Name: Aziz Hathout

Nationality: Tunisian

At the moment: UAE-Abu Dhabi

Aziz Hathout - Tunisia2.jpg

Currently: Head Sommelier/Assistant Manager

Prerequisite:

 

Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?

I was around 15 years old and it was Pinot Noir. Love at first sight ! Wine Industry came later in my career after my graduation .

 

What specific traits or skills should a Sommelier(e) possess for professional performance and is there any person with that qualities you especially admire within the wine industry?

Passion first and foremost. Knowledge of the intricate relation between geography , traditions and History .A great memory, patience and a personality. Yes so many but I don’t want to make anyone jealous.

 

What would be your advice to a young Sommelier(e) i.e. Commis Sommelier(e) where to look finding an adequate position at home or abroad? Any further tips?

Find the country first that suits your personality . Write a proper resume. Lower your expectation and focus on the establishment and how it could benefit your future career. Google your potential Head Sommelier !

 

 

 

Active:

 

When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what's in your opinion would be the best approach?

Fairly simple follow first your instinct and ask the guest what he feels like drinking . You need to read your guests and most of the time I already have a clear picture of what the guest is looking for .

 

What's your philosophy about glasses? Are you working with well known brands or are you considering new brands as well and how do you determine?

Mandatory. Specially when it comes to premium Bordeaux/Bordeaux Blends. Riedel all the way for me .

 

What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?

Taste the dishes first, try them with different wines from your wine list. Then combinations are countless! It s all about experimenting. get to know your palate, your own perception that can be very different from the person sitting next to you

 

Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest's wine?

Absolutely .

Wine list:

What are the key ingredients for creating a wine list for a restaurant and what is your opinion on some ridiculous pricing on wine in restaurants, do you have tips on how to determine mark ups?

First know what kind of product you will deliver as a restaurant . Second is the market . Third is to follow the basic rules that we were taught at school. The ratio , the structure etc… I base my prices on the usual GP vs Cost / Ladder.

I’d rather keep that opinion for myself . Dubai is a very small city !

A website that I enjoy a lot is winesearcher.com Check it out

 

How do you manage to stay on top of the changes in the wine industry?

Studying, reading googling , travelling

 

How would a new vineyard get the attention of someone like you to notice their wine and what's the best way for producers to improve their chances of being listed?

Attend the worldwide wine fairs to get as much exposition as possible. Approach your local sommeliers and get them to taste your wines. Then the World is yours 

 

 

Favourite pick:

 

If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?

I’d a be a blend because I m too complex

 

What are the top 3 types of wine (your faves) would we find in your home wine collection and what's your desert island wine?

The Pinot-Gamay-Trousseau alikes

The Aromatic and crisp whites

Champagne !

 

Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?

Read as much as you can !

@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers - www.sommeliers.at