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  • Gaia Serafini – ITA / UK – Head Sommelière(current)

Name: Gaia Serafini –

Gaia Serafini

Nationality: Italian –

At the moment: UK  – London

Head Sommelière

Prerequisite:

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

My first encounter with wine was at school, at the age of 16, I was studying how the wine is made and then suddenly I said ‘I’m gonna start to do sommelier courses’ and here I am!
I didn’t have a particular mentor, just a lot of passion!

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 for me has to be humble, has to listen to what guests want and give them an experience, the best experience ever!
I admire a few people from the industry especially one of my closest friends, Sara from trinity!

What would be your advice to a young Sommelier(e). How to find a good position at home or abroad? Any further tips?

I always recommend to young passionate somm to go abroad, in this case as I’m from Italy I always suggest London for example,
 it is one of the best places where you can learn, there are so many good sommeliers around
And also again, be humble, learn, study, taste and be passionate and patience, that’s the key!

Active:

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

I always ask them what they usually like, and from there I start the conversation. Most of the time, I always try to recommend them something new, similar to the style that they would like but a small grower (as I love small producers!) and an indigenous grape variety to let them discover a new wine, for me, this is very important and makes the difference

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?

I used to work a lot with Zalto and Mark Thomas.
I think glasses are very very important, I prefer a small and not well-known brand, like MT

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

I always like, when I do the wine pairing, that the wine has to accompany the dish and enhance the food. I usually don’t say the reason why I paired the wine and the dish, I like the guest to try and after we discuss, sometimes I love to do it blind too, makes more fun out of it!

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

I think yes, it is very important to make sure that the wine is in good condition!

 

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Wine list:

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?

For me, the wine list has to have a personality first of all, personally I think is very important to work with different countries, not well-known grapes, wine regions, something different and new

How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?

Read a lot of newspapers, and magazines, speaking with other sommeliers

How would a new vineyard get their wine noticed and what is the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?

I really think that is important to be more focused and respectful towards the vines. Quality wines, for me, are about this, small productions, well-made wines and respect for the soil

Favourite pick:

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

That’s a tricky question! Perhaps I would say one of my favourite grape, Chenin blanc!

Vibrant and fresh!

Which top 3 types of wine (your faves would we find in your home wine collection and what’s your desert island wine?

Savagnin and Chardonnay from Jura

Poulsard and Trousseau from Jura

(I love jura)

And Garganega, from where I’m from!

 

Ciao Gaia Serafini

*****

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

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