How long have you been at the restaurant?
I started my wine career in UK in 2007 working as a wine advisor in an independent wine shop in North West London, following up by a move to Vinopolis working as wine guide. I moved to restaurants in 2010.
What attracted you to become a sommelier?
The variation in the business, the change from vintage to vintage and the new advance wine making technology. There is always something to learn.
Where did you do your training?
I finished BA (Hons) in Viticulture in Bulgaria, followed up by WSET Advance level in London and then a lot of traveling to different wine regions.
What would you say were the essential skills required to be a sommelier?
Listen to the customers, see what their needs are and do your best to meet them. Be a team player and have a great passion for your job.
What wines compliment your personal favourite three course meal and why?
It depends on a food, environment and the company.
What are your thoughts on the “Red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat and fish” age-old debate?
There are different styles of wine that can be matched with different foods. For example you can have a fatty fish with a elegant low tannic Pinot Noir or a white meat with a rich white wine like Viognier, Chardonnay or Riesling.
I believe it is important to find the wine that the guest enjoys regardless of the food.
How does the choice of the right wines complement the different food courses served?
The right wine helps make a full dining experience. If you manage to find the best match it is an explosion of flavours and adds to the full enjoyment of the meal.
What’s the best part of your job?
Meeting people, sharing wine knowledge, traveling and exploring.
And the worst?
Stock take and paper work.
What is the unusual wine that you have ever tasted and why?
Egyptian Cabernet Sauvignon.
What is the most money that you’ve ever seen spent on a single bottle?
£4.200 for a bottle of Chateau Latour 1977 on my first week as a Sommelier, my hand was shaking.
How many wines do you have?
150 bins in the restaurant and stock holding of over 200,000.
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?
It is not that often as we taste it first and serve only good wines, however if the customer is unsure we will change it, as they are always right.