With over 30 years’ experience in all things wine, Tim has certainly conquered the sommelier world. Moving his way up the ranks from Mossiman’s to Monte’s on Sloane Street, Tim finally set up Sommelier’s Choice in 1999. After a memorable trip to Italy, he now works with handpicked boutique wineries to share the high quality and consistency with FishWorks restaurants. Here’s a little insight into Tim’s world and tips for having the best wine tasting experience when you’re out or at home…
Tim, why are you so passionate about wine?
Interesting question, I think from an early age I found something in wine that allowed me to meet many people and communicate with people from all backgrounds.
I loved the smile on people’s faces when I introduced them to a new wine that paired perfectly with their food. Wine is perfect crossing all barriers, it is social, interactive and brings like-minded people together to share thoughts and experiences. It also has the ability to create fabulous memories.
From all your adventures visiting the vineyards around the world, which one stood out for you the most and why?
I would have to say the first trip with the Sommelier Club of UK where we visited Italy’s two most Iconic wineries, perhaps not as famous as they are today, Ornellaia and Sassicaia. When I think about this visit, we tasted the most famous vintages of Sassicaia (1985, 1988 and 1990) & Ornellaia (1985, 1988 & 1990). It was very special and gave me the foundation for what Sommelier’s Choice is today.
When cooking a seafood dinner, what should you consider when choosing your wine?
First thing to consider is keeping things simple. Light fish with light wine, like Sea bass and crab. Meaty fish like Turbot and Dover Sole you pair with fuller flavoured wines and even good red wines can work with these fish.
What are your 3 tips for someone who knows nothing about wine when choosing a bottle off the shelf?
Take advice, go to a specialist and consider buying the wine from the Fishmongers. FishWorks Marylebone is a good place to start.
Tell us why you chose a Portuguese wine for the new FishWorks white wine?
The Lisbon region for me is the perfect location for special wines to pair with seafood. The Atlantic Ocean influence on the wines with a saline note and the seaweed you find in the vineyard add a different dimension to the wine.
I especially liked the wines of Quinta da Boa Esperanca. A few miles from the winery you can eat the most fabulous shellfish and seafood, so we are just replicating the experience we had in Portugal in our restaurants with our new FishWorks wine.
If you were to choose 3 celebrity dinner guests to dine with you at FishWorks, who would they be? And what wine would you crack open?
Jurgen Klopp (I love his leadership style), Bear Grylls and Nicky Gumbel!
Oh I wouldn’t just have one bottle. Start with an aperitif 2008 Dom Perignon, considered to be one of the finest vintages in years. Followed by the Albarino 2017 Maior de Mendoza which is perfect with seafood.