Pairings | Sommelier
A new regular feature on the site to give you a chance to play sommelier and practise your matchmaking skills. Here’s how it works:
On the floor the lights are low, the customers are munching away on their Dover soles and their duck breasts, the musak is playing gently in the background.
You might think an establishment run by the world’s best sommelier would be intimidating. After all if anyone knows what wine to choose and the right way to serve it it would be Gerard Basset, who scooped the title back in April (right). But happily Basset is a modest man who puts the comfort of his customers above any desire to flaunt his credentials.
One of the aspects of the World’s Best Sommelier competition I hadn’t really thought about is how on earth you create a menu for a roomful of sommeliers. And choose wine pairings they won’t be sniffy about. One way is to impress them with large format bottles and old vintages which is the route competition sponsor Moët et Chandon took . . .
There’s a fascinating article in the current edition of Elle à Table about a cheese and tea tasting conducted by Maitre Tseng of La Maison des Trois Thés in Paris with French artisanal cheeses from Alléosse.
Former sommelier Zeren Wilson of Bitten & Written reveals the tricks of the trade when it comes to choosing a good value wine and how to handle the somm.
If any sommelier looks set for Gordon Ramsay-style super-stardom it has to be Enrico Bernado.
This week I had a really fascinating vegetarian tasting menu at the Lecture Room and Library at Sketch, Pierre Gagnaire’s London restaurant. The sommelier, Fred Brugues, claims not to believe in food and wine matching (too complicated, he says, with large tables all ordering different dishes) but he actually came up with some inspired pairings.