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Interview Katherine Larsen – UK Sommelier of the Year 2014

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Interview:

1. Tesi: Dear Katherine, I know that you are UK Sommelier of the Year but I’m sure there is much more to say about the person Katherine Larsen. Can you please tell me a bit about yourself and your love for wine?

Katherine Larsen:  When I am not at work or studying/tasting wine, I enjoy a quiet rhythm of life, in Chiswick, with my family. I spend a lot of time doing yoga, sport, reading, enjoying music and am very into healthy nutritious food.

2. Tesi: Europe has seen a trend that in the last 20 years that the community of people who drink wine has grown but the majority of wine drinker are not willing to pay high prices anymore. Where do you see the market for extraordinary and high pricing wine in five years time?

Katherine Larsen: In particular after the crisis in 2008, I think we saw a decrease in fine wine sales. Only very few places have been spared, thus there are still places out there selling four-figure bottles. However, most of those bottles are purchased by collectors all around Europe and US but also by powerful emerging markets like China, and put in their private cellars or by investment companies. Today, wine has, as much as a source of enjoyment, become a resource of wealth and investment.

3. Tesi: A good wine is… (Please complete the sentence)

Katherine Larsen: …well-made and balanced with a good level of acidity to carry the length and help the wine age.

4. Tesi: The United Kingdom is a wine producing country which needs to step out of the shadow of the wine super powers France, Italy and Spain. Which British wineries do you like most and why? Katherine Larsen: Nyetimber: an iconic estate in West Sussex, produced its first vintage in 1992 and already in 1997 caused quite the stir at a blind tasting where it was put alongside champagnes and was thought to be a champagne. The wines are very fresh, crisp, refreshing with a good level of complexity. Other good names: Ridgeview, Gusbourne

Tesi: … and what are your favourite wineries on a European level?

Katherine Larsen:

Germany: Egon Müller
Italy: Aldo Conterno
Spain: Vega Sicilia
France: Catherine & Pierre Breton

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

Katherine Larsen: Healthy and wholesome food made from high quality raw products. To me, good food not only tastes good and looks good, it must also be nutritiously wealthy.

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Biography:

After graduating from college in Denmark, I entered Copenhagen Hospitality College – graduating from there in 2004. I have worked in one and two star Michelin restaurants in Copenhagen until 2007 when I moved to London. In London I joined the group D&D London (as head sommelier at Pont de la Tour, and later Orrery), in 2013 I joined ZUMA as head sommelier, late 2013 becoming Master Sommelier, and in June 2014 moved to Top Selection Ltd as their Business Development Manager. In June 2014 I also won UK Sommelier of the Year.

Awards:

  • UK Sommelier of the Year 2014
  • Imbibe Personality of the Year ‘Hot Stuff’ Category 2014
  • Master Sommelier, also winning the ‘Grand Siecle’ Trophy for highest exam results 2013
  • UK Young Sommelier of the Year 2013
  • Award for Wine Service ‘Fine Dining’ Category (Academy of Food & Wine Service) 2013
  • Annual Award of Excellence ‘Service’ Category (Academy of Culinary Arts) 2009

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