Originally from Lyon, Yves Desmaris is a London-based Master Sommelier who has worked at a range of prestigious London hotels from The Stafford to The Dorchester and is currently head sommelier of Lutyens Restaurant on Fleet Street, where he looks after wine buying, service and staff training.
Yves Desmaris gained his Master Sommelier qualification in 1992
What vintage are you?
Not a good vintage I am afraid, late 1965. So 1966 is the vintage that inspires me – a red Bordeaux, perhaps Château Latour or a vintage Port such as Fonseca 1966.
What bottle sparked you love of wine?
Before I became a sommelier, when I was about 14 years old, I wanted to be a chef, but because I always had good quality wines paired with my meals – the likes of red Hermitage and Châteauneuf-du-Pape – it was hard not to fall in love!
What would you be as a wine?
Medium bodied, elegant with some finesse.
When are you happiest?
In the Rhône Valley where I come from, with my family, sharing good wines from the Southern Rhône with local dishes.
What’s your greatest vice?
Matching wine and food! Even when relaxing with my family, I love working with flavours…
Best advice you ever got?
To believe in myself!
Your cellar is underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?
It would have to be a bottle of Salon 1982; I loved the Champagne. It ages so well and I met the people in Salon on a wine trip about five years ago – they are really lovely.
What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business?
Wines that are too extracted, too alcoholic and unbalanced. Fortunately they are some very good producers around the globe, who understand that wines need to go with the food first and foremost.
What’s on your wine bucket list?
• DRC La Tâche 2002 (but to drink in about five years time)
• Hermitage 1990 from Jean Louis Chave
• Château Margaux 1985
• Sassicaia 2001
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
My wife Maria, my children Luke, Eloise, Amelia, my brother and my mother – we’re a close family!
Personal satisfaction (Parker point – out of 100)
My personal satisfaction and happiness is having a bottle of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1985, which is quite delicious to drink right now. [So RP 90 points…]
Which wine would you like served at your funeral?
It would have to be DRC 2005 Romanée-Conti.