Our Sommelier of the month for January 2016 is Igor Sotric, Head Sommelier and the wine buyer at China Tang at The Dorchester. Igor has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
How did you get into the wine industry?
I came to the UK after finishing Microbiology school and started working in a wine shop at Earls Court, and after that I eventually moved into the restaurant industry after some time.
Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your restaurant?
We did use very expensive but not functional Czech Crystal wine glasses and we changed glassware as soon we got any opportunity.
We use 6 different Riedel glasses and it really makes a difference on the table whether customers decide to go for one or three bottles of wine.
What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?
As mentioned before, it gives us an opportunity to show all glassware and give the best possible experience you can get from wine and service.
Sometimes when we’ve got time with the early tables we do the Riedel game “GUESS VARIETAL FROM GLASS” and it’s usually very well received.
What’s been your greatest wine experience?
So many great experiences and so many great people in wine industry, and thanks to Riedel glasses some of the best experiences faded away…
But I would say that the best experience has been a trip to Australia and New Zealand for nearly two weeks. Thanks Liberty Wines…
What’s been the funniest wine moment in your career?
We get so many regular celebrities coming over and most of them are sort of part of China Tang. I guess one of my best experiences here has been with Johnny Depp whilst he was doing Pirates of the Caribbean.
He was a big name in 90-est Yugoslavia playing Guitar with one of the top R&R bands and playing big role in most famous director first US movies. As he picked up some of our juicy language expressions he got it so annoyed he has forgotten after some time, and when I told him where I am from he was going ballistic.
So having a glass of Haut-Brion and swearing to Johnny boy would probably top up few things I’ve done whilst in the wine Industry.
Some of them would be better kept private…
What’s been your biggest wine faux pas?
Serving a warm bottle of Champagne after getting tips to do it the proper way.