Top UK young sommeliers: part 9
db speaks to another rising star about New York wines and why the UK is one of the most exciting places in the world to be a sommelier.
Damien Trinckquel, 30, Lucknam Park Hotel, Bath
Was there a particular wine or wine “epiphany” which made you choose this career?
My family has always been into good food and drink, and I have some family in the business. When I was 14 I saw a programme on sommeliers, I was very interested and my cousin was doing it – I thought if he can do it, so can I.
Are there any parts of your current list that you’re particularly proud of?
It’s very hard to say, because we have many types of customers who are tempted by different things. But we are very strong in Old World: French, Italian and German wines. We try and include wines that people will not expect.
Which wine styles or regions are exciting you at the moment and why?
New York: Finger Lakes and Long Island, I’ve always been keen on Baden and Nahe wines. Good classics continue to be exciting – Burgundy and Bordeaux. I’m very open-minded and excited about many different areas.
What’s the key to being a successful sommelier?
To be a sommelier, first you have to have a sense of hospitality and understand your customers. Don’t offer what you think is best for you, but what your customers will enjoy. If you give them a wine they do not understand they will not enjoy it. Knowledge of wine is of course important, but also knowledge of food and what the chef is doing in the kitchen is very important. You have to find the right balance.
What do you drink on your days off?
I like a good beer to be honest. I like trying wine at home with my wife, who doesn’t know so much about wine; she is my guinea pig. German wine is my cup of tea.
What made you decide to come to the UK to pursue your sommelier career?
It’s my first time in the UK, but when I was 19 I worked in Ireland because I wanted to learn English. I came here two-and-a-half years ago because I had heard how strong the wine selection was, so it was a great opportunity for tasting. You can get nearly everything here. The UK market is the place if you want to learn more about wine. Also the chefs in the UK are getting better and better, they no longer have to be jealous of French of Italian chefs.
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: