Ms. Miriam Francisca Alfonso Sosa – Cuba / Chile (Sommeliere)

May 5, 2018

Name: Miriam Francisca Alfonso Sosa

Miriam Francisca Alfonso Sosa

Nationality: Cuban

At the moment: Chile



Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry?

Any particular mentors at that time? My first encounter was in the university studying biochemistry of food but Really I began to meet it when I arrived to tourism industry then I realized that to know a lot about wine It could be a door for my job as professional of the services.

The Cuban Club Sommelier and the Winemakers that visited Cuba were my mentors.

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?  

It´s necessary to love aromas, to love the combination food and beverages, to taste a lot. It s important to know everything about services in the Restaurant, to be Waiter, or Maitre gave me more possibilities for training as Sommelier, by the way to study a lot and the practice every day is the best way. I admire to Rene Garcia, Yamir Pellegrino and Andrea Balzani professors and sommeliers that have all qualities and experience.

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?

To be honest, to be reserved, to wear correctly, to hear any opinion about wine between mentor or professor . To participate in different kind events, or marriage dinner as a customer, to take a lot of personal tasting experience, each day to read something about wine.


When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?

First to show the wine list, our silent seller but at the same time It’s necessary to observe the customer for helping it. To ask about styles preferences (white, rose, red or sparkling) then to think about marriage it depend what kind of food ask

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 think that the wine Glass offer should be variety in prices and in styles. To have different brands by glass with different prices from different countries, and different grapes is very important in a good list of wines. From a light or easy to drink wine until a glass of a Premium wine.

What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?

I prefer to think in the complexity of the food, I advise that The light food is coming well with whites, rose, or young red wines, then by the way  If the food is complex I suggest another kind of wines. From the sea, from the earth we have to much offer, but To each food we have a wine or a different situation.

Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?

It’s possible, You should have the responsibility about every wine that you serve, then if it is necessary to leave the doubt, a glass for tasting should be in the car of the service, Now It is the customer that ask the wine who decide to drink or not, when our service begin at the table.

Where would you suggest a young Sommelier start searching for Sommelier positions on the internet in your country?

In my country. I think that the career of Sommelier is step by step, as a doctor, then the opportunities is coming true like this.

Wine list:

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 kind of food decide about our selection for preparing a list of wines, also the services that you want to offer.

In my opinion the gradual prices instead of  be high should be balanced . For example a cheaper wine always have a low price but it’s necessary to have a good relationship with the others, medium or expensive wines. To sell all wines of the list is the principal objective. To balance about categories is the key. Those lowest prices give us more profits than Those most expensive can have a reasonable price.

How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry? Well It was not easy, because I’m woman but If you see each opportunity as a challenge You can keep your position or to change the job for better it.

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 producers should keep the quality and to show that wine to the market for making marketing about what is, what have to show, using tasting with experts, and sommeliers

Favourite pick:

If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?

I would like to be a Pinot Noir, to be the principal red in Champagnes, elegant, fruity, sometimes complex, special for persons that love wines, with a good family.

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 Tignanello Antinori , Chablis Louis Latour, A Mas la Plana Cabernet Torres.

For desert island wines something fresh like a Spatlese Riesling, or Sparkling Rose Wines like Pinot Noir from Champagne or Cava in penedes.

Miriam Francisca Alfonso Sosa

@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions –

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