Name: Miroslav Radojčin
At the moment: Serbia
Founder – Serbian Sommelier Association & Sommelier Academy
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
My first encounter with wine was during Hotel and Tourism school 1987 – 1988. After school I was working as a waiter and I was always ‘’in love with wine’’ . My first Sommelier job I got on Cruise ship Crystal Harmony, who was the most luxurious cruise ship on seven seas. My first Mentor and Head Sommelier was a Danish guy Jan Sorensen.
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?
Professional Sommelier must have professional manners: knowledge, passion, positive attitude, excellent salesman and wine-tasting senses and of course to know how to listen. I had practice with many Master Sommeliers during ‘’Food & wine festival’’.
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?
The most important is that in the beginning working in the team with experienced Sommeliers with a lot of studying and practicing.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
This is very important thing. First, Sommelier should listen guest very carefully and building positive relationship with your guest.
Listen their taste and giving them two – three solutions. Always asking leading questions to get short answer from the guest. Always congratulate to the guest for great 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?
I’m not dying for especially expensive and famous glasses. I always prefer a perfect match between glass and wine, including food & water.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
Wine should follow the food order, but sometime ( in last few years very often ) guests are coming to the restaurant for wine experience as a first . Always listen a guests and if they like a wine which has not match the food dish, Sommelier job is to present and serve wine with pleasure. Guest should drink what they want, that is only rule.
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?
Only if the guest are not sure or if they ask Sommelier to taste. Many restaurant has that as a service rule and probably in future will be a standard in all restaurants.
Where would you suggest a young Sommelier start searching for Sommelier positions on the internet in your country?
Try to find a restaurant with Sommelier with experience to learn a lot and of course if you need training or advice , go to www.sommelier-jobs.com
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?
The Wine list is image of the restaurant. It is a balance between the types of restaurants and guest structures we create. Each Wine list represent individual ‘’Terroir’’ of the restaurant. Professional wine list should have all stiles of wine and of course wines with different prices. Guests must to have solutions. In Wine list always must be a wines important for region. Of course, Wine list must have expensive wines too !
To sell popular and prestige wine is nothing magic for good Sommelier, guests choose them by themselves.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
Wine is live product. Sommeliers and wines are growing together, if we give ourselves to the wine, wine will show itself everything we expect. Changes are good, that’s why we have the best job on the World.
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 like to taste a new wine. I’m traveling a lot and to share a new experience with colleagues is always a pleasure. I always listed a wine who is my ‘’Terroir’’ need.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
Let’s put this as a joke:
- If I like to stay dressed – Pinot Noir;
- If I like with no clothes – Sangiovese ;
- If I like to be ‘’cool’’ – Pinot Blanc
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?
- Trijumf Aleksandrovic Selection ( Serbian white Sauvignon blanc );
- Penfolds Grange 2012 ( just got it );
- Torres Mas La Plana 2006
On Island of course I have Cigar too, that means LBV Port
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
Wine Spectator and Decanter.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com