Top UK young sommeliers: part 1010th December, 2012 by Rupert Millar
the drinks business talks to a recent convert to the world of wine about her love of New Zealand and tempting customers to try the list’s more unusual wines.
Joanne Twentyman, 29, Mr Thomas’ Chop House, Manchester
Was there a particular wine or “wine moment” which made you choose this career?
I’ve worked in catering since I was 18 but it was only in the last three or four years that I really began to get into wine. I worked alongside George Bergier (head buyer and sommelier for a number of Manchester establishments including Sam and Tom’s Chop Houses) for a while and he made it all quite relevant for me and really encouraged my interest in wine.
Are there any parts of your current list that you’re particularly proud of?
We’re very happy with our bin ends. They’re constantly changing and we’re trying to find unusual things to add in there too. We make sure we keep some of the classics in there too just as long as we can have some fun and not make it too traditional.
Do you find your customers more conservative?
We do great wines by the glass which is a good way of introducing customers to new things and we look forward to showing new wines to them. Usually they do respond very well to suggestions to try something different.
Are there any wine countries or regions that stand out for you at the moment?
At the moment I’m very into New Zealand, I think it’s a country with fantastic, top quality wines but I’m just not sure how long we’re going to be able to get it at the current price.
Are there any wines or wine-related ambitions you would like to tick off?
Just to carry on being involved in the industry. There’s so much to learn and I’m only just beginning. I’ve got so much enthusiasm and just want to pass that on to other people.
What do you drink on your day off?
One of my favourite drinks is a whisky with ginger ale but I do love Burgundy.
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: