A sommelier speaks: Andrea Briccarello
What’s your top tip for wine lovers picking a wine from a restaurant list?
Be open minded and don’t be afraid to ask the sommelier for advice. Step out of your comfort zone and explore new flavours.
How much emphasis do you attach to food and wine matching?
It’s important but not vital. Wine should be fun and if you love a certain variety you should enjoy it, even if it’s not the perfect match for your meal.
What region would you like to have more of on your list, and which region less?
I’d love to have more German and Austrian red and white varieties – you can find incredible examples when you’re willing to explore. I support smaller growers, so I’d like to see less well known wines from large producers.
What do you do when a customer claims a wine is corked or faulty but you don’t agree?
What if it’s a 1982 classed growth. I’d change the bottle and try it again later - sometimes older vintages take time to open up. If it isn't corked, I’d enjoy it after service.
What’s the most annoying customer habit?
Customers who ask to freeze a white wine to death or to drink a big red luke-warm.
What’s the oddest request you’ve ever received from a customer?
A customer once asked me to pour cream and strawberries into a vintage Champagne - what were they thinking!
What’s the biggest faux pas you’ve ever made, and/or your worst nightmare? The first time I tried to sabre a bottle of Champagne it didn’t work out and I ended up smashing the bottle on the floor in front of a full restaurant.
What are you buying for personal consumption at the moment?
I’m really enjoying white wines from Portugal and Greece for everyday drinking and am stocking up on the odd Barolo or two for my cellar.