SHANGHAI | 4 Nov, 2019
Interviewing Jojo Fu - WSET Level 3 Wine Expert
In an exclusive interview with CWC, Jojo Fu talks about wine trends, challenges faced by a sommelier, wine lists and much more.
Jojo Fu is a WSET Level 3 wine expert, WSET course educator and Officially Certificated Educator of Australian Barossa Valley. In a recent Q&A session with CWC, he shares insights on wine trends, wine lists, challenges and much more.
What really drives you when it comes to wine?
wine is not just wine, it represents a sort of spirit, which is made by winemakers who really love wine and they want to share their products with all the customers throughout the world.
wine also symbolizes its unique terroir including local delicious food and the culture of different countries, that’s why I love wine.
What food and wine trends are you seeing at the moment?
Because Chinese people love a lot of food by different cooking ways, nowadays young people pay more attention to comparing different food and different variety of wine, they would like to pay for good food and also the perfect wine
What you look for when you plan to buy wine for your business?
I love French wine and Italian wine because I love the old-fashioned style of making wine
What are some challenges you face as a sommelier?
In China, sommeliers are always considered as a waiter, so it is not a decent job in China for young people, we should let more Chinese customers and hotel managers know it is not true. Also as a sommelier, China has a high tax for wine so it is very difficult for them to purchase good quality wine with a good price, that’s why the customers cannot feel very happy when they saw the wine list made by the sommelier.
What do you think is the most important element of a good wine list?
First of all, a good wine list should match with the restaurant special food list, and also should consider the local consumption level, of course, it will be better to show all different style of wine to the customers.
How has the role of the sommelier evolved in the last 20years?
With the development of China, some cities like Shanghai and Beijing or Guangzhou, the sommeliers are more common to be found in a different situation such as five stars hotel s and famous restaurants, with customers’ recognition, the sommeliers’ salary become better than before
Which varietals or countries are in demand these days for your business?
French wine is very popular for Chinese customers and I think the style of Australian wine also suitable for Chinese customers because of it’s strong aromas and high alcohol
Describe your experience interacting with customers on a daily basis.
We recommend wine after we know the need of the customers, if they like old style, we will recommend French wine or Italian wine, if they want alcohol or want easy drinking fresh style, we will recommend some new world wine such as Australia or Chile wine, we communicate with customers all the time to solve their needs.
How you define a good sommelier?
A good communicator and a good advisor, nice and well dressed
What does your typical day really look like?
Looking for good food material and seeking the way to cook, then try to find the right wine for myself also for the future customers, and training my employees about wine knowledge.