Decanter speaks to sommelier Arvid Rosengren about the best wine he's ever drunk and the daily trials of the job. As published in Decanter's May 2014 issue.
Arvid Rosengren is wine director of Copenhagen Concepts restaurant group, including Le Sommelier: Bredgade 63, 1260, Copenhagen, Denmark; Tel: +45 33 11 45 15, lesommelier.dk.
He was named ASI Best Sommelier of Europe in 2013
What was the bottle that stopped you in your tracks and got you serious about wine?
It was a cooperative-made Langhe Nebbiolo. In hindsight a fairly simple wine, but at the time I was blown away. How could all these aromas come from a glass of wine?
Since then, what’s the best wine you’ve ever drunk and why?
One of the greatest was a 1929 Cos d’Estournel. This was around the time I felt like giving up on Bordeaux due to the aggressive pricing. Let’s just say I didn’t.
What’s the biggest faux pas you’ve ever made?
I’ve barely escaped from smashing into a Crown Princess with a full tray of glasses as we were both rounding a corner at full speed. It didn’t end as badly as it could have done, but my balancing act drew lots of laughter.
What’s the hardest food and wine match, and how do you overcome it?
The most common challenge is when diners want to drink sweet wines like Sauternes with dessert, especially with cold elements like ice cream. It’s rarely a good idea and I try to persuade them to go the route of fresher wines with less dry extract like beerenausleses.
What’s the most annoying customer habit?
Using the sommelier as a springboard to show off in front of your guests, knowing full well that we can’t really be rude and walk away.
What are you buying for personal consumption at the moment?
More than I can drink! Mainly reds and whites from Burgundy and the Loire, plus German Riesling and Galician whites.
What’s the most valuable wine lesson you’ve learnt as a sommelier?
Don’t put yourself in the spotlight. Be humble. Listen to your guests, and try to figure out how to best serve their wishes.
Written by Decanter