What sommeliers are drinking

In her first monthly T&C column, the wine expert Sandia Chang shares some insider recommendations

The life of a sommelier is not as glamorous as most people think it is. Our work days are mostly occupied by carrying boxes, unpacking wines, stock taking, changing wine lists, doing invoices and chasing credit notes. Only on the rare occasions when the restaurant can spare us will we get to go on trips where we frolic in the vines, sniff the earth and ask geeky questions to winemakers.

Wine is definitely an area of endless knowledge: every vintage is different, every winemaker’s touch is unique and every slight change of weather or political agenda can affect the wine. As sommeliers, we want to taste a new grape, we want to taste what the new winemaker has achieved, we want to taste what global warming has done to certain wines of the world and, most importantly, we want to learn something new. Next time you are out, try to taste wines from grapes you never heard of or those from unusual places.

Savoie lies majestically on the eastern part of France as part of the French Alps bordering Switzerland. Vineyards in the Savoie are grown at high altitudes between beautiful lakes and mountains. The main grapes of this region are Altesse, Roussanne, Chasselas and Mondeuse. Benefiting from plentiful sunshine and cool weather, the red wines are light and juicy and the whites are fruity with dazzling acidity.

Two to try…

Domaine de L’Idylle Mondeuse 2016 (£13.75, Yapp) – This is friendly, playful and packed with young red currants that want to burst out and play. Chill slightly and enjoy with salami, cheese or a roast-chicken dinner on a hot summer night.

Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli, Kakheti (£17.95, Noel Young Wines) – This is a white wine that has been made with skin contact, resulting in a beautiful amber colour. It is perfumed with exotic spices, dried pears, stewed peaches and hanging dried herbs in the kitchen. It is fresh and yet savoury, with red wine tannins. This wine is like nothing else.

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