Home News > October 2020 > A few sips with Sara Rossi

A few sips with Sara Rossi

Sara is head sommelier at Michelin-starred, Trinity Restaurant, where she is developing the exciting beverage programme as well as training staff. She began her career in the wine trade when she first came to London in 2010, and has since worked in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants.

We caught up with her to talk about how fine dining has been affected during lockdown, how she got to where she is now, and what it is that she likes so much about SWA.

 

Work:

How has Trinity restaurant and your team coped throughout lockdown?

At the beginning of the lockdown, of course Trinity closed, but luckily we were able to keep open Bistro Union as a wine and food shop for the local neighbourhood for a couple of weeks. During the lockdown, all our staff were able to keep in touch via Zoom and we hosted weekly wine and food training sessions for the team.

 

What precautions have you put in place for the “new normal”?

Our first priority is to make sure our guests feel safe in their environment, and of course, that they enjoy their experience with us. We reduced the volume of covers and tables, therefore providing a safe distance between each guest. Every staff member is required to wear a face mask when they are working on the floor. We have hand sanitising gel at the entrance and one small bottle per table. We are also taking the temperature of everyone who enters the building, staff included.

 

What did you think about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme?

I think it was a good opportunity for hospitality sectors to get back to work and for guests as well to be able to eat out after a period of lockdown at home.

 

What more could the government do to help our industry?

In this time of uncertainty, it is very difficult to think and to predict what is going to happen in the future. What I would like to see is more insurance and support for the people who are working in the hospitality sector.

Bonus News: The industry has asked Prime Minister for more help. The Jobs Support Scheme will not help ‘stave off hundreds of thousands of redundancies’ and the 10pm curfew needs to be reviewed, say two open letters from hundreds of hospitality businesses. Click the link to read more.

 

Career:

How did you train to become a wine professional?

Everything began in London almost 10 years ago. I studied at the Wine Spirit Education Trust School and I started to work as Commis Sommelier at Cut at 45 Park Lane Hotel with Vanessa Cinti.

 

What was your first job when you moved to London?

I was a waitress in a Turkish bistro close to Embankment station. Sadly the place is not there anymore.

 

What’s the best advice you could give young sommeliers beginning their career?

Being a sommelier is a wonderful journey that never ends, in terms of learning and meeting new people. It is a career which requires patience and time. My first advice would be to start to work with a good mentor, who can teach you about the profession, and of course, be curious, be willing to learn and passionate about wine.

 

SWA:

How was your experience of last year’s SWA competition and the introduction of our new digital judging system?

As my first year, it was a good experience and I enjoyed using the new digital system, which was very well organised.

 

What is the most challenging part of being a judge?

From my point of view, it is being objective with every style of wine.

 

What would be your advice to first-time judges? And how do you think being a judge at SWA can help them in their careers?

My advice would be to enjoy and follow your instincts. Being a judge is a good opportunity to develop your tasting and description skills.

 

What were your favourite flights or wines you tasted from the 2020 competition?

My favourite flight was the Central Italian reds.

 

What are you most looking forward to tasting at SWA 2021?

I would like to try more English wines.

 

Finally, what’s your favourite wine/region/country?

At the moment, I am into Nebbiolo, Barolo, probably for the season.

 

The Sommelier Wine Awards will open its applications for judges later in October 2020. If you’re interested in becoming a judge, and want to judge alongside some of the best sommeliers and wine buyers in the business, then please register your interest now and we will email you when applications are open.

You can find out more about becoming a judge here.