Minute on the Clock – Thierry Sauvanot

25 September 2012 by
Minute on the Clock – Thierry Sauvanot

The Michelin-starred Drake's in Ripley, Surrey, picked up the Wine List of the Year award in the Good Food Guide 2013. Sommelier Thierry Sauvanot spoke to Janie Manzoori-Stamford

Congratulations on the recognition in Good Food Guide 2013. What does the award mean to you?
It is a real boost to my profession and is the result of many years of work. It is recognition of my passion and hard graft, but more importantly I am so proud for Steve and the rest of the team at Drake's. The wine list, while my responsibility, is compiled with lots of input from other members of the team. We are all delighted.

What makes a good wine list?
It is difficult to get the balance right; it has to reflect knowledge, passion and experience but also be customer friendly. It needs to be easy to read and well balanced, encompassing different grape varieties and blends, regions, winemaking techniques and all price points.

Reflecting my passion, the wine list at Drake's includes wines from small growers, particularly those that use biodynamic production methods. Wine produced in its natural environment and reflecting the region - just like with food - is the secret of a great wine and is an essential part of any good wine list.

How did you develop your career in wine?
The fact that I grew up in the wine region of Chablis put a stamp on my future from an early age. I am also lucky to have worked with the best in the industry. However, it would have been worthless without self-education, passion and an undying interest in wines.

Tell us about a memorable hospitality experience
My time at Pétrus was probably the most memorable. It was a real turning point for me in confirming my passion for wine and I was thrilled when I could open and taste some of the very old vintages (Pétrus 1947, Yquem 1900).

How have wine trends changed in recent years?
People are more educated about wine, with more and more customers having completed wine courses. I have also noticed an increase of mobile apps about wines, which obviously can help with their initial choice. However, it is my job to help clients choose the perfect wine for each course - and no app will ever replace that.

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk

Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Blogs on Catererandhotelkeeper.com ](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/email-newsletters.htm)[ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking