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  • Mr. Hans Stoll – Austria – Sommelier / Wine Educator / Writer(current)

Name: Mr. Hans Stoll

Nationality: Austria –

At the moment: Austria

Sommelier / Wine Educator / Writer

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Requirement:

Please tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Were there any particular mentors at that time?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had my first encounter with wine at a very young age, in the dining room of my parents’ inn. Later I did my gastronomic training in a top restaurant and immediately came into contact with wine very intensively. The knowledge of wine fascinated me immediately and I questioned a lot of things back then. After my years of travel at home and abroad, we founded the sommelier association in my state (Upper Austria). Consequently, I trained as a certified sommelier. One of my mentors was Reinhold Paukner and of course Egon Mark.

What specific qualities or skills should a sommelier(s) possess to perform professionally, and is there a person with these qualities that you particularly admire in the wine industry?

A sommelier must always be at eye level with the guest. Don’t overwhelm them with your own expertise. A top sommelier has all three basic skills: professional skills, social skills, and personal skills. The sommelier is a consultant and never a teacher! Unfortunately, the opposite is sometimes the case in restaurants.

What would you advise a young sommelier(s), i.e. commis sommelier(s), where he should find an adequate position in Austria or abroad? Any other tips?

I would strongly advise working in establishments that are known for their wine selection, as well as providing high-quality wine service. This applies to domestic companies as well as to top companies worldwide. In addition, you should definitely do an internship in a winery. You learn everything about wine from the ground up, sometimes from the other side.

Active:

When a customer asks for advice on choosing wine, what do you think is the best approach?

First of all, ask which wines he likes to enjoy at home and with friends. Then you immediately have an idea of ​​the quality and price level at which the customer is moving. In addition, a conclusion can be drawn as to which type of wine is not preferred. If the guest is open to new things, then we would be happy to make a corresponding recommendation. Very important: never forcefully recommend a wine that the sommelier prefers. Unfortunately, as already mentioned, this happens again and again!

What is your philosophy regarding glasses? Do you work with well-known brands or are you also thinking about new brands and how do you define them?

The market is full of a huge selection of top glasses. New products are constantly coming onto the market and for economic reasons, there is no other choice but to choose a brand. These should be thin. But also functional. Polishing for hours is no longer possible, this personnel capacity no longer has a company today. The selection is sufficient with a white wine glass, red wine glass, sparkling wine glass (yes, no more champagne flutes) and possibly a glass for sweet wines.

What advice would you give people to pair wine with food?

This topic is probably the premier class for every sommelier. First of all, you need your own basic knowledge to find the right combination for these complex possibilities. And above all, it is essential to constantly combine new things and, above all, to be open. The old rules of assigning light and dark meat to the respective wine color are long gone. Wine, if present, must primarily go with the sauce, because this is the most flavor-intensive component of a meal. It would go beyond any scope here to go into more detail and at the end of the recommendation: it has to satisfy the guest and not the sommelier.

Should a sommelier taste the guest’s wine?

The same applies here: yes – but you should definitely coordinate this with the guest, whether this is also wanted and you can then explain the wine in more detail in terms of the taste profile in short sentences. And again: explain and not educate. If the wine tasted by the guest himself has a fault in his opinion, then this must be exchanged without discussion. Never then get a glass and discuss whether the wine is faulty or not. It’s always about the use of goods and not about a conflict discussion!

Where would you suggest a young sommelier search the internet for sommelier positions in your country?

A motivated young sommelier won’t need the internet, he can choose jobs one after the other.

 

LOOKING FOR SOMMELIER JOBS HAVE A LOOK AT www.sommelier-jobs.com

 

Wine list:

What are the most important ingredients for creating a wine list for a restaurant and what is your opinion on some ridiculous prices for wine in restaurants, any tips on how to determine markups?

A wine list must correspond to the group of guests and the style of the house and may of course be peppered with a few products that do not necessarily only appeal to label drinkers. A Renner/Bumper analysis is very helpful. The calculations are sometimes very adventurous and often incomprehensible.

How do you manage to keep up to date with changes in the wine industry?

The most important thing is to be constantly on the go to and with winegrowers. Constant contact with the most diverse companies replaces months of studying. Trade fairs, various wine events and specialist magazines are also very helpful. In addition, it is a “must” for a sommelier to be a member of a sommelier association.

How do you manage to keep up to date with changes in the wine industry?

The most important thing is to be constantly on the go to and with winegrowers. Constant contact with the most diverse companies replaces months of studying. Trade fairs, various wine events and specialist magazines are also very helpful. In addition, it is a “must” for a sommelier to be a member of a sommelier association.

How would a new wine producer get the attention of someone like you to get their wine noticed, and what’s the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?

Send samples, submit to our tastings and wine sows and you’ll reach a large group of wine lovers. We see that again and again, the great media echo that comes when the wines appear among the top 10. And this type of advertising is the most favorable for the winemaker. It only costs 12 bottles of wine. Each advertisement costs a multiple and has hardly any echo.

Favorite Pick:

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

At the moment I would probably be a Roter Veltliner, of which unfortunately there is not enough to make a big impression on the market.

What are the top 3 types of wine (your favorites) that we would find in your home wine collection and what is your wine on a desert island?

Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Blaufränkisch

On the lonely island, I would probably have a magnum of a cool vintage G from Albert Gesellmann for the cool evenings and a Bründlmayer Brut for the hot sunset, then you need a double magnum.

Any interesting suggestions on magazines or online platforms?

Wine Spectator, Decanter, Vinum, The Sommelier, and of course my blogs and columns…

*****

regards,

Hans

@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – www.sommelier-jobs.com

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