“Wine service demands a degree of ceremony: presenting the bottle, holding it tilted, while announcing the wine region, the producer’s name and the vintage, then serving the nectar from the right for tasting…” Christian Chevallier, sommelier at the legendary Hôtel Molitor restaurant in Paris’s 16th arrondissement, closely follows the traditional, highly detailed procedure, which is like a theatrical performance. The aim is to heighten the importance of the moment of tasting and ritualise it. Increasingly now, this also occurs when the sommelier, when offering suggestions, is able to propose a true exploration of wines to diners who are more and more eager to discover new wines and understand their background.
Consumers now no longer taste just one wine, but a whole cellar or a terroir. Sébastien Claude, sommelier at the Hôtel Palafitte restaurant, on the shores of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland, describes a change that is being felt throughout the world of sommellerie. “Neuchâtel production makes up 40% of our cellar. Œil-de-perdrix, Neuchâtel wines or sparkling wines… Our clients don’t just want to discover one wine, they want an overview of everything our terroir has to offer.” This expectation has driven the success of wine by the glass, meaning that orders can be individually tailored, as food courses are, a variety of flavours can be enjoyed, and curiosity satisfied.
Wine by the glass is popular with consumers and sommeliers alike. “The ever-expanding practice of serving wine by the glass results in heightened sensory experiences and more dynamic wine lists”: Denis Verneau, wine manager at La Mère Brazier, a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Lyon, France, is delighted with the change. And, by resolving the issues related to preserving bottles once they have been opened, the technologies surrounding wine service by the glass free up sommeliers, who no longer have to worry about wastage. All of which broadens the scope of options when it comes to recommending wines...
WINE BAR 8.0 - Wine dispenser
photo Studio Guy Renaux