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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mercure Hotels Deliver The 'Gospel Truth' On Queensland Wines By Launching a New Dedicated Queensland Wine List

Mercure gives visitors to Queensland a true taste of the 'Sunshine State'

19 May 2010: The Mercure hotel group is the first major hotel group in Queensland to take the State's local wines seriously, with the launch of the 2010 "Grands Vins Mercure", a wine list dedicated to showcasing Queensland's increasingly attractive wines.

The new Queensland Grands Vins selection is available at Mercure hotels in Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, giving visitors a true taste of the Sunshine State. The wine list is changed twice yearly.

Wines come from a number of boutique wineries in the Stanthorpe region, recognised as Queensland's premier wine area, as well as from emerging wine regions such as South Burnett, the Darling Downs and the Gold Coast Hinterlands.

Reflecting Queensland wineries' experimentation with grape varieties and styles, the list includes varietals such as sylvaner and verdelho amongst the whites, along with more traditional chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and semillon selections. The reds include straight tempranillo and cabernet franc wines as well as merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.

Accor Regional General Manager Queensland, Neil Scanlan, said that the launch of the new Queensland wine list was not only a vote of confidence in the Queensland wine industry, but also for Queensland tourism.

"Queensland wines have improved dramatically in recent years – and we have had a great reaction from guests since introducing the Queensland Grands Vins wine list a few years ago – but there is still reluctance by most hotels and restaurants to fully represent the State's wine produce," he said.

"When visitors come to Queensland they want to get an appreciation of the destination in many ways, and wine and food is very much part of the travel experience. While Queensland doesn't have the size of wine industry as its southern counterparts, it is really working hard to bring the wine and tourism experience together, as can be seen by the creation of the Strange Bird wine trail up to the Granite Belt. Even if visitors can't get to these wine areas, they can at least try them at a Mercure hotel.

"What is really important with the Grands Vins wine list is the pricing. We want to dispel the myth that good wine is only associated with high-end restaurants and high-end prices. Mercure's Grands Vins shows it is possible to enjoy great wines – many from smaller vineyards - at very attractive prices, by both the glass and by the bottle."

The Grands Vins wine list is designed to make wine selection easier, grouping wines in four particular styles – fresh and tasty; fruity and light; balanced & elegant and spicy and full bodies – to help guests choose the most suitable wine for every occasion and for every dish, while introducing wines from a range of distinctive wineries that guests might not otherwise have a chance to experience.

Every wine offered has been selected by an expert tasting panel comprising sommeliers, wine connoisseurs and food and beverage professionals, and, importantly, final judging is conducted with appropriate food courses to ensure the wines are "food friendly". Some 80% of wine sold at Mercure hotels is consumed with food, so compatibility with food was a major judging criteria.

The Mercure Grands Vins regional lists complement each hotel's standard wine list, which together provide a comprehensive range of Australian and international wines.

The launch of the Queensland Grands Vins list is part of a national roll-out of the concept, with State-based lists prepared for NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. Internationally, Mercure has been offering Grands Vins selections in Europe since 1983.

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