Anna Botting, Head Sommelier, Murano
Name: Anna Botting
Place of work: Murano
Bio: Born on the Polish coast, Anna developed her passion for wine whilst working onboard luxury yachts. During her time spent living in Italy, France and Spain she gained first-hand experience of their diverse wine styles.
To broaden her knowledge she moved to UK in 2008, where she completed her Diploma in Wines and Spirits while working in the iconic 2 & 3 Michelin stared restaurants Gordon Ramsay, Le Manoir aux Quat´Saisons and
Why are you so passionate about wine and what is it about wine that interests you?
I love travelling & history and I have been very lucky to live in France, Spain and Italy over the years. Wine is such a big part of the culture in those countries and they are great places to learn more about the industry. I find it fascinating how important part of people’s lives wine can be. What I love in particular is how every bottle of wine has its own story. As much as I like reading about them, the best part is tasting them too.
As a group sommelier what’s your main focus?
As group sommelier I am striving to find the most exciting and best value wines on the market. Another big part of my job is staff training, as in a restaurant like Murano we need to ensure that everyone knows as much as they can.
Do the majority of your guests already have an understanding of wine and what they like?
We live in a golden age of wine where we have access to information about everything wine related through the internet, books and magazines. This has certainly led to people acquiring more knowledge on the subject and many of our guests know different styles of wine and what they like. The main differences is that nowadays people seem to be more open to having a dialogue with sommeliers and they seem more confident on the topic, which is great to see.
How do you decide which wines to feature on your menu?
There are a number of factors that will influence my decision when choosing which wines should feature on the menu. I always take into consideration the style of wine and how it pairs with the dishes we have on our menu, as well as features such as rarity and price to ensure we are offering the best wines for the best value.
Do you ever get the pairing wrong?
We ensure that this doesn’t happen, as I taste all new dishes and make the decisions about wine pairings before they go onto the menu.
What advice would you tell a person studying wines in order to become Sommelier?
When studying to become a sommelier, the key is to make sure you taste lots of different styles of wines. All the theory you may know about wine is only half useful if you have not tasted the wine in question.
What are the qualities needed for this job?
In my opinion, the two most important qualities that are necessary to do well as a sommelier are empathy and humility.