Maintaining high quality wines and other drinks in perfect condition, ensuring their adequate supply, caring for the drinking glass, and in particular providing an exceptional experience to the guest - that is how Simon Jakubik, an ace sommelier, defines his interesting work for restaurants and bars at Carlsbad Plaza: "I believe we are doing a great job of it with the other colleagues. Our guests can really taste dozens of specialties, not only among wines."
How did you come to working as a sommelier?
By pure accident. During the last twenty-five years, I have come to love wine, and when I was offered to work for a company importing quality French wines to the Czech Republic, I did not hesitate. Their sophisticated education system enabled me to become even more familiar with wines.
Where did you get the necessary experience?
Through everyday work. For a sommelier, it is important to keep in touch with not only wine but also the customers to whom it is served. Sommelier enhances their quality by means of constant repetition, tasting and smelling all tastes and smells, which can be found by tasting new wines as well as those already tasted previously. Each year, new wines are produced and the older ones change their character, training is therefore practically an endless process. I also gained knowledge as a member of the Sommelier Association of the Czech Republic in courses and competitions. Thanks to my work, I could make regular visits to wine regions in France, within the boundaries of which I attended interesting internships. After seven years in business, I started thinking about a new challenge, which resulted in my employment at Carlsbad Plaza Hotel...
What specialty would you now recommend to the hotel guests?
Our guests can taste a variety of excellent cognacs, whiskeys or even sake. Among wines it would be the entire collection of Premier Grand Cru Class of Bordeaux, including the famous Chateau Petrus, Grand Cru from the Bourgogne and Chablis area, Champagne Cristal from Louis Roederer or great Italian wines ranging from Barolo to Sassicaia.
Is there any custom in tastes or should the wine only match the sommelier's taste with a particular dish?
There are general recommendations and proven combinations. For example, to drink sake, beer, or a basic Chablis with sushi, and on the other hand sweet Sauternes or Tokay with goose foie grass. True art is however finding unexpected combinations. If this is achieved, the guest is presented with an unforgettable experience. The sommelier's task among others also includes finding out about guests taste preferences. A number of other factors play a role, such as time of the day and year, weather, the structure of the wine is also quite important, such as its acidity, amount of tannins, sugars, or the age of the beverage...
What flavors do you personally prefer?
Among red wines it is Côtes du Rhône, and especially Cairanne and Gigondas, in white wines Bourgogne. I had the opportunity to experience on my own the areas wines originate from and I still love returning there. I also love the combinations of wines and cheeses, I'd like to mention Gigondas from Domaine Santa Duc with matured goat and sheep cheeses or Saint Jacques scallops in olive oil with mushrooms and Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru from Hubert Chava. Additionally scrambled eggs with truffle oil and good Champagne is also a must!