Petri shares his top tips for current wine trends
Moët UK Sommelier of the Year Competition finalist, Petri Pentikäinen, Sommelier and Assistant Restaurant Manager at The Three Chimneys has the low down for our guests on current wine trends…
Which wines are most popular with Three Chimneys guests?
There is still a high demand for refreshing, crisp, white wines. The trend is away from the well know classics such as Italian Pinot Grigio and Muscadet from the Loire. We are seeing more and more requests for Grüner Veltliners, Albarinos from Rias Baixas, Picpoul from Languedoc, and of course Sauvignon Blanc, which is our current top seller. For red wine, the biggest change is definitely the popularity of Malbec.
How might this change over the next two years?
The style of wine people are looking for isn't going to change dramatically, but there will be a more diverse variety of regions and grapes available. Native south Italian grapes such as Fiano, Primitivo, Nero di Troia, and Grillo will become more popular. New world countries such as Chile and South Africa will be offering a larger variety of styles. They have been planting an increasing number of new vineyards in cooler parts such as San Antonia and Limari in Chile, and Elgin in South Africa.
Which countries are producing good value wines?
I'm currently a big fan of Sicilian wines which would command much higher prices were they from more well known regions. The local white grapes such as Grillo and Catarratto make for very versatile fish and seafood wines, while the reds made with Nero d'Avola are great with lamb and rich stews.
Is the Sommelier always trying to make guests spend more than they intended to?
A sommelier's main job is to recommend wines which the guest is going to enjoy, and being able to judge the price point a guest will be comfortable with. The sommelier must have created a diverse wine list, be able to discuss its content with guests at different levels of wine experience and understand the style and price of wine a guest is looking for.
Lunch or Dinner at The Three Chimneys is more about the overall experience rather than just the food. As a sommelier, wine and beverages are the tools of my trade with which I can make that experience better. This involves me recommending aperitifs, still wines, dessert wines, and digestifs….always trying to read my guest and understand what they most want and appreciate.