Holland America Line Debuts ‘James Suckling’s Guide to Great Wines’ List with an Intricate Collection of Top Rated Wines
Holland America Line is debuting a sophisticated new wine list created in collaboration with James Suckling, the premium cruise line’s wine curator and one of the world’s most acclaimed wine critics.
“James Suckling’s Guide to Great Wines” will be available fleetwide by early spring.
Designed to help a wine novice make a selection that pleases their palate, the list presents wine aficionados with a range of cellar-worthy gems. All of the “JS 90+” wines by the glass and all of the bottle options were hand-selected by Suckling and consistently received a rating of at least a 90, which is “outstanding” on his 100-point rating scale. The list also features wines by the glass that are Holland America Line favorites and some of the most popular wines at sea.
“As we crafted our new wine list with James, our goal was to make it accessible for everyone, no matter their wine knowledge, but we also wanted it to have a selection that was unmatched anywhere at sea,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The idea behind having such an exceptional collection on board is to give our guests the opportunity to try wines they might not know, experiment with different types of wines, and, for those who are new to wine, ease into it with guidance from one of the foremost experts in the world. James’ wine list is like having him at the table helping choose the perfect wine just for you.”
The exclusive list features a diverse range of champagnes, rosés, reds and whites, chosen by Suckling to perfectly pair with any meal or occasion. In addition to the Dining Room, guests will find the list as part of an expanded wine menu in Canaletto, Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind and Rudi’s Sel de Mer, specialty dining venues featured on Holland America Line ships.
“James Suckling’s Guide to Great Wines” is organized by categories to enhance the guest wine drinking experience, such as Light Conversation, Mealtime Favorites and James’s Rock Star Wines, instead of traditional ways such as provenance, vintage or price. Suckling provides further guidance with wines listed in categories such as “easy, fun and delicious,” “thoughtful, reflective and rich,” “versatile with any food,” “fresh, light and fruity,” “medium body, balanced and focused” and “bold, flavorful and characterful.”
“I created the wine list to be fun and experiential for guests on Holland American Line,” says Suckling, who rated more than 22,000 wines last year with his team at JamesSuckling.com and more than 200,000 wines in his three-decade career as a wine critic.
The list features selections at all price points, and the James’s Rock Star Wines section offers 21 of the best wines in the world, all having received at least 94 points, considered at the upper level of “outstanding” and “truly great” (95 and above). Guests looking to experience an elite collection that received a perfect 100 points from Suckling can indulge in a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut frm Champagne, France; Vega Sicilia Unico from Ribera del Duero, Spain; Seña Red Blend Biodynamic from Aconcagua, Chile; and Chateau d’Yquem from Sauternes, France.
About James Suckling
Suckling began his wine critic career in 1981 as an assistant editor for Wine Spectator magazine. Four years later he moved to Paris, France, to establish Wine Spectator’s European bureau. This put him at the center of European wine production and cemented his relationships with thousands of vintners, as well as contributed to his expanding knowledge of wines throughout the continent. In total, Suckling spent nearly 30 years as senior editor and European bureau chief of Wine Spectator and as European editor of Cigar Aficionado.
In 2010 Suckling launched JamesSuckling.com, a site that evolved from seeing a need for wine information to be communicated in a more modern way. Suckling and his team of critics rate about 22,000 wines a year, and Suckling estimates that he’s tasted close to 200,000 wines in his career. For more information, visit JamesSuckling.com or find him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WeChat.