Best wines for a yacht charter as per wine connoisseur, Andrew Azzopardi.

Andrew is a certified wine connoisseur with over 8 years’ experience in supplying some of the finest wines imaginable to the largest mega yachts in Mallorca, Ibiza, Barcelona & Malta.

We had the pleasure to interview Andrew for his experienced knowledge on what wines are best for a yacht charter.

Which wines do you think every yacht charter should have on board?

Since yacht is synonymous with warm sunny days, it’s no surprise that the most popular wines are fun and fresh wines. Provence rosé wines have soared in popularity in recent times due to their great jump in quality. Their easy drinking, fruit forward style are a perfect accompaniment to light lunches including salads, fish and white meats such as chicken or pork. Unoaked wines such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is consistently requested due to its zingy flavour, whilst the French Sancerre, Chablis and Pouilly Fumé never go out of fashion.     

Good quality sparkling wine such as prosecco & cava are ideal as a light and fun Aperitivo with canapés, but Champagne still remains the ultimate celebratory pop and no charter is really complete without a couple of bottles of the ultimate sparkles.

For red wine drinkers we always recommend a light bodied New Zealand or burgundy Pinot Noir or Gamays to accompany lighter dishes. I also recommend chilling them slightly if served during the hot days. However, in the evenings a couple of the richer red wines such as the Bordeaux, Californian or Australian are always good pairings with BBQ or richer meat dishes.

However, my final suggestion would be to have a couple of wines from the region you are visiting. Often these wines are paired best with the local foods. If you’re cruising the Maltese islands, what better way than to wash down typical Maltese food with the local ‘Girgentina’ or experience the Balearic Islands whilst sipping the typically complex ‘Manto Negro’ from Mallorca?    

 

Would you recommend mature, or younger and fresh wines during charter?

I would typically recommend younger and fresher wines on board a yacht. Mature wines tend to have much sediment in the bottle that may unsettle in the bottle due to movement and ultimately spoil the whole experience. I’d rather suggest you save the special bottle from your birth year for another time.

However, those wines that need some time in the bottle before drinking such a Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscan and some Californian wines would be good to have a couple of years on them, otherwise they may be way austere and tough to drink if they’re too young. Generally speaking, these bottles would be best drunk around their 10thanniversary from the vintage.    

Most Rosé and white wines are meant to be drunk upon release, however, keep in mind that there are some quality white wines, often chardonnays, that would get better with some bottle age.

Considering most yachts are limited in space, where should we store our wines?

Understandably so, most yachts do not have infinite wine-storage space, and this can cause problems when storing some of the finer quality wines. I suggest avoiding damp, hot & noisy places with ample vibration at all costs – that means forget the engine room & bilges. Try and store the wines in the centre of the yacht where least movement takes place and find those areas that are dry, cool and free from any vibrations.

Bear in mind that wines seem to evolve at a much faster rate when stored on board yachts, therefore do not use the yacht as a typical storage for your wines but try to turn over the stock as quickly as possible. Best case scenario would be to stock the wines that will be drunk that season and then replenish before the next season. Of course, that’s not always possible, so it would be a good idea to mark which bottles are left over from the previous season so that they are drunk first next time round.     

If you are stuck with some expensive wines at the end of the season, you can also ask your provisioner/supplier if they would stock them for you and supply the boat when needed. That way the wines are being stored in the best conditions and not deteriorating at a faster rate than needed.

 

What’s the fastest way to chill the bottle of wine you forgot to put in the fridge?

One of the most frequent question I get asked.

My preferred method is to wrap the bottle in a soaked dish cloth and pop it into the freezer for around 15 minutes. That should get it cool enough to enjoy.

Once chilled, I recommend placing it in an ice bucket with loads of ice, water and salt to remain cool for a length of time even in warm weather.

 

Choose some wine from our Beverage packages

We have a large selection of good wines to choose from as recommended by Andrew Azzopardi. Choose a wine to go with your yacht charter.

 

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Photo credit: Our wine cellar No 12,Malta