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Quay’s Benchmark pairing is a celebration of local and international wines that have set the standard for quality and prestige throughout the world. The ultimate wine indulgence for Peter Gilmore’s superb nature based cuisine, the new pairing will run alongside Quay’s ten course menu.

To celebrate this new indulgent menu option we sat down with Quay’s head sommelier Shanteh Wong, a finalist for sommelier of the year in the Good Food Guide 2020 Awards and creator of this beautiful new beverage selection.

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you navigated the industry to become head sommelier at Quay?

I worked part time in hospitality to see myself through University and then travelled overseas choosing restaurants that specialized in fine wine. I kept coming across Pete’s first Quay cookbook and decided to return home with the goal to work on Quay’s wine team. I have worked my way up to my position over the years and took the role as Head Sommelier in 2018.

You were recently nominated for the Len Evans Tutorial. Can you tell us a little about what this prestigious program involves and how you came to be nominated?

The Len Evans Tutorial is arguably the most prestigious wine scholarship in the world, application is through a selection process carried out by a panel of both industry and foundation representatives.

Over a five-day period, the 12 selected scholars for the Tutorial are exposed to the great wines of the world, young and old. There are blind tastings each morning of 30 varietal wines, from up to five countries and spanning up to 30 years.

There are also Masterclass sessions each afternoon, focusing on recent vintages of the greatest wines of France, Italy, Spain and Germany. These Masterclasses are conducted by the tutors, who take the scholars through the finer points of their topic, be it Burgundy, Bordeaux or Riesling.

The one continuous feature of these forums is great quality, which comes to a crescendo on the final morning when the six red Burgundies of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are presented blind. Here each scholar has to identify the vintage, and the six Appellation Controlees from which they respectively come.

How does the new Benchmark pairing differ from the other wine pairings available at Quay?

A selection of local and international wines, these are prestigious wines that grace collector’s cellars and reside on bucket lists.

What are some of the notable wines that will feature in the new pairing?

A few wines that I am excited to feature are:

MV Krug Grand Cuvée 166ème Édition Reims, France
2005 Henschke Julius Riesling, Eden Valley
1968 Pereira D’Oliveira Boal Frasqueira, Madeira, Portugal

What inspired you to showcase wines of such prestige?

I am fortunate enough to have access to great wines on a daily basis, and believe me, I count my blessings! There are some wines that stop you in your tracks and create moments and impressions that can last a lifetime. I want to be able to give my guests access to those moments without the commitment to buying a single bottle.

Which wine and menu match excites you the most? 

The 2012 Terroir Al Límit Les Manyes Garnatxa, Priorat, Catalunya served with the Smoked pork jowl with black lipped abalone, fan shell razor clams and shitake mushroom will be a show stopper.

For more information on our ten course menu and our wine pairing offerings, click here.

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