Charles Beaini

How long have you been at the restaurant?

Since September 2018.

What attracted you to become a sommelier?

The vastness of the subject and the pleasures which derive from such a simple drink

Where did you do your training?

Working in restaurant, combined with WSET courses.

What would you say were the essential skills required to be a sommelier?

Persistence.

What wines complement your personal favourite three course meal and why?

Duck Leg, Black Pudding and Pistachio Terrine with Truffle Mayonnaise and Homemade Pickles with 2018 Loire ‘Rosetta’ Cabernet Franc Rosé | Pierre Menard.

Treacle Cured Fillet of Beef with Red Onion Marmalade, Mushroom Purée, Chips and Gherkin Ketchup ® with 2016 California Santa Barbara Syrah | Kunin

Peanut Butter and Caramelised White Chocolate ‘Paris-Brest’ with Salted Coffee Caramel with 2010 Greece Attica Savatiano | Georgas Family.

What are your thoughts on the “Red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat and fish” age-old debate?

It makes plenty of sense, but one should always consider guests’ preferences even if they are not ideal for pairing.

How does the choice of the right wines complement the different food courses served?

The interaction between flavours, acidity, body, weight creates the umami sensation.

What’s the best part of your job?

People, sharing, meeting and learning from all, may it be guests, colleagues, suppliers and winemakers.

And the worst?

Probably sounding candid, but I cannot think of any.

What is the unusual wine that you have ever tasted and why?

2014 Saperavi from the Pheasant Tears Winery in Georgia, dark, broody, irony and rich with earthy dark fruits.

What is the most money that you’ve ever seen spent on a single bottle?

£330 for a bottle of Chateau Latour 1970 I purchased through an auction.

How many wines do you have?

A good thirty sitting at home.

How often do you find that customers complain about wine being corked and – in your opinion – how often do you think that they are right?

Rarely, as it is part of a sommelier’s work to spot this kind of fault.

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