Name: Jacopo Focacci
At the moment: Spain
Independent Wine Consultant
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
We can say that I’m almost born into the wine world ! My family are the owner of a wine company in Italy, and wanting or not I have always been immersed in this world since childhood.
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 most important thing is the passion for what you do, the rest will follow. Certainly a good base of enology never hurts. You have to be curious and always go to discover new things every single day. No, I don’t admire anybody besides people that really love and have passion for what they do !
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?
This is a very personal thing and something pretty complicated.
The most important thing to do is to fix a personal target and after that try to achieve it.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
First of all try to enter in symbiosis with the customer and read his mind (this normally happens after years of experience in the industry)
Your goal is to satisfy the customer and even better if you surprise your customer with your wine advice. Try to understand their needs, and react based on that.
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?
Definitely each kind of wine belongs to his own glass . You definitely don’t want to serve a wine in a wrong glass.
There is many different brand with many different price as well… I always worked so far with Riedel but there is many more you can work with.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
Nowadays we can say that many “rules” have been broken.
Always try to keep your feet on the ground and try to be objective when choosing the appropriate wine. With the experience you can venture a little more.
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 markup?
The key ingredients to create a wine list are many, but the first and more important are : capital to invest and goals to be achieved with it !
My opinion regarding some ridiculous pricing on wine in restaurants is simple: there is some restaurant that build a “museum wine list” and other that build wine lists for selling them.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
Study, read, taste and exchange information with colleagues in the business !
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?
The most important thing is the quality of the wine and second the wine must match our needs .
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
Pinot Noir ( versatile, good for every occasion )
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?
A burgundy (red and white ), a Champagne and one Amarone
Santorini Vin Santo, Moscato di Pantelleria
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
Decanter, wine enthusiast, wine spectator, food & wine, wine & spirits
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com