Name: Rasmus Lunkov Marquart
At the moment: Denmark
Currently: Head Sommelier / Manager & Wine Consultant @ Vinothek Marquart
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
I have been very lucky and privileged to have a family who is very enthusiastic about wine. In a very young aged I visited some of the most famous wineries in the world, and seen many of the best wine regions. Before even tasted the wines I had a connection to the world of wine, which just develop more and more over the years.
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 is very important to have a professional approach to wine and the industry. Listen to your guests demand and which wine they are looking for. Study, study and study, learn something new every day, and keep on exploring. Be open minded when tasting. I have been working and training close with Christian Jacobsen (6th best sommelier in the World 2016), which is a pleasure to be challenged and part of the preparations for the big tournaments.
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?
Be aware of your own skills. If you don’t have much experience, then make sure the position you take is one where you have good mentors, who will teach and train with you. It is never easy to move to new countries and places, but you will be seeing a different angle of the industry. I wish I started earlier by working abroad.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
I will always guide myself into the palate of the guests, by finding out preferences of wines. I find it very important to read the guests minds of which level of wine we are looking for, so you are not making a fool out of the guests by either suggest something too expensive or too cheap for them. It will also always depend on the food choosing, the pairing is a very important and can make a great wine better in the right match, however it can also be worse in the wrong match. I am telling myself, that it is the guests who should enjoy the wine and not me.
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?
You have to have the glasses that matching the wine you are drinking. Like many other areas there is a reason behind the different glasses. You get a better enjoyment with the perfectly paired glassware. You do not need to have 20 different glasses, but at least have so you can cover the most important grapes. Personally I prefer Riedel glasses, they are wonderful glasses and with excellent quality.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
The flavor profile of the dish and the pairing wine, learn about the acidity, sweetness, bitterness, salty, texture, and fat in food and which elements you need in the wine for that. Study the origins of the dishes, the origin can also be a big help when pairing. An other help is to matching by the colors, specially when it comes to dessert, and sweet wines.
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?
I would definitely say yes. To ensure the wine is up to its standards, and no mistake on the wine. This gives a point and fresh palate of the sommelier to interact with the guest of how the wine is.
Where would you suggest a young Sommelier start searching for Sommelier positions on the internet in your country?
There are many portals for jobs, unfortunately none is specialized in our field of work. If you are looking for a job in Copenhagen, I would suggest you to do research of restaurants you would like to work in, and contact them for open positions.
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?
Get some good offers with your supplier, for example make a agreement on a certain wine that you will pour by the glass for a while and get a good price on that wine. It can help you to lower the price on other slow moving wines. I think it is important to create a list that is balance to the market. Good and rare wines are expensive, but do not list them for a price that you can’t sell the wine for. Have a list that can approach any guest at any time.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
By reading, studying, training and tasting. There is always something new to try and learn. Follow other sommeliers on social medias. Visit weekly the big online wine magazines and read what is happening.
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 wine should have a personality, it should not try to be something that it isn’t. I like producers who are true to himself and the product they are making, and of course it has to be good juice.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
I would probably go for something like Grenache, which have some freshness as a Pinot, but is not as famous
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?
Bollinger (all kinds of), red burgundy (from village to grand cru), Eben Sadie wines. I would probably bring a whole lot of Bollinger’s with me.
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
Guildsomm.com is a must have for all sommeliers. I like the hard copies of Decanter and Wine Spectator.
Rasmus Lunkov Marquart
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommelier-jobs.com