Our Sommelier of the Month for October 2019 is Tamas Czinki from Northcote Manor. Tamas has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
What is your industry background?
I`ve been working in the industry for 13 years. When I started, I wanted to the see the different aspects of hospitality, so I worked in a small family owned restaurant, a huge 5-star hotel and on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. As my interest in wine grew, I decided to move to the UK where I could improve my wine knowledge and tasting skills, and I’m now currently working on my Master Sommelier Diploma.
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?
At home I often use Riedel Vinum Riesling glasses which I feel are very versatile. I love using the Riedel Amadeo decanter because it’s very easy to handle, keep clean and has a smart appearance.
The difference that varietal specific glassware offers is enormous. In the restaurant it is hard to stock all the varietal specific glassware, but if you have a favourite grape varietal of wine that you enjoy regularly home, I would highly recommend purchasing a varietal specific glass for it.
What is your best experience in your role to date?
I always enjoy creating food and wine pairings. Our customers get the full experience if they have wines paired with each dish during their meal. It is interesting how easy it is to convert non-wine drinkers into wine lovers if you offer them the correct wine to try with their dishes. This is the best feedback that Sommeliers can have. One of my most memorable experiences in a restaurant was a vanilla parfait with olive oil and hazelnut paired with a demi sec Franciacorta. It happened a while ago, but I doubt I will ever forget it.
Sommeliers have so much influence on new Riedel users. How in your view should we portray the “Riedel effect” at the table/bar?
I think it is hard to portray an experience. I would encourage other Sommeliers to educate customers by showing them the same wine in different glassware, to help them really understand the difference that the correct glass makes.