Interview With A Sommelier – Marcus Loren Matthews
25th September 2023
The World of Wine is beautifully showcased by an army of talented Sommeliers, who help the consumer discover their next favourite bottle, understand the different regions and pair a delicious meal with the right Glass of Bubbly.
In this feature, I speak with a man who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Marcus Loren Matthews, and let’s find out a bit about his life as a Sommelier.
Tell Us About Yourself
“My name is Marcus Loren Matthews. I am a hospitality professional with 33 years in the field, an entrepreneur, a freelance sommelier (CMS-A, WSET), the former Floor Sommelier at The Continental by Sean Brock (Nashville, TN) and the former Head Sommelier at Niku X (Los Angeles, CA). Biker (Harley), musician, poet, blogger…I’m very popular.”
What Inspired You To Become A Sommelier?
“Honestly, when I first got started I just wanted to be a better fine-dining server. It didn’t take very long for me to discover that I had a real passion for wine and spirits, so I set all my server aprons on fire in the backyard and transitioned to sommelier full-time.”
During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learnt?
“I have studied with or worked directly for five Master Sommeliers, and of those five, there are only two that I would let anywhere near one of my guests. The rest just had no idea how to talk to people. It’s called the “hospitality business”.”
How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending English Sparkling Wine?
“At this point, I only recommend a good Fizz to regular clients or obviously adventurous guests. “Bubbles people” can be very brand-loyal, so getting them into a new bottle from a new place can be a challenge, but certainly worth the undertaking. As a work-around I often sneak one onto my wine pairings menu. Once the wine hits the table it really sells itself.”
In Your Professional Opinion, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?
“I am the least snobby sommelier you are EVER going to meet, but honestly, I’d sooner use Prosecco to wash out the ice buckets than pour it with a meal. I’M JUST KIDDING! Prosecco never gets them as clean as I’d like.”
What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?
“Get your basic wine accreditation, then stop chasing lapel pins. Concentrate on becoming the best hospitality professional and best person that you can be. Also, stop wearing a tastevin around the dining room. You look stupid.”
If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?
“I make a seared tuna steak with orange oil and ice plant, and pair it with the Bruno Paillard Brut Assemblage 2012. It’s my “death row” meal. Side note: It’s also okay sometimes to ditch the tuna and Champagne and get some Friday Fish Fry with a different bubbly alcoholic beverage of note. There is a lot to enjoy in this world, people…have a bit of ALL of it!!!!”
Thank you, Marcus, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!
Images belong to Marcus Loren Matthews. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.