Wine Spectator has awarded Aux Beaux Arts, French bistro situated in MGM Macau, a “Grand Award,” the highest level of recognition under the “Restaurant Wine list Awards” category for four consecutive years. Indeed, its comprehensive wine list and sophisticated menu pairing are impressive, but the bistro does not only cater to wine snobs. Mr. Stéphane Soret, Executive Director of Beverage of MGM Macau, makes it very clear that the restaurant has a collection of wine by the glass that offers superb quality with great value.
“Anyone who has been to Aux Beaux Arts knows that our wine list is like a dictionary. It is heavy and a bit intimidating, so what I have done is to select several labels of excellent quality and recommend them to our guests, so that anyone can enjoy a dining experience with wine,” he says.
Graduated in Nîmes, France, with a sommelier diploma, Stéphane Soret moved to London in 1989 for his first sommelier position at Ma Cuisine before heading to Paris, starting at Ledoyen and working his way upwards in hospitality while obtaining a hotel management degree at CMH-Paris. In 1994 Stéphane moved to the US, working for hotels and then becoming involved with the launch of Napa Valley’s Wine.com and at Vigneron Imports. 2005 saw Stéphane’s return to London as head sommelier for Mosimann’s. Since then he has been working in the Middle and Far East, previously as wine director at Raffles in Singapore and has been a Decanter Asia Wine Awards judge since 2013.
Sharing his expertise with us, he suggests that we first try a glass of champagne at Aux Beaux Arts, the Brut Réserve by Billecart-Salmon of Mareuil-Sur-Aÿ with the baked main lobster Mornay with garden salad. His trick is to serve the champagne in a white wine glass so that the aroma can be fully enjoyed.
“The meaty lobster is oily and rich with flavors of the sea. That is why we need some structure and power to go with that. A blend of Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay features weight, fruitiness, and elegance. You will find notes of peach, pear, and toast. It is a refreshing way to start a meal and matches beautifully with the lobster,” he explains.
A bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the Château Lion Beaulieu in Bordeaux, France is coming next with a steamed John Dory fillet on braised shellfish ragout with dill, potato and mushroom. White Bordeaux wines are mostly blends of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Subtle, clean, and crisp, it is best appreciated with dishes that are lightly seasoned.
After spending several hours with him, there is no doubt that Stéphane is fond of subtle, elegant, yet affordable wines. As diners, we are privileged to have an expert to recommend exclusive labels for us. Sophisticated diners are rare after all, and through educating the average diner, Stéphane is spreading the art of appreciating wine, which is itself a part of French joie de vivre.
The restaurant is open daily except Mondays. The weekend brunch us at 11am to 3pm. The weekend High Tea is from 3pm to 6pm. And the dinner from Tuesday to Sunday is 6pm to 12am.
Aux Beaux Arts at MGM Macau, Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, +853 8802 2319