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Uncorked: Hubert Chabot

Hubert Chabot is the head sommelier of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

MOHKG PIERRE_HEAD SOMMELIER_Hubert ChabotWhat Vintage are you?
1977

What bottle sparked your love of wine?
Domaine de Trevallon Les Beaux de Provence 1986. My boss in my first job offered me to drink it while I was a sommerlier trainee and made me realise what great wines taste like!

Ambition or talent?
Ambition is the best friend to go further with and help you reach the top. Talent is more for artists and chefs.

What would you be as a wine?
A Côte Rôtie (Syrah + a little touch of Viognier) which is dry, powerful, elegant, slightly full-bodied, with a few spices and black Fruits notes combined. It is a complex wine – it can be fully opened and generous or really closed.

Where are you happiest?
When I am at lunch or dinner at a nice place with friends and a few good wines.

What’s your greatest vice?
I always plan my holidays in destinations near or in a wine region.

Best advice you ever got?
Being open minded, not closing doors to new things.

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?
Château Léoville Las Cases 1982. It’s my favourite!

What’s the best & worst thing about the wine business?
Having the opportunities to taste wines and meet people from all around the world is definitely the best thing to be in this business. To me, wine is to be enjoyed and shared between people. It is a product of pleasure and sharing.

However, wine is always considered as something which people can make lots of money with. Some people only talk about the ratings of wines and how much they can gain through buying and selling them. They don’t care about the product itself.

I understand that people like the producers and suppliers have to make money but it can go way too far sometimes and we just forget what wine is all about. This can be a problem that you always encounter if you are in the wine business.

Personal satisfaction (Parker points)
Between 90 – 95-pts – usually very good value for money.

Desert island vine?
Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria, Donnafugata, Sicily, a superb wine, rich, intense, very complex, full of fruit, this wine is a desert itself!

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