Sommelier Nick Adams Robinson of Tocqueville – New York, NY
Back to Rising Star Page and Interview
Wine Tips for the Sommelier
- If the customer does not like your wine selection, it is not good. Recommending a wine is about the customer, not the sommelier. No matter what you have been taught academically, or what you think personally, or what a critic may have written, if the drinker doesn't like your choice, it isn't a good experience for them.
Don't be afraid to recommend something new. Many customers are adventurous and any lover of wine will remember a great wine introduction.
- Don't be too pushy about upselling. Everyone can remember dealing with a waiter or sommelier who was simply motivated by price. Many customers who are new to a restaurant or sommelier will test an inexpensive bottle to get a feel for the restaurant and/or sommelier. After a few visits and some built trust, they may come around to buying a pricier bottle. Or they may just be a happy bargain shopper, which is not a problem if they appreciate your work and ability to save them a dollar!
Drink wine every day. There is always something new to learn.
- Wine is not decanted often enough, particularly when whites are concerned. Almost all young white Burgundies can benefit from a decant, for no better reason than raising their temperature above the Mösel Rieslings they are next to in the wine chiller.
- Being a sommelier is about maximizing the wine drinker's experience. Do it with enthusiasm and passion.
- Sauvignon Blanc is rarely a good decision!