Sommelier of the Month (UK): Alexandre Freguin

October's Sommelier of the Month

Sommelier of the Month (UK): Alexandre Freguin

Our Sommelier of the Month for October 2018 is Alexandre Freguin, Head Sommelier at Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms (2 Michelin Stars Aughton Lancashire).

Our Sommelier of the Month for October 2018 is Alexandre Freguin, Head Sommelier at Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms (2 Michelin Stars Aughton Lancashire).

Alexandre has this year been crowned the Taittinger UK Sommelier of the Year Award, which is a great achievement and something to be very proud of. The UK Sommelier of the Year competition awards, now in its 39th year, are recognised by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI) and seek to find the best wine waiter or sommelier based on their wine and spirits knowledge and front of house beverage skills.

As a part of being our Sommelier of the Month, Alexandre has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.

What is your industry background?

Everything started in my home region Provence, around the age of 18 years old, while I was studying law, I started to spend some time in a modest but friendly winery. I loved my time there and from this I started to work in a traditional restaurant and loved the industry even more. So much so that I quit law and entered a hospitality school. At the time I was an apprentice in a Michelin star restaurant, named Pierre Reboul, in my home town Aix en Provence. It is really in this restaurant that my passion grew as I admired my Chef and Sommelier combining some incredible dishes and wines together. It was magical!

After two years I moved to Lyon for a period of 3 years where I took my first Head Sommelier position in a Michelin Star La Cour des Loges, another challenging but incredible experience.

I decided to move to England and went as a sommelier to the two Michelin star restaurant L’Enclume in the Lake District. Great people and amazing food, all this combined with a beautiful wine list.

After a year I decided to move back to France and took two positions as Head Sommelier, first in a two Michelin star in Corsica Casadelmar then Jean Sulpice in Haute Savoie.

In 2016, I returned to the UK to start working alongside Mark Birchall at Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms - where we just got awarded our second Michelin Star in 2018.

Assuming that you enjoy using Riedel glassware, do you have a favourite glass or decanter, and what reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in the different varietal specific glasses?

I love the Old World Syrah glass from the Riedel Veritas range, actually I love the Veritas range as a whole as I feel that it puts the wine under the spotlight.

Our guests are really curious to know why we use different shapes of glasses. We can open a great conversation with them. As I always say, usually you don’t wear the same shoes to work as you do when you go to the gym! That’s the same for wine; an appropriate glass for an appropriate wine will highlight both, giving you a more enjoyable experience.

What is your best experience in your role to date?

It’s so hard to choose, I’m lucky to see and travel to so many different places and share some wine with so many great people. Last year my time spent with Jason Ligas in Macedonia was incredible, it was everything that I love about wine. But sharing a glass of wine with a producer like Primoz Lavrencic and his family last summer in Slovenia is priceless. One of the greatest wine moments for me was after the UK Sommelier of the Year Awards, July 2018, where one of my closest friends organised such a celebration in Lyon where everything I like about wine was reunited! The most memorable wine experiences are the ones made with no other thought than generosity and friendship.

What is your favourite food and wine match and which Riedel glass would you use to serve?

When it comes to pairing and talking about Jason Ligas in Greece I enjoy serving his Xinomavro on our Holstein Friesian beef tartare dish! I love the intensity of those two together. This is all what I believe in wine… honest and loyal wines representative of their origins.

RIEDEL Amadeo Dekanter