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Confessions of a sommelier: Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen

Decanter speaks to sommelier Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen about the best wine he's ever drunk and why customers should be adventurous with wine, as published in Decanter's June 2013 issue.

Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen is head sommelier at MASH, 77 Brewer St, London W1F 9ZN Tel: + 44 (0)20 7734 2608; mashsteak.dk.

He was the 2011 Scandanavian Sommelier Champion and represented Denmark at the ASI Sommelier World Cup in Tokyo in March

What’s your earliest wine memory?
My parents are both chefs. Wine has been with every meal since I was a kid.

What bottle stopped you in your tracks and got you serious about wine?
It was Armand Rousseau’s Chambertin from the early 1990s. Just the smell of it made me want to know more.

Since then, what’s the best wine you’ve ever drunk and why?
Dunn’s Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1982, because it beats Bordeaux equivalents for longevity and depth.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened at work?
We once had a table of financial crooks seated next to a table of investigative policemen. It got very exciting, very rapidly.

 … and your biggest faux pas?
I was opening Champagne on a busy night and I sprayed a group of well-dressed girls. They got to share the remainder of the bottle.

What’s the hardest food and wine match, and how do you overcome it?
If you pay a bit more attention to the structure of the food and wine and a bit less attention to flavours it’s often not a very difficult task.

What’s the most annoying customer habit?
Guests who slavishly follow trends. There are more great wines other than New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Argentinian Malbec.

What wines are you buying for yourself?
Old-school Barolos, Madeira, Sherry, and Pinot Noir from Burgundy and California.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
You can know everything about wine but if you are not able to use it in a dialogue with your guests you are really no good.

Written by Decanter

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