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The Sommeliers of Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury: A bridge between the vineyard and palatal bliss

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They are known for their refined taste, subtle aura and their ability to share their love for good wine. The three sommeliers of Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury, Julien Laugier, Mayur Kasseran and Kenny-Lee Newk-See, embody all of that! Passionate professionals, they bring their talent and science to the table of gourmets and manage the 18m² wine cellar which houses 3 500 bottles out of which 400 are references.

He knows the great vintages by heart. He is reputed for his thorough knowledge on wines and his ability to advise the wine that will sublimate the menu that the client has chosen. How do Julien Laugier, Mayur Kasseran et Kenny-Lee Newk-See advise the clients? How do they help them make their choice?  “It is linked to their choice of colours and the region that speaks to them; and the grape variety. Do they want to discover a different wine variety? And then, you also have the choice of aromas, texture, the freshness of the wine and the limitations of the clients themselves. These three questions help to determine the character of clients and the selections that we can suggest.”

Julien, 32, is Head Sommelier. He was introduced to this world fifteen years ago and holds a professional sommelier diploma. His assistants are Mayur, 24 years old with three years’ experience in the field, and Kenny, 33 years old, who also shares the same work experience as Mayur.  “Since I was a child, I have always wanted to be in the food industry. The profession of sommelier, how it resonates with the world, the human touch with the clients and the professionals and its prestige became more than a profession. It is my passion,” affirms Julien Laugier.

The sommelier has a rich vocabulary to describe wine. “Ruby dress, game nose, light thigh.” It is at the core of his profession: to advise the client based on the menu of his/her choice and his/her preferences. “He knows how to listen and how to interpret the words of the client in order to bring the best to his/her table in accordance with his/her choice of menu. The sommelier must be humble.”

 

Being a sommelier refers to the ability to socialise with one’s colleagues but also with the clients, to stay humble, and to never impose oneself.  “The person in front of you must trust you.” In order to manage a wine cellar similar to that of the Royal Palm, it is primordial to always keep an eye on the finances and the expenses, to have good management skills and to handle stock rotation with care.


Rotation of 200 new references per year

According to the Head Sommelier, the uniqueness of the wine cellar of the Royal Palm rests in the “changes in the wine selection.” There are between 350 and 400 references continually with a rotation of 200 new references per year. “My aim is not to have a large stock of the same wine, and regardless, most of the wines are limited in quantity based the prestige of the vineyards and domains. In addition, some wines are available only in Mauritius such as the P.C. 4 of Bernard Magrez, Ao Yun Vin of the Himalaya, Cape Winemaker Guild Auction Wines of South Africa. »

The sommeliers of Royal Palm guard meticulously the treasure of 3 500 bottles. They come from French, South-African, Australian and Italian vineyards for most part. Some rare wines feature among the collection. Julien Laugier purchases them when the opportunity avails.

The stock of Royal Palm houses some great vintages that clients can appreciate. We are talking about great vintages from the past thirty years. Taking Bordeaux for instance, we are referring to bottles dating back to 1989, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015.

This precious treasure is stored at an ideal temperature. “For white and rosé wines and champagne, all our stocks are stored between 5 and 7 degrees Celsius. I prefer to keep them slightly cooler than in Europe so that I do not have to cool it at the time of the order. For red wines, it is between 15 and 17 degrees Celsius and sometimes cooler because temperature goes up pretty fast in a glass,” emphasises Julien Laugier.
 

 

The Head Sommelier and his assistants design the wine menu. They guide the clients when they choose their wine at the table. A vegetable curry blends well with a white wine Chris & Susan Alheit, Magnetic Cuvee North wine variety Chenin Blanc, in great vintage 2017 (Citrusdal Mountain). A chicken «vindaye » goes well with a white wine Katty & Gary Jordan, Cuvee Nine Yards, wine variety Chardonnay in great vintage 2016 (Stellenbosch). As for the carpaccio and the beef tartar, they go perfectly with a red wine of Donovan Rall, wine variety Syrah, Cinsault Carignan, Grenache, great vintage 2016 (Swartland).

The wine cellar of the Royal Palm contributes to the reputation of the resort and adds value to the stay of the clients.  “It is possible given that the clients love to discover new things! Whether it is about a different region or a different variety of wines. Many have the possibility of treating themselves. » The wine cellar of the resort covers 18m² and has a section with a glass pane. Located in the main restaurant La Goélette, it is impressive and seduces wine experts.

(From left to right, Mayur Kasseran, Julien Laugier and Kenny-Lee Newk-See)

Drunk with moderation, wine has amazing health benefits with its vasodilating, antiplatelet and antioxidant effects --- facts that our sommeliers will definitely not deny!