Our Sommelier of the month for August 2015 is Derek Scaife, Head Sommelier at The Chester Grosvenor. Derek has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
How did you get into the Wine Industry?
At 38 year old I started at a local pub as a waiter part time to put my son through university, at first it was quite daunting but after a while I started to enjoy the job, after that I moved to a good fish restaurant, and there started to answer questions from Guests about wine, and from there my interest grew, as I started to read books on wine.
Why do you enjoy using Riedel Glassware within your restaurant?
I believe Riedel with the reputation for quality reflect on the restaurant. When serving with different grapes it enhances the specific qualities of the wine been served.
What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?
I find it is a fascinating part of the job to help guests experience the different nuances of wine when served in glassware specific to the wine been served, and a real pleasure to discuss with the guests there thoughts, for example when using a Chardonnay glass how many guests believe it is a red glass, it makes a very interesting conversation at the table about the science of glassware to the correct wine.
What’s been your biggest wine Faux Pas?
Although nothing specific, the everyday challenges of working in the hospitality industry makes it a very challenging career.
What’s been the funniest wine moment in your career?
While opening a bottle of expensive champagne on a busy Saturday night the pressure in the bottle pushed the bottle out of my hand and travelled a good way down a full restaurant on a Saturday Night much to the amusement of Guests and colleagues.