, the more you are receptive to any taste, smell, sight or sound.

That is something I always have in mind when I am serving wine flights in the Orangery. It is a Journey that involves all senses. The wine does not just have to be a perfect paring to the fabulous food; it also has to awaken, in a relaxed way, the curiosity of my guests. So their senses are more alert and more receptive to the flavours, smell and look of the wine and food.

Every new dish arriving at the table is paired to a wine in a small escalation of flavours and intensity, introduced with an anecdote perhaps. Hopefully when the last wine arrives at the table, you as our guest, have discovered so many more flavours, grape varieties and a keen interest to discover more. To have this interaction with a wine journey is something I enjoy immensely!

If you have not yet tried a meal in the Orangery with accompanied wine flights, it is something to put on your “Bucket List”. But remember, some of the wines you will be served on the evening will taste different at home!