Find out more about the world-renowned names that make up the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards judging line-up in this Q&A series.
Elvis Ziakos is assistant head sommelier at The Greenhouse restaurant in London. Starting his career in his native Greece, Ziakos was head sommelier at Athens restaurants Kohylia and Spondi, before moving to the UK in 2012 and joining the team at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley.
Read our interview with Elvis Ziakos below…
☆ Which year or decade do you wish you’d been born in and why?
I really enjoy the year of my birth, 1976, and it was a great vintage for both Champagne and Burgundy.
☆ How old were you when you had your first wine ‘moment’ and what was it?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that loves food and wine. I was seven years old when I had my first tasting experience, with a Cabernet Sauvignon.
☆ How many bottles do you have in your cellar and what is your most recent addition?
A selection of 300 bottles. My most recent addition is a case of Bassermann-Jordan ‘Riesling Kalkofen GG’ 2011.
☆ How many years have you been working in the wine industry and what was your first job?
I have been working as a professional sommelier for the last 10 years; however, I’ve been working in restaurants ever since finishing my studies in hospitality.
☆ Which wine do you wish you’d bought a whole case of?
Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein’s ‘Winninger Uhlen’ Riesling 1999!
☆ In the last 12 months, which grape have you drunk the most of?
☆ In the last 12 months, what’s the most exciting region you’ve discovered or re-discovered and why?
I found an exciting a region located northwest Spain called Ribeira Sacra. The white wines, made from the native variety Godello, combine opulence, minerality and freshness, and are an ideal match for various foods.
☆ Who’s your wine idol (who has inspired you the most in the wine world)?
Gerard Basset MS MW! He’s a passionate, driven sommelier, with an endless thirst for knowledge.
☆ What’s your most memorable wine and food moment?
Matching foie gras with a dry wine. To reveal the harmony of the opposing ingredient demands knowledge and passion.
☆ If you could taste/drink any wine in the world what would it be and who would you drink it with?
A mature German Riesling with my partner.
☆ What’s the highest number of wines you’ve had on one of your wine lists?
At Greenhouse Restaurant we have a wine list with 3,600 references from around the world.
☆ What is the oldest bottle of wine you’ve served?
Leacock’s Bual Madeira 1934.
☆ What are you most looking forward to about judging at the Decanter World Wine Awards?
The Decanter World Wine Awards continually contribute towards elevating the quality of wine around the world and so it is my honour to participate in this great event.
For more information on this year’s competition, including how to enter, visit the Decanter World Wine Awards website
Written by Decanter