The Rancho Grille has built up a loyal following for its ambience, its service and of course the cuisine it offers, but to those in the know it is also one of the finest spots in the region for wine lovers.
In this they would be joined by the owner, a true connoisseur of the heavenly nectar, he personifies the passion that is at the heart of an important wine collection consisting not just of great names, but also new Spanish gems to offer to diners at Rancho Grille.
“Our desire is not just to impress with our wine list, but to share exciting discoveries of fantastic new wines with our diners,” says Ghislain, whose private collection formed the original basis of the bodega that has earned the Rancho Grill such a reputation among wine lovers. .
He set out to ensure that the wine collection would be nurtured, expanded and kept in optimal conditions, starting with a custom-built bodega that functions as an impressive display of the wine collection but is also a state-of-the-art wine cellar keeping all the different wines and vintages at exactly the right temperature, angle of repose and humidity. “We have 400 different wines, totaling 8,000 bottles, which means we can offer a fantastic selection of white wines, rosés, champagne and above all reds.”
“What’s more, if it’s on the wine list we have it, which is uncommon in all but the finest restaurant cellars.” This is all the more impressive when you consider that the collection that he manages features many of the finest Spanish and French wines. This includes the likes of Petrus, Chateau Lafitte and Chateau Mouton Rothschild, but also Spanish icons such as Vega Sicilia, Pingus and Alto Moncayo.
Indeed, not just the finest wines but also the best vintages. “What you have to realise is that a wine is not automatically fantastic just because of an illustrious name on the label,” “Wine is a noble, organic product, so as climatic conditions change from year to year, so different vintages can vary considerably. We always take this into account when buying wine, rather than simply being blinded by famous names.”
As part of this quest to offer not just elite wines but also the opportunity to experience newfound gems from different regions of Spain, Ghislain is always looking for bodegas and vintages to delight wine lovers with. “They need not be expensive, but must offer something new and exciting to those people who come to dine or enjoy special wine tasting meals,” he says. Ghislain has succeeded in acquiring in cuvée privé some of the very best ‘gems’ he has come across. “They are bottled for us, including a small, bespoke champagne producer near Rheims, a beautiful red wine named Thalía, made specially by renowned Toro bodega Alonso del Yerro.
Regulars at Rancho Grill will also have noticed that, like a good menu, the wine list evolves on a regular basis. “Again, this is because wines are organic, and therefore reach their prime at different times. We sample them all the time, and only offer a particular vintage when it is at its very best.” For the growing number of people who enjoy the personal way in which wine is sourced, nurtured and presented at the grill restaurant, there is also the possibility to buy those they liked best in the restaurant. “We love the idea of enthusing people to enjoy wine to the full and make new discoveries, it brings the process of sourcing, selecting and introducing exciting wines full circle.”