Name: Kent D. Sigerstróm
At the moment: Denmark
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
Already back in the last year of my school time, I was fascinated by the wine’s ability to bring people together, and I spent a lot of energy to read and learn as much as possible, but at the professional level, it first took real form when I started as are apprenti as a waiter.
With regard to mentor I remember a woman named Annette, as a shining star from the time, she spent a lot of her time both on and off the job, to teach me all aspects of the wine.
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?
In terms of skills, there is the obvious which is good sense of smell, taste and the memory of those details from previous encounters. But probably most importantly, the ability to see beyond your own preferences, and guide the guest to their liking.
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?
My advice to a young sommelier is not particularly complex, more how I got started, and still practicing, read some books, and then read some more and some more, while you taste a lot of wine, learn the classic grape and regions taste and style, and then build some more less known areas and grapes on, including a blind wine every now and then.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
The way I usually go about it too, find out what are the guest preferences, what do they appreciate, and then guides out from that (f. eks. let’s say the guest order Tournedos Rossini and love Burgundy, a proposal of Pomerol is probably not a success, are Barolo could be the way, has a lot of similar elegant features, lots of fruit and the intensity required) find something of their liking, while still matching the food.
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?
The shape of the glass is insanely important, I spend a lot of time searching for the best glass for different wines. We use the most classic producers Luigi Bormioli, Riedel and Spiegelau but if we find a new and unknown brand who make fantastic glass, we will they them out. In our Restaurant choose approximately 95% of our guests a wine menu so the wines we use, we have tastes in different glasses, so we find the glass that represents the wine best.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
Here is are book too very little help, only to basic understanding (f.eks the book perhaps says a given wine matches let’s just take tournedos again, this will probably be cooked medium, but if the guest wants it well done, now it is the sudden a whole new wine will have to use). Here it is the process of taste come into, get tested things together. Although the compositions seem out of line in your head, maybe it works in the mouth.
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?
first will be to look at what style is the kitchen, what kind of wine would match the food style. And then what can your vouch for, There’s no point in putting wines on which you and the restaurant can vouch for.What type of clientele is coming, it is a vibrant brasserie, is a wine list filled with DRC, Bernard van Berg and big Bordeaux, for most part not the way.
There will always be restaurants which calculations that wine out at prices, where you can only shake your head, but when that it is said, there are now so many rare wines on the markets, and restaurants will often get them at a good price, and the same wine maybe never get in retail, only on action at very high prices,and here it should not be cheaper to buy them at a restaurant. (f.eks. as Masseto 2005 came out, I calculated it out as I used to, and it just come on the wine list, before I had a guy who would buy all the cases we had, as it was cheaper, than he could get the in retail)
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
There is only one way to be updated, and once again we are back to reading the books, magazines and the Internet. As well as taste, taste, taste.
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?
Now I live in Denmark, and let’s say it is a winery in Luxembourg or Bulgaria, the direct approach is to contact us, and that is sadly a extremely rare sight, so it will be to get their importers to make their case.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
If I were to be a grape, I would no doubt like to be Riesling. A grape that can play in all keys and do it to perfection, from the dry stringent petroleum scented Alsace wine over the fresh clean spiced with light sweetness in Rheinhessen to the concentrated botrytis sweet in Mosel.
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 three favorite wines will be Blanc de Blanc Champagne, Great Bordeaux from the Medoc and well stored Alsace Riesling.
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
Many of the websites I use are in Danish, so less exciting for the crowd, but have always been fond of Wine Spectator.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com