For a long time I have wanted to write something about the people in-charge of the wine here in Bali. Yes, of course, sommeliers like myself order the wines for our wine lists, but without the help and support of our suppliers our wine lists wouldn’t even exist! This would render far less choice for lovers of wine in the many restaurants in Bali.
However it must be said that there are different types of wine dealers, and in my opinion what makes a good one is someone who supports. This comes in the form of what I call a merchant, someone with heart, who doesn’t want to rip us off and gives us value for money.
Firstly, at least in my experience, a wine dealer who offers a sample of the wine to buyers is the kind of person who understands the needs of a sommelier. This shows that they value what is important to sommeliers (or other buyers), realising that the chosen wine can only be accepted if its quality is indeed in line with its price. A sommelier shan’t forget such treatment from a supplier that offers this.
Now, on the other end of the spectrum is what I call a trader. Someone who acts like a man between his boss and the buyer; he is interested only in his sales budget, and reaches it at any means necessary. As you can imagine, these are difficult types of characters and not one sommeliers like to deal with very often (if at all!).
The merchant does not think ‘bottle-by-bottle’, but knows that big business is found ‘by the glass’. A sample to taste is by no means a large sacrifice, as such wines won’t cost much in comparison to a la carte wines.
Now, the provider type is someone who cares deeply about his or her reputation, and therefore cares that their buyer (i.e. a restaurant) has his/her wine on the venue’s wine list. Therefore, you can expect this person will purposefully keep a reserve of wines for special sommeliers with great wine lists. These are the very same people who will themselves come to support the venues that buy from them, to enjoy a dinner or two. These are the best types!
From here, you can begin to understand that types of wine suppliers and their different behaviours – although I am sure you have encountered people like this yourself. For us in the wine business, it isn’t always just about price and year and having the product, service and character come into play just as much.
I wonder now, where wine suppliers in Bali will see themselves in my description here!
There you can see a bit the different of all kinds of wine suppliers and their behaviour and I am sure that you yourself have endured these peoples. It is not all about price and year and having the product, even more so about the character and the service which can be given to us who stand in the light of travel adviser or other magazines who write about the quality of a good restaurant and its wine list. I wonder then, where the wine suppliers in Bali will see themselves in my description.
Below I wrote something like to explain these special people who do give and take in this very way:
Harald Wiesmann, Restaurant Manager of the fine dining, 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 45 years of international experience has led Kayuputi to receive prestigious awards from the Wine Spectator Magazine (USA) for seven consecutive years since its opening nine years ago, and dubbed as a fine restaurant that has one of the best wine lists in the Asian region. Harald is set to publish his book, titled “The Inner Voice of a Sommelier in Bali” in the near future we hope.
Jl. Benda Raya No. 98 A-B, Cilandak, Jakarta 12560 - Indonesia
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Jalan Pengubengan Kauh No.99 Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Bali
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