The Head Sommelier at The Atlantic Hotel relocated to Jersey from the historic and award-winning Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge, holder of two Michelin stars and five AA rosettes.
What is the key to appreciating wine?
In my opinion, the key to appreciating wine is a very personal thing but there are a few points to consider when tasting any wine:
- characteristics – the tannins, level of alcohol, acidity, sweetness and fruit flavours
- complexity – this is assessed through the way the wine balances and brings together the various characteristics
- possible faults – examples could be a corked bottle, overexposure to oxygen or perhaps a lack of preservatives
- comparison – to other wines in its region, vintage or price range
- service – best serving temperature and glassware to use
When did your interest in wine start?
In 2002 I was lucky enough to work at Sharrow Bay Country House Hotel under James Payne. Being exposed to fine wine at a great restaurant with a fantastic sommelier team certainly fired my interest and enthusiasm.
What is your favourite wine?
I would have to say that my ultimate favourite wine is Domaine d'Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Criots-Batard-Montrachet 2000.
What should people look out for when selecting wine?
I think people should consider some of the more obscure areas such as Turkey, China and Eastern Europe, rather than sticking to the tried and tested. The premium wines from South America are excellent and certainly worth looking out for. Also, wines that are grown in a sustainable environment using organic and biodynamic techniques should be considered.
What is the best value for money choice on your wine list?
The wine list at Ocean Restaurant contains many wines that offer excellent value for money. I would say that one of the best is Indaba South African Sauvignon Blanc and at just £22 this is a great quality, good value wine. It is packed full of fruit - pineapple, mango, citrus and green fig with great acidity and is produced in a sustainable environment.
What is your favourite place to enjoy wine?
It has to be Mark Jordan at the Beach. What a location - you can't get tired of that view!
What do you think is the best flavour/wine combination ever?
For me that would be De Martino, a dry Muscat from Chile paired with pan fried scallops, celeriac purée and apple.
What are your plans at The Atlantic Hotel?
I am really excited to be working with the fabulous team at The Atlantic Hotel; my predecessor Sergio dos Santos did a great job in building a good solid wine list. I will be adding to that, taking things slowly, initially increasing our Champagne and Burgundy offerings. Next year I’d like to add some interesting grape varieties and to continue to source excellent quality and value, something for which The Atlantic Hotel has always been known.