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The World According To Thomas Sorcinelli

The Ritz’s head sommelier talks to Kate Pass about rollercoasters, teacup pigs and the ultimate cigar


THOMAS' CV

1995 Diploma in Hospitality Management
2001 1st Level AIS wine course passed with merit
2007 Joined Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor as head sommelier
2008 Innovation in Profession Award
2008 Joined The Ritz London as head sommelier
2011 Made wine and beverage manager at The Ritz London


‘Before the recession people would spend £1,000 or more on a bottle of wine and drink these masterpieceswithout a thought – it was about time people started to ask questions and to care about what they were buying.’

‘The Dog Whisperer is one of my favourite things to watch. I love Cesar Millan: he’s down-to-earth, knowledgeable and he’s got talent. The way he deals with animals is how we should deal with people – it’s all about reading body language.’

‘I don’t think much of tiny dogs. I’d rather have a teacup pig.’

‘I’m one-half devoted to champagne, while the other belongs to Pauillac. I’d love to swim in a pool of champagne and bathe every night in a tub full of Pauillac. Why not?’

‘I’m not a gambling man, but Las Vegas is fantastic. I went for two days and I didn’t sleep for the whole 48 hours. It’s not the real world; it’s like a dream. I’d go back in a second.’

‘I love Thailand, I’ve been there twice. I’d wake up late afternoon, go to the beach and watch the sunset with a cigar, then go out and enjoy amazing, fresh seafood. Last time I was there, I ate lobster every night – the wines weren’t great, but I managed to survive.’

‘On my days off, my favourite thing to do is go to the park (with a bottle of champagne and a cigar) and walk barefoot on the grass.’

‘I love cigars. Recently, I’ve been blown away by Cohiba Behike – it’s the ultimate experience as far as cigars go – when you’ve got one in your hand you don’t want it to finish. It’s all too easy to end up with burnt fingers…’

‘I don’t believe in this attitude that to be a connoisseur, you need to go for smaller, more obscure brands to prove a point. There’s no shame in enjoying the bigger names.’

‘I’m Italian: I cannot live without pasta. I make it with everything.’

‘I love films. My favourites are probably the X-Men films. I love all of those films that are full of surprises and super-heroes.’

‘Theme parks are brilliant – I love a good rollercoaster. I went to Thorpe Park a little while ago and I went on SAW – The Ride. Twice.’

Editorial feature from Imbibe Magazine – November/December 2011

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