Our Sommelier of the month for May 2017 is Pierre-Marie Faure, Head Sommelier at Celeste at The Lanesborough. Pierre-Marie has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
How did you get into the wine industry?
When I was a boy, my grandfather had a small piece of land where St Emilion grapes were planted. Every year, we had a big family day for the harvest. The grapes where use to produced must for Pineau des Charentes. I remember every smell and every sound of that time. As a teenager I started Hospitality school and wine came to me easily, and books after books, bottles after bottles, I became a Sommelier.
Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your restaurant?
Everyday, I am impressed by the finesse and the elegancy of Riedel Glassware. We are lucky enough to use the Riedel Veritas Range in the hotel, this grape varietal specific range makes every wines an experience. I personally use the Riesling shape to Blind taste, I’ve found that it’s been a very good companion for many years now.
What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?
Our guests are always very impressed by the finesses of the core or the leg of the glass.
What’s been your greatest wine experience?
My greatest wine experience is Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Clos Saint-Jacque Domaine Rousseau 1999. The happy wedding of sensuality and powerfulness from the terroir.
What’s been the funniest wine moment in your career?
I ordered some Magnums of Chassagne-Montrachet from one of my supplier in Dublin. One of our most regular guests came to the restaurant and ordered 2 for is party. I opened the magnum in a little bit of rush so I just checked the cork. I poured the wine in the guest glasses, and… the wine was Red. I apologized but then was able to laugh after with the guest.
What’s been your biggest wine faux pas?
When I was a young Head Sommelier, a guest ordered a bottle of Alter Ego and I forgot to tell him that it was our last. This night their business did not go so well. The guest ordered a second bottle, I apologized and told him that it was our last bottle. This annoyed the guest and he told me to find something else similar. The guest was really rude, so I thought it was a good idea to play with him by doing a blind taste with a Barolo Mosconi from Conterno, however the guest did not appreciate the choice and made me know about it. Since then I have never forgot to say to a guest that it was my last bottle.