Gastro Pubs Uncork a New Secret Weapon


As Adelaide’s gastro pubs compete with some of the city’s top restaurants on menu items and food quality, diners are seeking the same experience when it comes to being guided through the wine list.

The Highway, awarded SA’s Best Hotel in 2012 and owned by leading hotel group, The Palmer Hospitality Group is where you’ll find James Parham. James is The Highway’s Bistro manager and now one of the only qualified Sommeliers on the Adelaide pub scene.

According to The Highway’s General Manager, Simon Adami, South Australians have a mature palate when it comes to wine and it needs to be recognized and appreciated.

“Gone are the days of guests ordering house wine with their schnitzel, our menu gives some of Adelaide’s top restaurants a run for their money and guests expect a wine list to compliment it” said Mr Adami.

“We all have our favourite wines but the missing piece was someone with the knowledge to guide guests through the wine list to find something that will suit their palate and the meal they’ve ordered.

“To meet this growing demand, Bistro Manager, James undertook the huge task of achieving certification from the internationally recognised Court of Master Sommeliers,” continued Mr Adami.

James Parham, Bistro Manager and Sommelier, has witnessed the evolution of South Australian diners’ palates and describes Adelaide diners as ‘pioneers’ when it comes to experiencing new wines and varietals.

“Globalisation means more wines than ever before are available these days. Diners used to select from a Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Chardonnay and maybe a Riesling. Now people want more variety in the wine list; Pinot Noirs, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese  and Tempranillo to name a few.” Said Mr Parham.

“Diners want to know everything; the varietal, the region, climate and winemaking method. They want to know the flavor profile, mouthfeel, acid balance, and tannin structure (in red wine). Being able to provide this information to guests adds value to their dining experience and allows them to experience something they might not have tried otherwise,” concluded Mr Parham.


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