Our Sommelier of the month for October 2017 is Ross Morton, Head Sommelier at Peel’s Restaurant/Hampton Manor. Ross has very kindly answered a selection of questions which are below along with his response.
How did you get into the wine industry?
I started off bartending working in various pubs and Cocktail bars and when I came to be Head bartender at peel’s it was a natural progression to get into wine, where I became Assistant Sommelier to Danielle Carr who went onto Carters of Mosley, I completed my WSET’s then became Head Sommelier working very closely with Sam Olive who runs Wine Freedom a Birmingham based natural wine supplier, He has a lot of industry experience and is a fantastic guide and help in taking the wine list in a direction of my own.
Why do you enjoy using Riedel glassware within your restaurant? What reaction do you get from customers when you serve their wines in different varietal specific glasses?
When looking for a range of glassware to use in the restaurant I was immediately drawn to the Veritas range, it was both elegant and practical and fantastic varietal specific shapes. I personally enjoy the expressions of the wine that are magnified by using the right glass with the appropriate wine.
Guests also love the glassware finding it a joy to drink from and matching with the environment of our restaurant, I have many comments about having a range of glasses that fit perfectly next to each other but being very different and varied for a wine flight.
What’s been your greatest wine experience?
Within my role here and others within the restaurant, we are encouraged to tell stories and show the story we have built here. I have a big passion for wine that tells a story; so family run, small producers that have a love of their land are essential. Every time a guest asks questions on a wine flight relating to organic or biodynamic principals it is fantastic because they are showing an interest in something that we all feel strongly about when it comes to wine making. One guest very recently was extremely interested in these stories, I have relayed them onto some minimal intervention wines that they have ordered to have at home.
I also, loved visiting Nyetimber down in Sussex, such a modern take on a very historical estate producing fantastic English Sparkling.
What is your favourite food and wine match and which Riedel glass would you use to serve?
My favorite wine match is LDN CRU Baker’s Street Baccus with Heritage Tomatoes, Burrata and Elderflower. Served in Riedel Veritas Sauvignon Blanc Glass. Fresh and distinctively English summer flavours.