Top 10 sommeliers in Hong Kong

5: Elliot Faber (30) — Yardbird/Ronin

Elliot Faber YardbirdSommelier Elliot Faber, of Japanese-inspired Yardbird and sister restaurant Ronin has to deal with a lot more than just wines – along with his carefully-curated (albeit small) wine list he’s in charge of a list of an “equally or arguably more extensive sake, shochu and Japanese whisky collection.”

Faber came to appreciate wine from an unlikely place – while living in Scotland as part of a study abroad program from the University of Calgary. While on the other side of the pond he used Scotland’s proximity to other, more noted wine regions around Europe to travel and learn more about the varieties that now grace the tables of the two restaurants that he was instrumental in opening.

He says that practical limitations have forced his hand when it comes to an extended wine list.

“I had a 100 bottle wine list planned when I moved to Hong Kong in 2011 to open Yardbird,’ he told the Drinks Business HK.

“I learned quickly that we had no storage area for that much wine in our typical Hong Kong storage starved space so I quickly reworked the list to about 20% of it’s original size and made things a little more esoteric but still accessible to any guest who comes in. For example, I don’t offer any new world Sauvignon Blanc by the glass but rather a fresh, crisp and lively Pecorino from the Le Marche.

“It’s great to give the staff a chance to learn about something different than they may have experienced before, they generally pass that enthusiasm to the guests.”

Recently, he says he’s listed a dry Furmint from Holdvölgy called ‘Meditation.’

“Now, the wine doesn’t always have to be unheard of but being able to offer a mineral, salty, honeyed wine like this as one of only four white wines by the glass, and having this wine come from a place that not many wine consumers have considered a major wine producing region, let alone for dry wine, and lastly having them enjoy it, has been a real pleasure to share with our guests and watch them enjoy it with our food!”

6 Responses to “Top 10 sommeliers in Hong Kong”

  1. stefano says:

    The all management team of Domani Restaurant is proud of you John!
    Congratulation, VERY WELL DONE!

  2. Josh Rubenstein says:

    A great selection, all deserving of this recognition. Congratulations!

  3. Joey Yue says:

    One of my favorite wine sommelier and restaurant in town, congratulation John!

  4. Congratulation Dheeraj Bhatia! Hard work always pays off!

  5. David says:

    Don’t forget about Jason Patty and Paul- three Certified Sommeliers working under Nicolas Deneux at the Grand Hyatt Steakhouse! All three of them are years younger than Nicolas!

  6. Derek says:

    The perfect pair: Yvonne and Elliot!

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