Working in the wine industry is a never-ending learning curve for the sommelier at Hotel du Vin, Hungarian wine guru Sandor Molnar.
‘When you’re studying wine there is always something to learn,’ he says.
Studying for exams, blind tastings and trying to find the best pairings for the Hotel du Vin in Edinburgh‘s chef’s offerings keep him constantly on his toes.
Sandor works on the restaurant floor throughout the year but is particularly busy in the summer as Edinburgh welcomes legions of tourists, who are keen to tap into his knowledge.
Checking orders from ten different wine suppliers, filling shelves and fridges and ensuring there are no shortages of any of the 215 different wines in the hotel’s cellar, are daily tasks.
Sandor hosts regular wine tastings where he enjoys showcasing the diversity of old and new world wines. He also enjoys pairing wines for themed wine tasting dinners.
‘For example we have a dinner planned which is all about bubbles,’ says Sandor. ‘We will have six sparkling wines from all around the world and it will be hosted by one of the UK’s master sommeliers, Nigel Wilkinson. So as well as me talking about the wines we will have his expertise.
‘There are only about 350 people in the world who are master sommeliers.’
Sandor enjoys travelling and visiting vineyards. ‘I’ve been to Rioja and to Germany quite a few times,’ he says. ‘As well as having the theoretical knowledge you need to have hands-on experience of being at the vineyards and seeing how they make their wines.’
Getting a better understanding of the wines he is serving and immersing himself in his business seems the ultimate pleasure for Sandor.