Our Sommelier of the month for December 2017 is Manuel Ribeiro, Sommelier at The Manor House Hotel. Manuel has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
How did you get into the wine industry?
Every year in September my family would help my grandfather with the small production of wine. I always enjoyed helping with the harvest, winemaking and especially tasting. I started working in hospitality on my spare time, on school holidays, and realised that was the path for me.
I started hospitality school and went all the way to F&B Manager but got bored and decided to choose the beverage side of the studies and I’ve never looked back.
Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your hotel/restaurant?
Riedel glassware has a fantastic range of shapes and sizes that allows me to showcase the qualities and flavours of each type of wine. It also helps me enhance the guest’s experience.
What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?
Guests really love the different glasses and often ask why I’ve chose a specific glass, what for me is always a pleasure to explain is the Riedel philosophy on how the different glass shapes enhance the particularities of each grape.
What’s been your biggest ‘wine’ faux pas?
Recommending a great wine using extensive information on the vineyard, producer and flavours of it and how it would work phenomenally with their dish, only to find out that the wine was sold out.
What’s been the funniest ‘wine’ moment in your career?
After doing a presentation on how to open a sparkling wine bottle with a saber for the staff, the hotel receptionist recommended to a guest that I could open their own champagne bottle that same way. In a busy dinner time I couldn’t refuse and end up opening the bottle without checking the bottle and, as I did it, it exploded on me! Champagne was dripping from my hair. Fortunately, no guest was injured, just my pride!
What’s your favourite wine that you are currently serving?
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 2000