Name: Carlos Schölderle
At the moment: Spain
Sommelier, Wine Blogger
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
My first encounter with wine was with my grandfather and the whole family treading the grapes and I was drinking the grape-juice. The person who was my mentor and started me in the love of wine was my friend and master Jorge Angel Zorzoli Gillón. A great Argentinian sculptor and ceramist, He introduced me to the book of Omar Khayyam “The Rubaiyat”. Since that moment I fell in love with wine and poetry.
What specific traits or skills should a Sommelier(e) possess for professional performance and is there any person with that qualities you especially admire within the wine industry?
A Sommelier must be a great communicator. In addition, you must have a great knowledge of wine and be a very good expert. Never stop studying own ability, discipline and humility to keep learning. The people I most admire in the world of wine is the people who without any knowledge about wine have the predisposition to learn. Finally, they are those who consume wine.
What would be your advice to a young Sommelier(e) i.e. Commis Sommelier(e) where to look finding an adequate position at home or abroad? Any further tips?
Being humble, a good communicator and never stop studying. Today, there are many pages on the internet where a Sommelier can make a job search. We must not lose heart, you have to go where you want and always looking for the best for everyone. My advice would be to look for a job in their environment and learn everything you can in your city, country and then go outside if you really need it.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what’s in your opinion would be the best approach?
The wine must harmonizes with your food and make it a pleasure for your palate and sense. Always looking for the best wine which is not always the most demanded one.
What’s your philosophy about glasses? Are you working with well known brands or are you considering new brands as well and how do you determine?
The cups are important but not critical when tasting a wine. The best cup is the indicated in the right time and place.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
Always keep in mind what you will eat and then decide which wine you can blend in better.
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest’s wine?
No, only if the customer requests it.
Where would you suggest a young Sommelier start searching for Sommelier positions on the internet in your country?
For a foreigner, started by the best restaurants in Spain. And for Spaniards I would recommend to have a look first in their own territory or at least in their environment.
What are the key ingredients for creating a wine list for a restaurant and what is your opinion on some ridiculous pricing on wine in restaurants, do you have tips on how to determine mark ups?
Before creating a wine list, we must be clear what is going to offer that kitchen and how to blend better with the wines chosen. So you have to test and taste, taste and taste. I do not think about prices!!!
How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?
I am very present in social media networks and try to read everything that comes to me. I recognize that it is impossible to know absolutely everything that happens in the world of wine. There are many brands and many experts who read. We must find the best and learn as much as possible and if you can avoid vertical information, much better. Because we must bear in mind that there are too many people who only makes blandishments of all wines that pass through their lips.
How would a new vineyard get the attention of someone like you to notice their wine and what’s the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?
The wineries have to know that not all their wines are going to be the most highly rated by experts. Then, they have to make easy wines and saleable. Because wineries live only when they sell their products. To increase your visibility, they must be present in social media networks and, of course, make a good campaign by participating in fairs.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
I must admit I have a soft spot for wines made from Syrah. Although due to my cultural background and where I come from my top vine is Tannat.
What are the top 3 types of wine (your favourites) would we find in your home wine collection and what’s your desert island wine?
“Pájaros Pintados” by Pisano Winery Uruguayan wine. Torrontes
“Syrah” by Venta d’Aubert winery, in Bajo Aragón, Spain. An incredibly wide and sweet Syrah and I think fall short in their definitions
“Lorenza” by Goyenechea winery, in San Rafael Mendoza. An amazing Argentinian Bonarda.
I would bring with me any of the three wines.
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
Yes, of course.
In Spanish, no doubt: vinummedia.com
There are a lot of them in English!!!
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers – International Sommelier Positions – www.sommeliers.at