Name: Khazan Singh Bisht
Nationality: India/New Delhi Area
At the moment: Maldives
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
I have started my career as a Butler in taj palace hotels & Resorts new Delhi by Tata group of hotels India, in that job I had never tasted wines but after a year I got the chance to work under an Italian wine Sommelier (David Zubani) as a trainee and then I started learning and tasting wines and under him i learned a lot and he was my mentor who guided me in my life to become a sommelier.
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?
Selling wine is an art and it depends on your interest, so To be a good Sommelier, one should have good knowledge of wines, he should be a good communicator and very friendly to make good relations with their customer. Sommelier should understand the need of the customer what customer really likes and it makes a big difference when you suggest something which makes your guest amaze and they really feel wow for your suggestion.
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?
I will advice to a young Sommelier to practice more, learn more practically and try to do more wine tastings, work hard on your wine knowledge and more you experience more you learn so don’t leave the chance to learn and taste wine. Enjoy wine and learn from that . if you got chance to visit wine countries and learn don’t leave that chance like France, Italy, Spain, Germany and new world wine countries..
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
Whenever a customer asks for advice we need to ask specific Questions. What kind of wine customers want? Red wine, white wine, Rose wine and Champagne? if they want to pair their food with the wine? Or few guest they have their choices for the style of wine, light bodied , medium bodied or full bodied some time few guests like dry and few likes fruity wines? So you need to take care always while suggesting wines.
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?
Yes definitely if I will get nice elegant glasses in reasonable price even if it is a new brand I will use in my restaurant. But I always prefer nice, appealing and elegant glasses for the wine. I am using riedel and spiegelau wine glasses for our different restaurants.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?Wine and food pairing Is a science, I will advice to have full bodied wines with meats and light wine with the light food but always consider side dishes and accompaniments while pairing wine and food. it makes a big difference while food and wine pairing
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?
Market research is a main factor which wines are really influencing the present market.
A good wine list should be a good combination of
- Old and new world wines
- Menu engineering
- Combination of grape varieties
- Low and high range of wines
- Easy to understand
- Enough choices of wines by the glass
- Wines should be easy to pair with restaurant food
As I am hotelier so I know that we have consider so many things while doing pricing and its all about the costing what a restaurant spend to get those particular wines to their restaurants like freight charges and other taxes by the government.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?To walk with the present wine industry you need to check what’s going in the wine market and you need to keep changing your wine list and you need to get the new labels which are really doing well in the wine market and even to be a good sommelier you need to make your guest experience something new always and to make them discover something new which they appreciate like always.
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?
For new vineyards they need to visit booming market places and organize wine tastings to promote their wines, invite sommeliers from around the hotels & resorts. Send your wines for wine competitions. They should have a better market strategy and experienced people to start and definitely a good product which can really hit the market so that people appreciate their wines.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
If I would be a wine, I would like to become a torrontes from Argentina which is really light and floral white wine you can drink any time before meal while having chat with friends or watching movie. U can enjoy anytime.
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? My 3 choices will be:
A nice chardonnay from burgundy like a nice puligny montrachet which will be balanced in acidity and fruit.
A nice red wine from Bordeaux like 1993 chateau pontet- canet which nice medium bodied fruity red wine with notes of leather , mushroom oak, dry and soft on palate with a nice long fruity finish.
A nice rose which is light and fruity like scalabrone rosato guado al tasso by antinori, Tuscany Italy.
My desert island wine will be a nice rose scalabrone by guado al tasso antinori winery, really nice dry and fruity rose that you can enjoy sip by sip in a dry sunny island..
Khazan Singh Bisht
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com