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Hector Ross on Wine Trends

By Harper's Wine and Spirit

Hector Ross, Operating Officer, Bel & The Dragon:

Sur Mesure Label Success

Wine proved a category-beating area of growth for the seven-strong, southern England-based dining inns masterminded by entrepreneur Joel Cadbury. “Over the past four years, wine sales by volume declined slightly on average, however sales by the ‘£’ increased every year,” says Ross.
Pre-dinner, Ross sells a mix of Sipsmith gin and tonics (Cadbury was an early investor in the brand), local ales and Laurent-Perrier Champagnes. “Post dunner, it is all about our signature Expresso Martinis!”
Ross sees a significant year-on-year rise in wines sold by the glass. “This gives us the opportunity to make great wines affordable and seasonal. We are proud to offer iconic wines at competitive restaurant prices, such as Reserve de la Comtesse (£14/125ml), Chateau Gruaud-Larose (£15/125ml) and Chateau Chasse-Spleen (£13/125ml) all from the 2005 vintage.”
In house terms, Ross masterminded an aesthetic upgrade, whereby guests, issues with, and served from magnums, only pay for what they drink. “Everything on our menu earns its place. And in terms of price, we multiply by 1.5 times, not four, so guests get more for their money.”
Although Argentinean Malbec leads the charge on best-selling reds, Ross is pleased with the performance of own-label red and white Burgundies “from the legend that is Olivier Leflaive.” According to Cadbury, Damien Hirst designed the label. The red is named after Leflaives daughter, Margot.

Reviewed 3rd April 2018

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