Sandra Bein

2019 profile

Head sommelier – Mere

Born into the hospitality industry, having grown up in her parent’s family-run hotel in Austria, Sandra Bein was initially reluctant to continue working in the business. Won over by a visit to a local catering college, however, she bowed to the inevitable and chose to pursue a career in food and drink. After graduating, she worked in various four-star hotels in Tyrol, Austria’s alpine state. Inspired by one of the restaurant managers, she began studying to become a sommelier, and her passion for wine was born.

Moving to London in 2013, having been lured by Le Gavroche’s extensive wine list, Bein became a sommelier there, relishing the chance to work under sommelier David Galetti. Moving to join him and his wife, Monica, at their new restaurant, Mere, was a logical step, and Bein was front of house as head sommelier at its opening in 2017. For Bein, stripping out the jargon from wine is important. The wine list is encased in a folder made from cork and features the bespoke Mere typeface for its headings. “Passion is what it’s all about,” she says. “What’s important is that it’s easy and understandable.”

Consequently, the wine list at Mere is organised by grape variety rather than region, “from good-value, easy-drinking wines to classic appellations such as Sancerre and Châteuneuf-du-Pape, to indigenous Rotgipfler and Negroamaro”, she says. Alongside the Old World classics are a strong selection from New Zealand via the likes of a zippy, lime-laced Wild Earth Riesling 2016 from Central Otago and a Chenin Blanc from Gisborne’s Millton Vineyards.

The restaurant also has its own grand cru Champagne, called Mere sur Mesure from Duval Leroy. Bein lists the blanc de blancs sparkler for £65 a bottle. Crafted by Bein, alongside David Galetti, the restaurant has an impressive two-page reserve list including the likes of R.D. Bollinger, Coche-Dury, and ready-to-go first growths. It is also noted for its by-the-glass offering, with Coravin enabling around 50 wines to be sampled in smaller measures. Bein’s influence can also be seen in the number of Austrian wines that grace the list, from a Chardonnay from Markus Huber, Weingut Prieler’s Pinot Blanc Seeberg and Sankt Laurent from Johanneshof Reinisch.


Leave your reply

Most Recent Stories

Local council looks into Jeremy Clarkson's farm restaurant

The broadcaster may have beef with an authority he cannot beat in an investigation over planning permission for his all-meat restaurant.

Bartender reveals his 'hack' for when people complain their drink is too weak

A bartender has gone viral online after revealing the "hack" he uses when customers complain that their drink is too weak.

Mexican beauty queen accused of €1.6m wine theft appears in court

The 29-year-old Mexican beauty queen and 47-year-old Romanian-Dutch male arrested over the theft of 45 exceptionally rare bottles, including one from 1806 valued at €310,000, appeared in court last week.

Number of bars and restaurants in 'critical financial distress' rises by 70%

The latest Red Flag report from financial advisory Begbies Traynor Group has found that hospitality is the sector with the greatest year-on-year percentage increase in the number of businesses in "critical financial distress".

64% of the UK's top 100 restaurant companies are now making a loss

Research from national accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has shown that the UK's hospitality industry has reached a bleak new milestone as a record 64% of the top 100 restaurant companies are now making a loss.

Most Recent Stories

Local council looks into Jeremy Clarkson's farm restaurant

The broadcaster may have beef with an authority he cannot beat in an investigation over planning permission for his all-meat restaurant.

Bartender reveals his 'hack' for when people complain their drink is too weak

A bartender has gone viral online after revealing the "hack" he uses when customers complain that their drink is too weak.

Mexican beauty queen accused of €1.6m wine theft appears in court

The 29-year-old Mexican beauty queen and 47-year-old Romanian-Dutch male arrested over the theft of 45 exceptionally rare bottles, including one from 1806 valued at €310,000, appeared in court last week.

Number of bars and restaurants in 'critical financial distress' rises by 70%

The latest Red Flag report from financial advisory Begbies Traynor Group has found that hospitality is the sector with the greatest year-on-year percentage increase in the number of businesses in "critical financial distress".

64% of the UK's top 100 restaurant companies are now making a loss

Research from national accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young has shown that the UK's hospitality industry has reached a bleak new milestone as a record 64% of the top 100 restaurant companies are now making a loss.