Before I get chance to write more about my current cruise on board mv Discovery, I must report a pleasant surprise which greeted me when I opened the wine list.
There among the New World whites is the most excellent New Zealand Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc – and pleased don’t rush to tell me it’s over-rated and not what it used to be, it’s miles better than most of your French Sancerre and it’s very difficult to get hold of from British wine stores and supermarkets.
Here on Discovery it’s also very reasonably priced; at £28.50 it’s far cheaper than most restaurants and other cruise ships where I have found it. Apparently, it’s a favourite of Roger Allard, boss of All Leisure and Voyages of Discovery and I think it’s very generous of him to make some available for his passengers rather than keeping it all to himself.
Talking of wine, I was delighted to see the P&O house wines selected and blended by my mate Olly Smith have been recognised in the latest International Wine and Spirits competition.
The Porta Pala red won a silver medal and the Porta Palo Rose was awarded a bronze.
Olly, whose Glass House wine bar is a popular feature on board Azura, and who selects wines to go with the dishes cooked on TV’s Saturday Kitchen, blended the wines at the Settisoli vineyard in Sicily and they are stocked on all seven ships in the P&O fleet.
He says: “I’m so pleased and proud that these Porta Palo wines have won awards. I passionately believe that you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy good wine and my mission continues to be to share the best wines I can find.”
One of those is the Blind River Sauvignon Blanc on sale in the Glass House. I can vouch for the fact that it’s an acceptable substitute for Cloudy Bay.