Our Sommelier of the Month for August 2018 is Shiva Gautam, the owner of Montys of Kathmandu in Dublin Ireland. Shiva has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
What is your industry background?
I am a Civil Engineer by qualification and in 1997, along with my wife, Lina, we opened the very first Nepalese Restaurant in Ireland called Montys of Kathmandu. I had some experience of the hospitality industry, having worked part-time during my studies and really enjoyed it. I decided to take the plunge and change career. We moved to Ireland to open the restaurant and the rest is history.
Recently, we opened a wine room in the restaurant for fine wines only and here we only use Riedel Varietal glassware, matching a glass with the wine. We use combination of the Veritas and the XL range.
Assuming you enjoy using Riedel glassware, do you have a favourite glass or decanter?
I love the Veritas range from Riedel because it’s so light and fine. The wine seems to come alive when drunk from these glasses. My favourite glass has to be the Oaked Chardonnay, the wine is totally transformed and opens up all the aromas and flavour profiles. As for the Decanter, the Mamba! It makes a statement. To look at it is a work of art but also great for aeration of the wine.
What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in the different varietal specific glasses?
One of great surprise as they cannot believe the difference the shape of the glassware makes to the wine.
What is your best experience in your role to date?
Without a doubt, the Champagne Academy course in Champagne run by the 16 Grand Marque houses. The days were long but I learnt a lot about food pairings, different styles of each house etc. We drank 105 different champagnes in the week.
What is your favourite food and wine match and which Riedel glass would you use to serve?
At Montys of Kathmandu, we do lot of Dinner Wine evenings and by far my favourite food pairing is Bandel Tareko (barbecued Pork finished off in the pan with our own spice blend) served with Nepalese Potato Salad paired with Joseph Drouhin, Chambolle-Musigny Amoureuses, served in the Veritas Old World Pinot Noir glass.
How in your view should we portray the “Riedel effect” at the table/bar?
Education is the simple answer. Especially by demonstrating with different glassware. It isn’t enough to tell people how incredible it is, it is only by letting them experience the difference will they buy into the philosophy of matching glassware with grape variety. We already do that in our fine wine room in Montys of Kathmandu.