Why Should You Befriend The Restaurant Sommelier?

Wine Tales | Written By, NOW! BALI |

“These days you are increasingly finding more and more restaurants with a sommelier on hand to assist diners with their wine choices. This is a great service for the diner and also for the other staff serving you; however, I believe there are too many guests who are too shy to use this free service as they should.? Of course, why should you call the sommelier when you know what wine you would like to have? In my experience guests know what they like to drink but sometimes are confused about the best region or year. This is where the sommelier should come in. If asked, the sommelier will be able to assist you in finding the best wine within your price range and offer his opinion on the variety of options on his wine list. Due to the high price of wine in Indonesia a good sommelier should be able to make selections for you without going over the top with price.

“These days you are increasingly finding more and more restaurants with a sommelier on hand to assist diners with their wine choices. This is a great service for the diner and also for the other staff serving you; however, I believe there are too many guests who are too shy to use this free service as they should.?

Of course, why should you call the sommelier when you know what wine you would like to have? In my experience guests know what they like to drink but sometimes are confused about the best region or year. This is where the sommelier should come in. If asked, the sommelier will be able to assist you in finding the best wine within your price range and offer his opinion on the variety of options on his wine list. Due to the high price of wine in Indonesia a good sommelier should be able to make selections for you without going over the top with price.

When entertaining guests, even if you know what wine you would like, I would advise to always ask the opinion of the sommelier. The sommelier will be able to tell you if your chosen wine has matured well in his cellar or if it is already overripe. In the instance that it has not fully matured or is over-ripe, to avoid any embarrassment or disappointment in front of your guests, the sommelier will be able to recommend a wine with the same character and region if necessary. A sommelier will always try and make their guests as happy as possible, that is why it is always best to ask the question about your wine choice just in case. They may even be able to recommend something better within your price range.

Developing a relationship with the restaurant sommelier over the years can be hugely beneficial for you in the future when entertaining guests. Why not bring the sommelier an old wine magazine to peruse or invite them to join you in tasting a new wine one evening? A good relationship with the restaurant sommelier could ensure you are reserved the best table in the restaurant, are welcomed personally and remembered by name. Moreover, when planning a special evening, you can work closely with the sommelier in advance to pair wines with your food selections, leaving your evening less stressful and the ability for the sommelier to do a small presentation on each wine and why it was chosen to add a special aspect to your dinner. I firmly believe guests like to hear information about the wine selections even if it is a couple of sentences. Pre-selecting wines with your sommelier also enables you to keep a firm price bracket on the evening.

If you are very interested in wine and what is new in the area, ask your sommelier for local recommendations or any new comers to the wine market that they like. For example I would suggest as great new wines available in Bali now.

Made in Bali

Oddfellows Wines, Langhorn Creek, Denpasar, Bali NV   Shiraz

Artisan Winery, Sanur – Denpasar, Australia, Bali 2013 Chardonnay

From overseas

White

Luis Felipe Edwards, Valle Central, Nancagua, Chile 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

M3 Shaw & Smith, Adelaide Hills, South Australia 2009 Chardonnay

Matteo Correggia, Roero, Canale d’Alba, Italy 2011 Arneis

Domaine Gunderloch Jean Baptiste Kabinett, Nackenheim, Germany 2010 Riesling  Demi sec

Red

Heartland, Tanunda, Barossa Valley, South Australia 2010 Dolcetto & Lagrein

W Dedicato A Walter, Poggio Al Tesoro Allegrini, Bolgheri, Italy 2007 Cabernet Franc

Belnero IGT, Castello Banfi, Montalcino, Italy 2011 Sangiovese

Le Plus la Fleur de Boüard , St. Georges, France 2004 Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Cabernet Sauvignon

Arachon a’Kira T.F.X.T, Horitschon, Austria 2009 Blaufränkisch

Sweet

Eiswein, Schlossgut Diel, Burg Layen, Nahe, Germany 2004 Riesling (375ml)

Beerenauslese, Hans Tschida, Angerhof, Illmitz, Burgenland, Austria 2006 Sämling – Scheurebe (375ml)

Champagne

Palmes d’Or, Nicolas Feuillatte, Chouilly, France 1999 Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier (1500ml)

This is just a small list which I would recommend you taste and purchase for your wine cellars. Most of the wines are not just ripe to drink when purchased, but also interesting in flavors and grape variety, unlikely to be known by many people.

Enjoy the friendship of a real sommelier!

Harald

Harald Wiesmann, Restaurant Manager of the Asian inspired Haute Cuisine Kayuputi and Chief Sommelier at The St. Regis Bali Resort, has a very interesting career history spanning a number of years with different roles in various countries. His 41 years of international experience has led Kayuputi to receive prestigious awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) for four consecutive years since its opening five years ago. While for the first two years the restaurant was awarded “Award of Excellence,” these last three years Kayuputi has been honoured with “Best of Award of Excellence,” making it the first and only restaurant in the whole of Indonesia to win this coveted award for the third time. Just recently, the fine restaurant received “Award of Travelers’ Choice for Travelers’ Favorite Fine Dining Restaurants in Indonesia” and 2nd place for “Travelers’ Favorite Fine Dining Restaurants in Asia” from Trip Advisor.

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NOW! BALI

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