Name: Adrian Jipa
At the moment: Romania
Restaurant Manager / Sommelier – Sommelier of the year 2016 in Romania
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
My first contact with the hospitality industry was in 2006 when I have started to work in one of the best restaurants in Bucharest. There I have met Mr.Florin Voica, the man who guided my career. During the past years I have always been in contact with wines, producers, suppliers and so on but the things changed in 2015 when I decided to train for our national sommeliers contest.
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?
First you have to be a people’s person, then you need to be charismatic, optimistic and brave,
because it is not an easy job, perfectionist and you have to be able to sacrifice your private time for study. My models are Mr. President Florin Voica, for his entire career and for leadership and my childhood friend Alexandru Pastrav.
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 think that a young sommelier should look for a job first in his home country so that he would be able, after a few years, to work in another country.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
The key word is communication. Then you have to know what your customer is eating. After than you can make a few recommendation but at the end the customer should feel that the choice is his, not yours, that you only helped him to make that choice. Challenging !
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?
Old brand new brands, they are all making a very good job on supporting wines. For me all of them deserve congrats. I also think that every type of wine, or type of grape should be served in an appropriate glass so it can give the best experience.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
Start from what you like most – this is my advice. If you have a favourite food try to match it with your favourite wine, and see how it works, if it doesn’t works change. And wine should always be more than food, keep this in mind.
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?
A sommelier should always taste the wine before serving, to make shore that the wine is clean, sound, unfaulty, and to detect any eventual problem. After that he should offer a sample to his guests. And after that he should congratulate his guest for the choice.
Where would you suggest a young Sommelier start searching for Sommelier positions on the internet in your country?
On LinkedIn and on E-jobs ( the largest roumanian platform for recruiting ).
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 first ingredient is your food menu. Then you need to keep an eye on your guests preferences, on wine trends and the level of prices you want to keep on list. You need to be able to negotiate good prices with your suppliers so that you can have a good starting price. About markups, low cost wines should be charged 3 times, middle level wines 2 times and expensive wines 1 time or less.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
I have a daily routine on reading the latest news (on Decanter, Wine Folly, Vinul.ro, WSET, Court of Master Sommelier etc.) and 3 days per week with blind or comparative tasting.Together with my colleagues from Roumanian Sommeliers Association, each month we organize a meeting where we discuss about wines, producers, styles of wines, grapes, regions, latest updates and so on.
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?
Beside the fact that a new producer should have good quality wines they also need a strong marketing division.They have to participate on important wine exhibitions, wine fairs, and also the field work it is very important, to access top restaurants, wine shops and so on.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
I would be Cabernet Sauvignon for its strength and adaptability power, but from my home country, so I can prove our potential.
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?
Sparkling wine, Rich White, Light Red and my favourite dessert wine is Sherry Oloroso.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com