UK top young sommeliers: part 3

After speaking to two London sommeliers, db caught up with one of the hottest talents outside the UK capital.

Romain Bourger, 24, from The Vineyard at Stockcross in Newbury, Berkshire

Was there a particular wine or wine “epiphany” which made you choose this career?

I studied at a catering school in France for four years. My teacher in the second year was very interesting, always telling us stories of wine or the region.

Are there any parts of your current list that you’re particularly proud of?

We have a great Californian list and I really, really like our German wine list, I think it’s very good.

Which wine styles or regions are exciting you at the moment and why?

Eastern Europe and Uruguay – we are seeing a lot of good wines from there. I really love Austrian Grüner Veltliner and German Riesling, all Riesling in fact. From one region to another it shows a lot of differences. I particularly like Catalan wines, especially from Priorat because I like much richer styles of white wines.

Are there any wine-related ambitions you would still like to achieve?

There are so many wines, I would say every month we hear about a new style of wine. If there is a country I would like to explore more it’s Italy for white wines, and I would also like to know more about Australian wines. It’s a big country with a lot of differences between regions and styles. Napa too has a lot of sub-regions that are worth exploring.

What do you drink on your days off?

I used to drink more beer rather than wine but I’m coming back. I’ve become a great fan of English cider. One I have discovered is Thatcher’s; it’s a big production but I really like it especially their single variety ciders. Green Goblin I like as well, it’s aged in old oak vats, it’s completely different to what I drank in France.

What made you decide to come to the UK to pursue your sommelier career?

During the wine study year in my training, I had the chance to go to a two-starred Michelin restaurant (La Chèvre d’Or, Èze, near Monaco) or Hotel du Vin in Winchester, and I chose Winchester. I returned to France and then went back to Winchester about six months later. I stayed for a year and a half. I went back to France but it was not as interesting, so I returned to the UK in 2010.

The full collection of sommelier profiles appeared in the drinks business October on-trade report, Eat.Drink, or you can click the options below to see who we’ve profiled so far:

Part 1

Part 2



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