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Interview with Tatiana Fokina from the legendary wine shop Hedonism in Mayfair

Tatiana kl

1. Tesi: Tatiana, you manage the wine shop, Hedonism, in London. Please tell me more about your background and the philosophy of your business.

Tatiana: The shop opened a year ago here in Mayfair. Eugeny Chichuarkin – the owner – had the idea to create a shop that provides wine as a holistic customer experience. We have more than 7,000 products in stock and growing. So, it’s very likely when you’re looking for a specific wine and year that we can provide what you’re looking for.

Our philosophy is to make wine from all different regions of the world approachable to our customers. Wine can be quite a closed topic for many people. We want to open the world of good wine to our customers; we want to provide guidance, and we want to build a trusting relationship with our customers so they know our shop is a place where they are welcomed and where they want to come back because they can count on our advice. Bringing this philosophy to life starts in hiring the right people. All of our staff has a Michelin Starred sommelier background to ensure customer contact is always on the highest possible level.

 

After saying all this though, I also have to give a little heads up to our guests: The cellar of our shop is in a very old building, and we discovered after opening that we have a ghost in our wine cellar.

Tesi: What’s the ghost’s name?

Tatiana: We call her Elisabeth. We believe she’s locked up close to the French section. We’ve actually never seen her, but some guests have reported noises and whispering from her.

Tesi: Is she a good or a bad ghost?

Tatiana: We don’t know.

2. Tesi: Stock market wisdom says: “Buy only shares from companies you know the history and industries you understand the business.” What is your wisdom for buying wine?

Tatiana: My wisdom would not be too dissimilar! If you want to discover and buy a good wine, first you should go for the good vintages and for the good regions. Start reading about and tasting wine as much as you can. Develop your knowledge of wine. Unlike the stock market, wine is never a theory or a forecast; wine is a taste and an experience. You might already find some wisdom in our name – Hedonism: Simply enjoy every glass you drink with open senses, and you will become a true wine expert.

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3. Tesi: Please complete this sentence: A good wine is...

Tatiana: ... something you enjoy from the very first sip and then forever. You will never forget an outstanding wine.

4. Tesi: Italy, Spain, and France are the three “Wine Super Powers.” Outside of these three countries, which wine region would you say is underrated or undiscovered?

Tatiana: The first region I would mention is Portugal. Portugal is well known for its amazing Port wine, but the country has also wine to offer on the same level as the other regions you mentioned. The price/value balance makes Portuguese wine very attractive.

Also, California wines are of superb quality. The weather and soil conditions in Napa are perfect. California wines offer an amazing range from elegant to full-bodied wines. We are very proud that we have the largest California wine selection outside of California.

Finally, I would mention Switzerland as an undiscovered wine country. The little country in the heart of Europe offers some surprising wine treasures.

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5. Tesi: What does good food mean to you?

Tatiana: Good food is something I’m extremely passionate about! Good food is about the moment and a taste you’ll never forget. I visited Basque in Spain a while ago and had amazing dinners in different restaurants that will stay with me always. The Basque in my memory is now much more than the country or the landscape – in my memory, I can still taste the amazing cuisine this region offers. This shows just how powerful good food can be.

For more information please visit: http://hedonism.co.uk/

 

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