Name: Batin Mumcu
At the moment: Germany
Please, tell us a little bit about your first encounter with wine & the wine industry? Any particular mentors at that time?
I was born and grew up in Heidelberg in Baden, a quite big area for wine in German, so I´m already heavily pre-loaded when it comes to wine and wine culture. I like very much the cycle the win has during a year. From the flower on the vine in nature, up to the maturity in the basement. I do love to compare that with humans and his upbringing, which is also very much characterised by climate, soil, and education. I never had a special mentor, but there are some teachers in my sommelier studies I respect a lot.
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?
A sommelier should act and be like a good wine, be authentic is the keyword! Like everything you do in life, do it properly and identify yourself with the work you do. Hobby as a profession, is the guarantee of longevity in the profession. Empathy, flexibility, and thirst for knowledge are important features.
When a customer asks for advice on selecting wine what's in your opinion would be the best approach?
The mood in which the guest is located is an important factor, the occasion and of course what there is to eat. The range of wines in the wine list should be account and designed with many facets. Regional specialities, classic and modern such as organic wines, and unknown wines with indigenous grape varieties for surprises and tension in the map.
What advice would you give people on pairing wine with food?
About food and wine pairing there is luckily no fixed rules, anymore. Anything is possible. Clearly of course, acid and acid is added and sweet wine and sweet food together taste harmony. But in between is plenty of room for lots of new creations and creativity. But, you should have tested the combinations before you recommend them.
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?
This is a very big topic! Unfortunately, the quality of the glasses in restaurants is often neglected. Also, the quality of the wine glasses can be too good. I use at home the mouth blown Gabriel glasses, I had six, now there are three left, because they are too good :)
Should a Sommelier(e) taste the guest's wine?
… that´s up to the philosophy and the concept of each restaurant, I don't mind.
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?
For me, the answer is easy, the wine must taste good. To do this, wine must reflect the region, climate, the soil and the grape variety in the special winemaker creativity and style. Keep the basement clean and success will follow, is all I can say.
If you were a wine, which variety would you be, and why?
Funny question! I think, I would be a kind of a wild European hybrid grape, a cross of Vitis vinifera and something special, in many colour.
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?
My top 3 wine styles, found at my home collection? Wines that I like, wines that please my friends like and last but not least hopefully many wines I have not tasted yet. I´m not sure that a wine, as a drink, is sufficiently enough for something I take to a desert island. But maybe a Madeira Bastardo 1927 would be fine.
Any interesting suggestions about magazines or online platform?
The most important wine platform is of course the Berliner Weinpilot (www.berlinerweinpilot.de). The Smartphone App Berliner Weinpilot is my own creation and idea, a Smartphone app, as a calendar format, to be inform about the latest wine events in Berlin. Free download, at all smartphones! So you missed no wine tasting! In moment, I'm looking for countries and cities for further cooperation. So far my own advertisement. There are some exciting Online portals about wine, but most are too commercial and tied to a membership. I do love books and the classics from Jancis Robinson "the Oxford wine dictionary" in combination with Hugh Johnson's "Wine Atlas" are a kind of a wine Bible for me. Both were very helpful in my sommelier exam.
@ by Dominik Kozlik – Zeitgeist Sommeliers - www.sommeliers.at