Passion for Wine
When people visit my Restaurant, Kayuputi, and they see me at work talking about wine, often they say, “we believe that you have a lot of passion for that what you are doing”.
And that is true. I wonder about myself too, why do I have this feeling for wine and why do I love to do what I do so much. I have now been in the business for 45 years, with most of that time in the front of the restaurant, having taken all the steps necessary to become a professional waiter. That means starting off as an apprentice in 1972 then Commi de rang (Commi Débarrasseur and Commi Server), Demi Chef, Chef de rang, 3rd Headwaiter to 1st Headwaiter, Maitre D’Hotel, Sommelier – Chief Sommelier, Restaurant Manager, also working on 3 Cruise Ships as Restaurant Steward and Headwaiter. I should be tired as hell actually, but there is a drive inside of myself which says, “oh no my dear Harald, you have to go on, not only because you have two sons, Everest, 7 and Louvre 10 years of age, no because you have not finished what you have begun and that is to write books and stories and publish them”. Yes, I believe one day there will be my books on the shelfs of the book stores.
My Passion comes from stories of the old time before Jesus, before Mohamed. From the story of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, Bacchus the Italian god of wine, Ra Egyptian god of wine, the Nymphs, the ladies of the song, love and wine, the Maenads, mostly women though very strong and also beautiful, the Satyrs or Silene (half man half horse). A well known Greek character was called Pan, who carried a flute and when he played, the Nymphs came to him and love was in the air. Dionysus was still a very famous god. Just imagine how he was born. Semele was his mother, a human being, and Zeus the god of Olympus, his father. Zeus was married to the goddess Hera who found out about the pregnant Semele. She was so angry about the faux pas of Zeus that she conjured fire and burned Semele. Zeus came and saved the baby out of the womb of Semele. While Semele did die, Dionysus was born. To cover Dionysus, Zeus changed him into a goat because Hera was still in raged and in search of him until Dionysus became the Greek god of wine.
From the poets who were famous between 1900 and 1940 who wrote about life, which at this time for the average man or woman were tough times (aristocratic blue blood rulers, dictators opening concentration camps, workers working for 80 hours and more a week). These struggles lead the poets to wine as they composed when they drunk. There was Rainer Maria Rilke who wrote, “Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein; gieb ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage, dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein”, – “order the last fruits to be full of power, give them two more days born in the south, push them to perfection and chase the last sweetness into the heavy wine”. Or Carl Zuckmayer who wrote the theatre piece “The Merry Vineyard” and many other essays about wine. And there was Kurt Tucholsky who wrote “ Schade das man Wein nicht streicheln kann” – “it is a pity that we cannot stroke wine”.
Then there are the wineries of the world and each one has a story to tell about wine and how these peoples came to wine. I have already written about some stories from my travelling experiences. Some of you may remember my story of the time an old man welcomed me at his vineyard and was so friendly he showed me his wine cellar. The astounding fact here was that I did not notice that the wine maker was actually blind since he walked so fluently around his wine cellar, maybe something to expect after working there for 75 years. Another story of mine was the visit to Chateau Margaux to witness the wine pressings, which unfortunately resulted in the wine makers surrounding me and exclaiming that I could be a spy from another winery. These stories and many more give me great pleasure in knowing who I am today. My poetry, which I have written over a period of more than 15 years, includes many of my interactions with wine and the industry. The one I have written here might show you what I mean by “My Inner Voice”. This issue marks 5 years of contributing to NOW!Bali………Harald
PRAISE OF LEHMANN WINES
Lehmann red wines, red like a glowing sun is welcomed into our throats like the birth morning of wine God Dionysus.
Lehmann wines are fluids coming from tales of mystics, providing power and spice to our bodies, wanting to give us the strength for the first marriage night of life.
Let us join with friends, mistresses, street clowns and vagabonds.
Do not scold the dogs, as they must bark for the start of the hunt on Lehmann’s soil.
Like Moses obtained from heaven, Lehmann wines stream like divined juices.
They broaden our lifetime circle and our senses remain vigorous because we have Lehmann’s grape river flowing through our sculls to give us eternity for life.
Lehmann wines like to lead us to Bacchus, Dionysus, Pan and their fairy nymphs, and we will be bathing in golden lakes and they will call us Gods of Lehmann’s wines.
About Author :
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.