At the moment: South Africa
Currently: Sommelier/Wine Consultant
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
During my hotel management studies.
What specific traits or skills should a Sommelier(e) possess for professional performance and is there any person with that qualities you especially admire within the wine industry?
The ability to listen to your senses, to communicate your senses, translating your knowledge to a language guests can relate to.
What would be your advice to a young Sommelier(e) i.e. Commis Sommelier(e) where to look finding an adequate position at home or abroad? Any further tips?
travel, travel, travel – the more you travel the more exposure you get to different cuisine, different wine (cultures).
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
Find out what the gusts likes and dislike and pic within this spectrum
What’s your philosophy about glasses? Are you working with well known brands or are you considering new brands as well and how do you determine?
One should not over dramatise this issue. I am happy as long the glass offers enough volume for the wine to develop and suits restaurant and table set up / culture.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
Stick to the basics and you will not go wrong. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here… Consider strongly the wine type(s) appealing to your guests. Do not force them to drink (the style) what they don’t like – even if this compromises the ‘perfect match’
What are the key ingredients for creating a wine list for a restaurant and what is your opinion on some ridiculous pricing on wine in restaurants, do you have tips on how to determine markups?
complexity and variety with regards to regions and pricing. It will have to suit the environment (cuisine, guest culture, price segment etc). Don’t draw up a wine list to win awards. Overpricing is usually done when someone does not want to sell a wine but rather keeping it on the list for awards reasons – does happen very often here in SA. Absolute ridicules!
re mark ups: lower cost for high end wines
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry? Living in the midst of a wine region makes it difficult not to stay on top… stay focused!
How would a new vineyard get the attention of someone like you to notice their wine and what’s the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?
Value – vineyard philosophy – does it reflect its origin.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
Nebbiolo – power and elegance!
What are the top 3 types of wine (your faves) would we find in your home wine collection and what’s your desert island wine?
Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
no – but do not pay too much attention to the self proclaimed wine (specialist) writer.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com