Miguel Chan has the best job ever! As Tsogo Sun’s Group Sommelier, Miguel is responsible for maintaining a world-class wine and beverage standard across the groups’ restaurants. Trying wine all day, paired with delish food? Where do we sign up?
A wine sommelier is a trained professional who specialises in all things vino… wine and food pairing, procuring and storing the goods, as well as wine cellar rotation and offering expert service to wine consumers – almost subliminally marrying the person with the food and the wine.
Is being a sommelier innate or something you work towards?
Both. The innate side is having a natural affinity and personality in meeting, and a genuine desire in serving people. You’ve got to work towards a sommelier qualifications. Depending on the level of achievement it’s one of the toughest, as it is not only confined to wine but the whole world of beverages. There’s lots of reading and self-training. The wine industry is changing daily, so considerable efforts required to stay on top of the profession.
How many wines do you taste a day?
On average 10 wines a day, mostly new releases.
Do you believe Joburgers are educated enough in vino?
Joburg is the biggest wine market in the world for Cape wines. The energy and quest for enjoying good wines is an everyday occurrence. Hence the consistent growth and changes where more Joburgers are embracing wines as their drinks of choice. Are we educated enough? Our palates are the best educators, keep it up!
Which wines have you recently tried and loved?
Rustenberg Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2015 – it was spectacular! Finely oaked, yet with impressive freshness and richness.
Tell us your favourite red and your all-time favourite white…
That is a very difficult one – in fact, impossible to narrow to one of each! It’s like asking me to choose my best friend amongst my group of friends. For me wine is a living thing, it’s the seduction and emotion attached while drinking it. It depends greatly on the company, time of the year, and the food its being paired with. It’s the occasion that makes or break the experience. I guess my favourite white is Chardonnay and red is Pinot Noir.
The most versatile wine is…
Anything sparkling. Of course, first choice will be Champagne, however our own MCC’s are getting better and better. Why not Prosecco to start the day?
Bottle or glass?
Glass, as I can sample more choices.
Chenin or Chardonnay?
Chardonnay – it is the king of white grapes! From Champagne to Burgundy and everything great in between
Most underrated wine is…
Rosé, there’s some world class stuff out there. It’s the perfect wine of compromise.
Where is your favourite place in Jozi to enjoy a glass of fine wine?
Sandton Sun San Deck, by the fireplace.
FB: Miguel Chan Wine Journal
Bianca Spinner is the Lifestyle Editor at Hello Joburg Magazine. Bianca is taking strides as in independent woman in the workforce and combined with her deep seated passion and love for her community, she is sure to increase her insatiable appetite for success.