Name: Edmund Liew –
At the moment: Finland
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Did you have any particular mentors?
I started to be more actively involved in the wine business in 2006 in a wine bar called Vintry (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) after graduating in Toulouse, France. The owner at that time was a diploma in WSET holder name Wong Yin How, which was my mentor and have been guiding me since then.
What specific traits or skills should a Sommelier(e) possess for professional performance and is there any person with those qualities you especially admire within the wine industry?
personality and attentiveness is the key to being a sommelier.
What would be your advice to a young Sommelier(e)? How to find a good position at home or abroad? Any further tips?
WSET is a very good source to study or self-study. group of friends is also a key to more efficient learning.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what, in your opinion, would be the best approach?
when approaching a new customer, past history records of drinking is important, also small information like a particular region, grapes, would help.
What is your philosophy about glasses? Are you working with well-known brands or are you considering new brands as well? How do you decide?’
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
contrast is the key
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?
yes, with approval from the host
What are the key ingredients for creating a wine list for a restaurant and what is your opinion on pricing wine in restaurants, do you have tips on how to determine markups?
a range that is suits the price point of each class of diners is essential, classic regions are important while interesting to explore has to be within. markups differs from one wine to another, running horse vs library wines has to be well differentiated.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
visit wine exhibition yearly
How would a new vineyard get their wine noticed and what is the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?
comparison with classic wines
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
Chenin blanc, because of its versatility and a character that is closer to the notes of Asian palate.
Which top 3 types of wine (your faves would we find in your home wine collection and what’s your desert island wine?
Jura – savagnin (vin jaune)
Jura/Burgundy – pinot noir
Slovenia – vitovska
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platforms?
Decanter, drinks business
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – www.sommelier-jobs.com