How did it happen that you became a sommelier?
I am a sommelier thanks to my passion for culinary arts. First, I got an education in food technologies but then I decided that the profession of sommelier suits me better. Is there a thing you enjoy the most in your work? In my workdays, most of all I enjoy communication with the guests of the restaurant. The right selection of wine is half of work — you need to feel the vibe. Wine is an ‘emotional’ drink and you can strengthen, dull or redirect these emotions. That’s why it’s very important to understand people and read them well.
Often people say that red wine matches meat and white — fish. Is it indeed the best combination or everything isn’t that simple?
The combination “red wine — meat, white wine — fish” is universal and suitable for rookies. However, you can swap places as well, because meat can be not only red but also white – like rabbit or chicken. In fact, I am a big fan of enogastronomy [art of choosing wine that is the most suitable for the dish]. Higher education in culinary and food technologies as well as being a sommelier makes my imagination tingle when it comes to finding a suitable wine.
What wine do you personally prefer the most?
For me, wine is a drink of emotions, that’s why I don’t have a favorite. It all depends on my feelings at the moment or what I want to feel. If I spend time with my friends, I prefer light red wines like Pinot Noir and on weekends I would rather have rich, meditative wines.
Are there any tips for the non-professionals who want to choose a good wine for their meal?
There are many factors that can help to find a decent wine, for instance, ratings from wine magazines or critics, price etc. But all of these factors are individual because in the end, it’s all about whether you like this or that wine or not. I associate this with the process of growing up. This is a way of self-discovery through the prism of flavors and emotions.
Photo sources: Victor Tsoy, Fratelli restaurant. All images belong to their rightful authors.