General manager – 45 Jermyn Street
Growing up in Hungary, David Nichter got into hospitality in his 20s, driven by a passion for food and drink, and quickly decamped from his native country for London, keen to make his mark. He began his career at Alfred’s, the Alfred Dunhill private member’s club in London, where he worked for five years. Stints at Corbin & King’s The Delaunay and Villandry in St James’s followed, before he joined the opening team at 45 Jermyn Street in St James’s in 2015.
“I have been interested in wine, and been a passionate wine drinker, since my early 20s, but learning about its complexities while in the hospitality industry, particularly at Alfred’s Club, where my knowledge grew considerably, inspired me to become a wine buyer and, ultimately, to curate a wine list as eclectic as ours at 45 Jermyn St.”
Today, he oversees the wine list at the restaurant, which is owned by the luxury department store Fortnum & Mason. Nichter’s wine selection is littered with keenly priced classics; the sort of names that have been edged out of trendier restaurants, but bring a smile to the face of anyone who loves wine. He says the most important consideration when curating his list is to provide his customers with the “show stoppers” that they expect, while “surprising and allowing for discovery” by featuring unusual lesser-known producers or grapes.
“There is a joy in providing our diners with new knowledge and developing their palates,” he adds. Given his Hungarian roots, it is perhaps unsurprising that the list features Hungarian gems, with one of the best-value whites available by the glass, carafe and bottle – the Oremus Dry Furmint Mandolás. His favourite part of the job? “Seeing people appreciating and buying all sorts of wines from our list, and ensuring that list is constantly evolving,” he says.
“I get to sample the most sensational vintages and work with such varied and fascinating suppliers. From small productions in the Rhône Valley to a family business in Lebanon, we work extremely closely with exceptional people to provide the best-value wines from amazing regions. “Also, working with our enthusiastic, younger members of the team – encouraging and developing their knowledge and skills such as assisting with the buying and ordering process.”