The World of Wine
We interviewed Andreas Rosendal, Head Sommelier at Ormer Mayfair to find out about the latest wine trends and how he chose the wines for Ormer.
Tell us a bit about Ormer Mayfair?
Celebrated Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin and his highly anticipated Ormer Mayfair arrived at the luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair in September 2016. Rankins brings expertly executed dishes, impeccable service and a touch of Michelin magic from the shores of Jersey to the heart of London. Remaining true to his conviction that sustainably-sourced, locally foraged and seasonal produce is absolute – an ethos that earned his St Helier restaurant Ormer a Michelin star – Shaun’s Ormer Mayfair menu is bursting with a wonderful bounty of Jersey and British fare that is simply prepared and cooked to perfection.
Welcoming diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a range of menu options including satisfying set lunches, seasonal à la carte (including a dedicated vegetarian and vegan section) plus an eight-course tasting menu, Ormer Mayfair can be perfectly tailored to suit any appetite or occasion.
What is unique about your establishment?
For the kitchen I think the quality and freshness of the products really stand out. We get the best things straight from Jersey and the difference in quality and taste is huge. For the wine, I think the approach-ability we have is unique for Mayfair. This area is known to be really expensive so for me it’s really great to be able to offer wines from as little as £21 for a bottle.
How did you come to be a Sommelier?
Well it started when I was 16. I had just finished my first stage at a restaurant, which at the time had the best wine cellar in Sweden. They obviously noticed I had no clue about wine so they decided to give me Oz Clarke’s book “The grape behind the wine” as a leaving gift. Because you’re not allowed in Sweden to buy wine until your 20, I used to read this book over and over for almost 4 years and I got fascinated about the stories and that wine (in theory) could be so complex. So when i finally turned 20, I went to the shop and bought myself a bottle of Riesling. Im going to be honest and say I didn’t like the wine very much as it was way too acidic for a newbie like me, but I was so happy that all the descriptions I had read about the wine was actually true. So the following year i got into a university to become a Sommelier and that’s how my career started.
What would you say has been a career highlight so far?
So far my biggest highlight is taking the CMS Advanced Sommelier Diploma. This was a couple of years back now but I remember it was only 4 of us (out of 21) who passed it. I’m now preparing for my 3rd year of the Master Sommelier Diploma and when I pass that one that will for sure be a new highlight.
What is the best thing about being a Sommelier?
The best thing about being a sommelier is that the world of wine is constantly changing. Which means there will always be new wines to taste, new regions to explore and new things to learn. It other words, it never gets boring!
What are the biggest challenges of being a Sommelier?
I would say finding balance in your life. We work quite a lot as you would expect. At some of my previous places we worked 65-70 / week. Add on the time you need to study (which is a lot) on top of that. The time you need for family and friends. For the weekly chores. Its still the greatest job in the world, but you need balance to be able to enjoy it, otherwise it will bring you down.
How did you come to work at Ormer Mayfair?
I used to work together with Agnieszka Josko, the Restaurant Manager, a couple of years ago at Greenhouse Restaurant. We got along really well so when she became responsible for the Ormer Mayfair opening, she gave me a call to see if I would be interested in joining. And I of course said yes.
How did you develop the wine list, and how long did this take?
Well once we knew the direction we wanted, it took about 3 months to get it ready for the soft opening. We had to taste about 1200 wines during these months and we decided to only take 150 of those in the end. It sounds like an amazing time I know but it’s really not as glamorous as one might think. But we now have a truly fantastic wine list which I’m really proud of. But a wine list is very much a living thing and we are constantly changing it as we are searching for new great wines to add on.
How do you decide which wines to select?
We are very lucky to be in London as it is the wine capital of the world. So it’s not unusual for us as a team to taste 200-300 different wines every month as there are so many tastings going on. So whenever someone tastes a great wine and thinks it would be suitable for the restaurant, we order a sample from the supplier to try. I think it’s important to be objective so we always try the sample blind and we only list it if everyone in the team is happy with the wine
What other key drinking trends are you seeing at the moment?
There have been a lot of trends recently but I think English wine is the one that really has got my attention. It’s not really a recent trend but it has got a lot of great press and well deserved attention in the last 6 months.
What do you see as being the next big thing in the food and drink industry?
Not sure to be honest. I think Brexit will have a huge effect on the restaurant scene and I think there will be kind of a stand still until we get all the details on how it will look afterwards.