Name: Peter Kaiser-Ladinig –
Nationality: Austrian –
At the moment: Austria
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
I was 15 when I start my education to become a professional cook & waiter. Our Maitre showed me how to work with wine. My teacher at the gastronomy academy educated me more about wine too. So I fell in love with wine. Both of them saw my passion for wine and educated me more and more, and they motivated me to do more and more.
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?
A Sommelier should be open to all the different tastes from this world. It is important to taste everything you can take. You have to remember all of the food and beverages you have ever taste and use this knowledge later on again. A Sommelier should also have a feeling of how to sell wine and food to customers. Sommeliers don’t sell only wine, a Sommelier has to sell “good feelings”.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
You should be asking yourself what do you want to do with the wine? Do you want it for a nice evening with your friends in the lounge, or do you want it for a special dinner with your family? Is the wine the main part of an evening, or do you want good food-wine-pairing?
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 am not a fan of big brands. I prefer young company’s because they have more focus on the glass and not only on marketing and sales.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
You should know about your personal culinary idea. Is it a light summer lunch or a tasteful winter dinner? When you know that then you know also which wine goes well with the food.
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?
I prefer to taste the wine before serving it to the guest.
Where would you suggest a young Sommelier start searching for Sommelier positions in your country?
I think that it is important that you can identify yourself with the restaurant or hotel. When you do not feel comfortable with the style of the kitchen or the restaurant, you will be not able to do a good job.
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?
A good wine list doesn’t have to be big. It is better to have a small wine list, but with some specials. Take care that the wines go well with the food. When a Sommelier calculates the wine list he has to know what type of restaurant it is. You can charge a little bit more in a fine-dining restaurant but not in a normal restaurant.
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
You should read books and blogs. In the age of social media, it is easy to talk with other persons like Sommeliers, Journalists, Wineries and other producers. It is also helpful to be in various sommelier associations or other wine associations. There they offer a lot of workshops.
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?
A young vineyard should be having their own style, something special. I know that it is hard to start a business, but when you work with other Sommeliers, the winery can build up their business to work with restaurants and wine shops.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
Montrachet! That’s one of my favourite wine types. A heavy Chardonnay out from the barrique. But not a young, better around 10 years old.
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?
Chardonnay, Blaufränkisch and Pinot Noir are my favourites. My desert island wine? Grüner Veltliner Stockkultur 2013, winery Neumeister, Poysdorf in lower Austria.
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
I don’t have any magazines or platforms which I prefer; I try to take a look at many different magazines.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – www.sommelier-jobs.com