Aberdeen’s Grape & Grain has been named best bar in Scotland for its wine selection.
The upmarket wine bar, which opened on the city’s Thistle Street in September, was announced winner of the Best Wine Selection category at the Gala Final of the Molson Coors Scottish Entertainment and Hospitality Awards held at Glasgow’s Merchant Square.
Almost 200 finalists from across Scotland were shortlisted across 10 categories which recognise outstanding venues in the hospitality sector. The shortlist was drawn up from more than 5000 business following voting by the general public. More than 125,000 votes were received with the highest placed being selected as finalists. The final decision was made following an independent judging process which saw a panel of adjudicators visit each venue to rate it on selection, service, ambiance and appearance.
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Jeanette Forbes, proprietor of Grape & Grain, said she was shocked when the result was announced.
“We were up against very stiff competition from well-known and well-established bars from across the country. As a newcomer we were delighted that we had been shortlisted among such prestigious company, but we never expected to win, just to compete as a finalist was an achievement.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for us – we would not have made it as a finalist without their support. We then went through a very rigorous judging session with the adjudicators who make the final selection. We were informed after the award presentation that we had gained full marks with not a single point deducted on the critique which I was told is almost unheard of. I have a fantastic team at Grape & Grain and the award recognises the contribution they all make to its success.”
Grape & Grain carries an extensive wine selection with more than 90 wines, supplied exclusively to the bar by the award-winning Berkmann Wine Cellars. Employees at Grape & Grain undergo regular training sessions with a representative from Berkmann to increase their knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the wines served so that they can advise customers on wine choice.
Grape & Grain has enjoyed a whirlwind journey since opening less than a year ago. Earlier this year it was nominated as one of Scotland’s most stylish bars in the Scottish Style Awards and named as one of the 25 most fabulously fashionable places to be seen in Scotland by The Herald.
It is also in the running for two other awards this month, Bar of the Year in Business Women Scotland’s Hospitality and Tourism Awards and the British Institute of Innkeeping Scotland’s New Operator Award.
Jeanette, a well-known city businesswomen and CEO of PCL Group, created Grape & Grain in response to being told at the start of the oil and gas downturn that the only way to survive would be through diversification.