New on Wine List Confidential: The Providores

The Providores is probably home to the finest source for New Zealand wines in London, with head wine buyer Melanie Brown working hard to bring exciting new varieties, regions and producers to the table to accompany food from one of the trailblazers of “fusion” food in the UK.

Inspired by the “breathtaking diversity” New Zealand offers, Brown cites the “Godfather” of fusion cuisine and holder of the title, Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the food industry, Peter Gordon as her hero.

Of the owner and mind behind The Providores and Tapa Room in Marylebone, and The Sugar Club, Auckland, she recalls how he “took me under his wing, allowing me to join his fold as a pastry chef, then encouraged me to explore my love of wine, and when the decision came to move Providores to an entirely Kiwi offering (except Champagne and Port, for obvious reasons) he was hugely supportive in allowing me to look after the selection process of the list. I quickly studied my WSET and I guess the rest is history.”

Brown notes New Zealand produces just 1% of the world’s wine. “We are so fortunate to represent one of the most prestigious and carefully managed New Zealand wine lists outside of New Zealand, and our commitment to showcasing stories and wines is what inspires us daily, and if we can encourage more lovely London folk to get involved, we believe we are doing our job!”

Brown’s list opens with a map of New Zealand’s wine regions followed by clear regional definitions and articulate tasting notes. Expect Central Otago Brut, Akura by the 150ml glass, as well as lucent Pinot Noir by New Zealand cinematographer, Michael Seresin. By the bottle, you may encounter fragrant Awirau Viogner (Staete Landt), Wooing Tree’ Blondie – a Blanc de Noirs from Crowmell, as well as Hawke’s Bay Malbec from Gimblett Gravels, a range of sweeties, such as late harvest Muller-Thurgau from Wairarapa (Schubert), and, away from alcohol, but still speaking of flavour defined by geography, organic New Zealand tea (Zealong).

Confident dishes could include the miso-baked aubergine with pine nuts, dates, feta, crispy buckwheat and tahini yoghurt from Gordon’s latest (eighth) cookbook, Savour – Salads for all Seasons, as well as laksa of smoked Dutch eel with coconut, tamarind, green tea noodles, girolles and soft boiled quail egg, and Harissa spiced Dingley Dell pork belly with lentils, mashed potatoes, miso pickled shimeji and a crispy wonton, followed by apple and Medjool date samosa for pudding, with pep talk of the berry world, goji berries, crystallised hazelnuts, and garam masala ice cream.

To see the WLC position and scores for this review click here

Wine List Confidential, brought to you by the drinks business, is the first platform to rank London’s restaurants on the strength of their wine list alone, providing a comprehensive guide to the best restaurants in the capital for wine lovers.

Restaurants are graded on a 100-point scale based on five criteria: size, value, service, range and originality. For a full guide to London’s best wine lists visit

the drinks business published the inaugural 2017 Wine List Confidential: One to Sixty-One guide last year. We are currently working on a new 2018 edition and are busy re-reviewing top-scoring restaurants and adding new entries to the database. Check back later in the year for final scoring and position of restaurants. 

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