Name: Georgi Mihov
At the moment: Bulgaria
Head Sommelier / Wine Aficionado / Wine Consultant
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
Being Bulgarian I grow up only with Bulgarian wines as there was no import of any other until year 2001!! Most important drink at those times was Rakia – grape spirit similar to Marc or Grappa taken as an aperitif and wine was left behind. This is why bottle of Macon Blanc is what was my turning point. I was wondering “what is that grape Macon”??. Then bought a book and jumped into wine universe!
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?
Sommelier should be team player as restaurant works as team. Next most important is personality, confidence, tact as they are on every table presenting their wines and they have to grab attention and manage to make a rapport with guests. I don’t have any particular person as Sommelier role is individual and every has his point yet I would say I admire Sommelier with vast knowledge as with wine there is a lot to be learned
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?
It depends on home country yet working in wine country is always helpful as wine regions, especially the famous ones are “must visit” for any Sommelier.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
Firstly Sommelier should know his wines, then he/she should ask for any favorite wine or wine that customer feels like want to drink. Then Sommelier should offer similar wines to those of customer. I say wines as there must be a choice.
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?
Glasses are like fancy cars. If we have chances we drive such a car if not we drive normal cars and reach the point. As far as glass shape is proper and quality is good I am not after Brands even I personally prefer new unknown brands with same quality as famous ones
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
To people I would say to read about pairing, experiment what is to their likeness and finally to follow their own matches.
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?
Wine list depend very much on philosophy of the restaurant yet it my opinion is that it has to have some famous, icon wines and new unknown interesting wines, also there have to be wines with excellent QPR. I am from supporters of ridiculous prices and my philosophy is that if there are people ready to pay the wine must be there at that price, yet this is for some particular wines. There must be balance in pricing, entry wines should be with high markups and going up, mark ups should be lower.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
I read, taste and travel when possible.
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?
I can talk from my own experience with my brand Someno – Special tastings for sommeliers and critics, active use of social media and professional sommeliers blogs and web places, sending samples for tasting and evaluating to world known critics, locally and internationally. All the above should be used to present identity and advantages of any given wine. Not just saying how good is wine and how many points it has.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
I have no favorite wine or grape and all depend on mood, situation, place this is why I would say that I was a grape would be just unique grape and all the rest depends.
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?
I will use 3 words to my faves types of wines – oak, petrol and leather. On my desert island I am tempted for many wines yet I would go for one wine – Someno Buket 2011, this is one of my wines and I have taken part in making it, giving all my experience, emotions and wine philosophy.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com
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4020 Linz, Austria