Famous author and lover of all things French, Julia Child, once declared, “Wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life.” Indeed, these words could not ring more true for Capella Singapore’s new Restaurant Manager and Sommelier of The Knolls Restaurant, Monsieur Gabriel Danis.
Originally hailing from Roanne, a commune in the Loire region in central France, Gabriel has spent just over 14 months in sunny Singapore. Indeed, it is fitting that coming from one of France’s most renowned wine regions – he is now half-way round the world sharing his passion for French wine.
Starting from a humble beginning in 1995 as a commis waiter in Troisgros, a world renowned three Michelin-star restaurant in France, Gabriel learnt all the basic skills of fine dining service at the highest level. Since then Gabriel has continued to grown restaurant knowledge, working in premier locations throughout the world. During that time, Gabriel developed a special passion for wine and in 2000 he earned the highest level of certification in wine education from Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
Wanting to learn more about wine, I followed Gabriel around to observe his duties and walk in the shoes of a wine sommelier for a day. Apart from running wine tasting information sessions and offering expert advice and service to guests, Gabriel also manages wine procurement, wine storage, and wine cellar rotation. Working along with Capella Singapore’s culinary team, Gabriel has also created wine pairing to complement each and every dish.
After an interesting afternoon, the charismatic and gentlemanly sommelier left me with three useful tips to for even the most novice wine lover:
- Don’t be shy to ask the restaurant to pack up your wine bottle, especially if it is one that you thoroughly enjoyed. Remember to keep the label!
- Decanting is not always necessary, as the wine will get plenty of air in the larger wine glasses while we swirl.
- If you do not own a wine refrigerator, find a place in your house which is dark with a fairly constant, moderate temperature.