Greta Krpciarova, sommelier and wine buyer for the Goodman Restaurant Group, takes our Unfiltered Q&A, revealing how a glass of 2002 Krug and 1992 Sassicaia represent the best, and most unfortunate, day of her career in wine, and why Johnny Depp is the most memorable guest she has ever served.
What’s your vintage?
1982 – vintage of the century in Bordeaux
What’s your go-to drink at the end of a long day?
A glass of Champagne
What’s your most embarrassing front-of-house moment?
The day when a table of eight brought their own wine– 1996 Sassicaia. I decided to decant the wine in a brand new, beautiful, boa decanter. I assumed it would be easy to use, but wine comes out of it very quickly if you’re not paying attention. I was chatting to the guest and I’d emptied the decanter before I’d even poured a glass for the last guest at the table. It was a very embarrassing moment. Me, standing there with an empty decanter,
in front of an empty glass, getting very red and very hot. Luckily they found it funny and as a joke they asked me to get a glass of house red for their friend.
If you could give your younger self advice when starting out as a somm, what would it be?
Keep learning every single day and enjoy it. No matter how difficult something may seem, always give it a try!
Has a wine ever given you an epiphany? Which one?
In early 2016, I was invited for the launch of a long awaited vintage 2002 from the House of Krug in a beautifully set up studio space in Shoreditch. Flowers everywhere, real birds singing, Krug bottles on the swings and classic music playing in the background. We were sipping Grand Cuvee before we sat down to the tasting, chatting to other somms/buyers about the ’02 vintage…all of them have been waiting for 14 years to taste this fabulous vintage! 14 years ago I was content drinking rose instead of water while living in Ibiza. This tasting made me aware of how fortunate I am.
Which customer habit annoys you the most?
Customer habits don’t annoy me. At Goodman, we try to learn the quirky habits of our regular guests. That’s why they keep returning.
Who is your inspirati
on in the gastronomic world?
Massimo Bottura, three-Michelin-star chef, known as ‘the poet chef’. Founder of non-profit organisation Food for Soul, he is using his celebrity chef status to illuminate the most pressing issues facing society today such as hunger and food waste.
What’s your ultimate food and wine pairing?
Scallops with creamy corn foam, toasted almonds, dried sour cherries, basil cress and Condrieu or grass-fed fillet steak with truffle mash and Barolo.
Where would your fantasy vineyard be?
Sonoma Coast. I find it fascinating and mystical as it encompasses a broad range of topographic, geologic and climatic conditions.
If you weren’t a sommelier, what would you be doing?
Very likely a stand-up comedian or nutritionist, but I would still have a passion for wine. Airline pilot in a fantasy world.
Which wine (grape/style) do you find it impossible to get along with?
White Zinfandel and Pinotage.
Who is the most memorable customer you’ve ever served?
Johnny Depp for his extravagance, but also for his passion and knowledge for great Champagne and red wine.