Q&A with Klearhos Kanellakis, Head Sommelier, Trivet
How did you become a sommelier?
While studying Mathematics back in Greece, I was working as a waiter in restaurants. In one of the restaurants where I worked, my Maître d’, mentor and one of my best friends decided to enrich me with wine knowledge.
He decided to enrol me for the WSET Level 1 course. I only found out the day before the beginning of the course, and so there was no way out. I was excited to learn about wine and at WSET School I met some very interesting wine personalities.
One of them was my teacher, the only Greek Master of Wine at that time; he taught me to love wine even more and inspired me to dive deeper into the subject. The more I learnt, the more I started considering wine as my career.
I started my career in wine in some of the best Greek restaurants. As I wanted to learn as much as I could, I did not hesitate when the opportunity to work in the UK arose.
What attracted you to wine?
Thanks to wine, I get to meet very interesting personalities. I have visited some beautiful wine regions and I learnt more about the history and culture of these places. And all this with just a glass of wine! I still believe that this is the most delicious way to discover the World.
What’s your wine nightmare?
I have had a terrible nightmare about the Champenois stopping their production of sparkling wine…..I went to my fridge and I had to reassure myself it was just a dream by pouring myself a glass of Champagne!
With regard to my guests, I don’t mind if people order a wine that doesn’t match with their courses, if they add ice to their glass or if they want to top up their glasses by themselves etc. It’s their choice the only thing I want is to be helpful so that they can enjoy their meal and their visit to our restaurant.
Tell us your favourite wine moment and why it’s so special?
A long time ago, I created a wine pairing for a special occasion for a super VIP guest. His whole family enjoyed the night and during his speech he thanked me personally for my contribution. I tried some unique wines that night and I felt so happy that I was part of a special evening for some lovely people.
Why do you think the Sommelier Collective is useful for your profession now?
I like the idea that it connects the sommelier community – it is a great forum where we can all benefit by exchanging knowledge and experience. I also like the fact that the Sommelier Collective will allow me to keep updated about the huge amount of wine events taking place around London in the future when things get back to normal.