BAA ATOLL, RREPUBLIC OF MALDIVES - At Vakkaru Maldives, oenophiles will find there’s no better place to toast the start of 2021 than in Vakkaru Reserve. Fresh from winning a major accolade from the American magazine Wine Spectator, with a new head sommelier in place and showcasing a number of fresh new initiatives, the resort’s wine cellar will be a focal point for special wine and dine experiences throughout the year.
Originally from Argentina and a mixologist and sommelier who has worked at luxury hotels and fine dining restaurants worldwide, Vakkaru Maldives’ new Head Sommelier Lucas Girod will have overall responsibility for the cellar’s $500,000 collection. Extending to 520 labels, it runs from old world to new world wines, and features rare vintages such as 1974 and 1985 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 2002 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, 2002 Krug Clos du Mesnil and 2009 Louis Roederer Cristal Rose, alongside1990 Sassicala, 2002 Chateau d’Yquem and Tiganello vintages running from 2006 to 2014.
It was the diversity and sophistication of the collection that prompted Wine Spectator to extend its Best of Award of Excellence to Vakkaru Reserve in the magazine’s most recent Restaurant Awards. The awards recognise the achievements of nearly 3,800 restaurants across 80 countries and territories, with the coveted Best of Award of Excellence designations specifically celebrating venues “for serious wine lovers, that show a deep commitment to wine, both in the cellar and th ough their service team”. In what is one of the most comprehensive global surveys of its kind, Vakkaru is one of only 10 resorts in the Maldives and 1,387 venues internationally to hold the honour. This is the first year Vakkaru Reserve joined this prestigious list, making it one of only two resorts in the Maldives and 139 new entries to be elevated to that position within the last year.
The award is the latest affirmation of the ambitious steps being taken by Vakkaru to build one of the Indian Ocean’s most unique and notable wine cellars and guests keen to experience what makes the Reserve so special will find a number of new experiences. Under Girod’s stewardship, Wine Tasting in the Sea sessions will invite guests to dip enjoy a relaxed, barefoot outdoor tasting immersed in the beauty of the resort’s lagoon. More uniquely Maldivian memories can be made during intimate tasting sessions on a sandbank, where intriguing wines will be juxtaposed with the calm beauty of the Indian Ocean. For true wine connoisseurs, Top Wines of the World tastings will see Girod introduce premier crus from Bordeaux & Burgundy and a selection of Brunellos and Barolos alongside a range of top new world vintages, all to be served with fine cheeses and premium cold cuts. Those launches will complement the indulgent experiences already offered at Vakkaru Reserve, where the resort’s best wines are left tantalisingly on display. The wine cellar accommodates up to 10 guests at its indoor seating area for intimate dinners. Encased by palm trees and beautifully illuminated by candlelight as darkness falls, the outdoor dining table seats eight and is a popular meeting place for friends who want to sample Vakkaru Reserve’s cigar collection alongside its wines.
Whether enjoyed inside or out, decadent dinners at Vakkaru Reserve might feature Maldivian lobster terrine to start, and a mains of fillet mignon and foie gras with honey mustard vegetables accompanied by a flight of champagne and different styles of wines. Should guests simply want to drop in to casually sample whatever might take their fancy, that too can be arranged.
Speaking about his new position, Lucas Girod said: “It’s incredibly exciting to join Vakkaru Maldives, where the resort’s $500,000 investment in exceptional international wines and the recent Wine Spectator award show just how seriously the team takes the pleasures of eating and drinking. This is one of the finest wine collections to be found in the Indian Ocean and I’m looking forward to sharing it in new and creative ways with all those who come to visit us."
General Manager of Vakkaru Maldives, Iain McCormack said: “We are delighted to welcome Lucas Girod as Vakkaru Maldives’ Head Sommelier. Offering superlative drinking and dining experiences has always been a priority for all of us here, and it is a passion that he shares. We look forward to giving Vakkaru Reserve guests plenty of reason to cheer good times and good fortune over the months to come.”