Here come The Somms
(4 of the best including Matt Landry Sommelier of the Year)
- a wine steward.
A sommelier, or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. The role in fine dining today is much more specialized and informed than that of a wine waiter.
OK..now that we have the slightly snotty posting out of the way..let’s meet our handpicked Somms.
Kurtis Kolt – It was KK’s wine column at the end of January in the Georgia Straight that set this thing in motion.
He was saluting the annual Sommelier competition at Rogers Arena. On this show Kurtis takes us through this year’s tough competition.
It not just what you know but how you handle the obstacles the judges throw at you.
And what judges..
Cactus Club Café service director Sebastien Le Goff, B.C. Liquor Stores category manager and Master of Wine Barbara Philip, and Joey Restaurant group sommelier Jason Yamasaki.
They really do try to throw you off. For example they asked the winner Matt Landry to serve a magnum of champagne to 14 glasses and keep answering questions at the same time.
Kurtis reveals the unseen side of being a Somm. The career appears glamorous but it’s a lot of mental and physical work. You REALLY want to have to do this.
Kurtis also takes us through the background of two other Sommeliers he’s recommended for the show .
Kurtis Kolt is an educator, wine judge, consultant and a lapsed Sommelier.
Matt Landry Stable House Bistro GM. Wine/Beverage Director. Sommelier of the Year
Three strikes you’re out!
This was Matt’s third attempt at winning this prestigious competition.
He takes us through why he felt he didn’t win the two previous times and what he thought he did this year to win the whole thing.
He grew up in Niagara wine country and started as a server which lead to an opportunity to take over a wine list. He had no idea what he was doing but took the job anyway.
He’s taken and passed Italian and French wine classes. Thinking about Spain now.
Because Stable House Bistro encourages a sharing menu..Matt has to be on his toes as to what he can pair with on those tables.
Matt says that because the fine dining and wine of West is right round the corner he decided to take Stable House almost all Italian wines.
Matt also mentions that in spite of the awards he has earned his greatest achievement may be “getting my Mother to stop drinking Two Oceans”
Kristi Linneboe from L’Abattoir and Kelcie Jones from Chambar.
Kristi Lenneboe Sommelier at L’Abattoir
“My biggest turn-off in this industry is ego. It is impossible to know everything about wine, so why get all caught up in who knows more or who drank what? To be honest, the more I learn about wine, the more I realize how much more there is to know about wine. The study of wine is the study of the world – it is social, historical, political and environmental.
Every day I learn something new about topography, geology, geography, climate change, sustainability, and so much more. Wine is alive. It is constantly changing. You can drink a wine from the exact same plot of land year after year and you will never drink the same wine twice. Wine laws, governmental regulations and land ownership are constantly changing, (just as the Earth is constantly evolving), which is why it is important to be constantly immersed in research and information.
I think the best part about learning is sharing it with others. I love when people taste a wine, fall in love with it and become inspired and excited to ask questions about what it is and where it came from. Wine is all about the story: who made it, what makes it different from other wines, why it tastes the way it does, and why it is the right wine for that moment.. I love it when an organic conversation about viticulture arises over dinner instead of out of a textbook… Giving people knowledge creates an opportunity to connect people together”
Excerpt from Good Food Revolution. Author Jamie Drummond
Kelcie Jones – Sommelier at Chambar
Kristi and Kelcie are great friends.
There’s a friendly competitive edge to their conversation about wines, food pairings and what they’re tasting lately.
Kelcie is the Wine Director at Chambar and as such is expected to know her wines inside and out and then be able to pass on her knowledge to Chambers’ passionate clientele.
When people talk about a buzz in a restaurant, at Chambar that starts at the front door. People are genuinely excited to be in the rooms and part of the experience.
One last interview for you.
We did 35 interviews at VanWineFest and this one got left out because of timing.
May I please welcome back Roland Kruger – General Manager at Wild Goose Vineyards (Okanagan Falls)
And Garron Elmes – Winemaker and President of Lake Breeze . (Naramata Bench)
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:
Uncorked and Untapped in Parksville
Black Hills pours new releases.
La Stella leans Italian!
Okanagan Falls Wineries pour new releases in Vancouver
Brigitte Raye Orto Artisan Pasta (bad dog bread) North Vancouver
Tom Seaver – Singular pitcher and winemaker