Unfiltered: Christopher Lecoufle, Les 110 de Taillevent

Christopher Lecoufle is the head sommelier at Les 110 de Taillevent, which, true to its name, offers no fewer than 110 wines by the glass (70ml or 125ml) from a total of 360.

Lecoufle’s career in the hospitality industry began at the Michelin-starred restaurant Lasserre in Paris.

He later worked at one of Les 110 de Taillevent’s sister venues, Les Caves de Taillevent, in Paris, before moving to the UK to work at Hotel Terravina in the New Forest, which is co-owned by sommelier extraordinaire Gerard Basset MS, MW.

Lecoufle was part of the opening team at Les 110 de Taillevent London when it opened in 2015, and from April 2017 has served as its head sommelier.

What’s your vintage?
1994

What’s your go-to drink at the end of a long day?
A glass of Yellow Chartreuse

What’s your most embarrassing front-of-house moment?
Dropping a milkshake right in the middle of the floor, surrounded by hundreds of people.

If you could give your younger self advice when starting out as a sommelier, what would it be?
Read plenty of books, and get to know some winemakers.

Which customer habit annoys you the most?
When customers put ice cubes in a glass of wine, particularly when it is a very old red wine.

Who is your inspiration in the gastronomic world?
Christophe Moret. He was the first chef to make me passionate about food.

What’s your ultimate food and wine pairing?
A classic: Arbois wine and comte Cheese.

Where would your fantasy vineyard be?
Gigondas.

If you weren’t a sommelier, what would you be doing?
I’d be a fireman. I originally studied to be a fireman and after few years I moved into hospitality. One day I will return to it.

Which wine (grape/style) do you find it impossible to get along with?
Carménère.

Who is the most memorable customer you’ve ever served?
In my previous work place – a small hotel – I used to serve a regular customer. She would visit almost every week. Every time she visited she would order a bottle of wine of the sommelier’s choice. She would drink two glasses from that bottle and leave the rest for the team. Thanks to her we had the chance to try some very surprising and interesting wine.

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