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Le Petit Bar Earns Wine Spectator Recognition

Business 03 Jul, 2023 Follow News

Wine Director and Co-Owner Christian Esser in Le Petit Bar.

Le Petit Bar opened last November in the Jacques Scott Marketplace plaza next to the Foster’s Republix supermarket.

The space might be small as its name suggests, but Le Petit Bar punches way above its square footage when it comes to its wine list. Now this little wine bar in the Jacques Scott Marketplace plaza in West Bay is getting heavy-weight recognition overseas.

On Monday, 26 June, Wine Spectator magazine announced its 2023 recipients of it coveted “Restaurant Awards.” Le Petit Bar earned the “Award of Excellence” and joined nine other Grand Cayman-based restaurants to receive Wine Spectator recognition for their wine lists.

In addition to more than 200 selections on its wine list, Le Petit Bar also has one of the most extensive wines-by-the-glass menus on Grand Cayman. Co-owner Shalico Christian said offering a large selection of wines by the glass is a key component of the Le Petit Bar business model.

“Having been involved in Cayman’s hospitality industry for more than a decade, I was keenly aware of the lack of affordable and varied wine-by-the-glass programmes here,” he said. “Most of the restaurants and bars in Cayman only offer small selections of wines by the glass and they’re usually mass-produced wines that aren’t particularly interesting. Here at Le Petit Bar, we offer more than 30 different wines by the glass at various price points made from a wide variety of grapes from countries all over the world.”

Le Petit Bar wine director and co-owner Christian Esser said he takes pride in selecting a wide range of interesting, high-quality wines.

“We have been open for only a little more than half a year, but our sister business, WineSchool3, has to offer a wide variety of wines for our students to taste,” he said. “As a result of all the relationships we’ve developed to do that, we have been able to quickly curate a compelling list of more than 220 wines from all over the world for Le Petit Bar.”

WineSchool3, which opened in 2014, is the only educational organisation in the Cayman Islands that offers certificates related to wine knowledge through the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust. It uses Le Petit Bar as its “classroom” on Mondays and Tuesdays, the two days of the week when the bar is closed to other patrons.

Earning the Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards was not the only international recognition Le Petit Bar received recently. In the “Where to drink fine wines in the Caribbean” that appeared in The Times on 15 June, journalist Nina Caplan wrote about Le Petit Bar, mentioning both Esser and Christian. She particularly noted Le Petit Bar’s wine-by-the-glass selection.

“It’s an informal hangout with rum barrels for stools and a by-the-glass list ranging from white Burgundy to Cabernet Sauvignon made in Margaret River, Western Australia,” she wrote.

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