Interview With The Head Sommelier Of The Clove Club – Emer Landgraf

25th June 2024

Interview With The Head Sommelier Of The Clove Club - Emer Landgraf

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 lady from Australia, who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Emer Landgraf, let’s find out about her life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself & What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I was doing a Finance degree at University back in Australia, and working in a local Italian restaurant at night and on the weekends. I started to slowly learn more and more about wine. Then when I completed my degree, I decided to open my own restaurant/wine bar with a business partner and dive more into wine study. There were a few people (Chiara Boschis, Rajat Parr, Olivier Colin, Benjamin Leroux) and a few great bottles (Villa i Cipressi ‘Zebras’, Ulysse Colin ‘Maillons’, Stella di Campalto) along the way that inspired me to pursue a career in wine.”

Do You Remember Your First Experience With Sparkling Wine? When It Was And What Kind Of Wine It Was?

“My first sparkling wine experience that was truly memorable was when a guest brought in a bottle of 1988 Salon and magnum of 1983 LR Cristal. The gentleman was always more than generous to share his wines and stories, and the smell of both wines was something I will never forget.”

During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising & Interesting Thing You’ve Learnt?

“The thing that surprises me still to this day is how logical and basic (sometimes) wine can be. I think when you first start learning about it, quite similar to Finance, the people in it like to make out that it is really complicated and difficult to understand, to discourage people from understanding it. But there is so much logic to it that we can forget so easily, myself included.”

What Sparkling Wine Producing Countries or Regions Hold A Special Place In Your Heart?

“Tasmania – Australia. I had a very memorable few days spent in the Northern regions of Tasmania (Tamar and Pipers Brook) visiting some of the best and most exciting wine producers. The sparkling wines coming out of Tasmania can offer as much as Champagne, if not more when we consider value. Some of my personal favourites – Bellebonne by Natalie Fryar and The Ridge by Harry Rigny.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Taste as much as possible! Before I worked in a restaurant where it was required to taste each bottle before it was served, I always thought I had a terrible palate – and I probably did. I spent a lot of time on my weekends and after working, pouring myself wines and trying to write tasting notes. Once I moved to a restaurant where I had to taste each bottle before serving, I noticed my palate got 20 times better without me even actively trying.”

Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?

“Enjoying a lineup of Tasmania’s finest sparkling wine examples at Clover Hill Cellar Door in Pipers Brook with a good friend, and winemaker, Harry Rigny (The Ridge) on a beautiful Spring day!”

What’s The Oldest Vintage Champagne You’ve Tasted? Asked on Behalf of Champagne Collectors

“The oldest vintage of Champagne I have tasted was the 1988 Salon. I think old Champagne is so special, so I am always looking to taste more.”

Thank you, Emer, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Photo Credit belongs to Emer Landgraf & The Clove Club, Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.