Our Sommelier of the Month for July 2019 is Dina Hazane-Mbise from Hotel du Vin & Bistro, Stratford-upon-Avon. Dina has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with her response.
What is your industry background?
I started my journey in restaurant business with seasonal jobs in various locations around the world. Working in a fast-paced environment and juggling several tasks at once kept me focused and interested in the job. Combining great food and wine with a touch of finesse by using premium glassware from Riedel is a base of every well-run restaurant business. However, the biggest fascination for me was how exceptional service with attention to detail could create unforgettable experience for guests.
I soon realized that the beverage side of the business holds the biggest potential to enhance guests’ experience, so I began training as a sommelier at Hotel du Vin, founded by famous Gerard Basset (MS, OBE, MS, MW, MBA), whose career continue to inspire the next generation of sommeliers.
I also draw my inspiration from driven and ambitious female sommeliers who build successful careers in a highly male dominated sector.
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?
I like Riedel Amadeo decanter for its clean lines and exquisite shape. The Sommeliers Black Tie range adds extra finesse, especially in a white tablecloth restaurant setting. For me, the Riedel Mamba decanter has the most striking shape, and is perfect for serving an aged Bordeaux.
At Hotel due Vin we are proud to serve all our wine in Riedel glassware. Wines paired with our tasting menu dishes are served in Riedel varietal specific glasses. When presenting the wine, in addition to talking about wine and food pairing, I mention how the particular grape variety benefits from the shape of the glass it is served in. I see more appreciation for the wine from our guests and it adds another dimension to their dining experience.
What is your best experience in your role to date?
I was invited on a short trip to visit a Grand Cru champagne house in Aÿ. Our flight was delayed for several hours which meant we were late for our booking at a restaurant where we were to have the champagne dinner. Despite our very late arrival into town, the owner of the champagne house welcomed us warmly into his own estate and served a 5-course dinner accompanied by different vintages of his Grand Cru champagne brought straight from the cellars below, all served in beautiful Riedel Sommeliers vintage champagne flutes.
Sommeliers have so much influence on new Riedel users. How in your view should we portray the “Riedel effect” at the table/bar?
Sommeliers act as Ambassadors for Riedel. Visual effect of serving wine in Riedel glassware and decanters enhance guest experience. By serving wine in the varietal specific glasses we are able not only to give our guests taste enticing experiences we provide an understanding of the science behind the glass.