Monday, 30 January 2017

Meet Dipan Ghosal, self-motivated Sommelier

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We struggle to fill the category 'Sommellier of the year' in our annual 'Slotovino Awards' (none since 2010/11) but January 2017 has brought an outstanding candidate it would be hard to beat in the next 11 months, Dipan Ghosal.

Dipan is from Kolkata. Slotovino Awards 2015/16  heralded India as well as China as the places from where our wine mayl increasingly come so it is fitting that it is from India that a truly talented sommelier comes our way now.

Dipan is modest about his training but actually he is well qualified with a BA in Hotel Management from Punjab Technical University and Distinctions in levels 2 and 3 of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. He has also served his apprenticeship as a steward in room service and the Indian Specialty Fine Dining Restaurant of the Taj Hotel Chennai, Sommelier of the Yauatcha (Michelin starred Hakkasan Restaurants) in Bangalaru and Sommelier for the entire Baros Resort in the Maldives. He goes from there to the Burj Al Arab, Dubai (the one that looks like a sail) no less where there are 7 restaurants and two bars. A man to watch.

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 The incredible thing about Dipan is that he has not yet visited any of the wine-growing regions his list comprises nor attended any of the famous wine fairs or events anywhere outside India. His encyclopedic knowledge is from his training obviously but also from his own research notably from 'Wine Grapes' (Robinson, Harding and Vuillamoz) and other sources. To that extent he is an autodidact.

In the Baros Island resort he increased the winelist from around 180 to 250 wines and broadened the choice to include not just Burgundy (there had been only Bordeaux previously) but also Minervois, Corbieres, Gruener Veltliner, Muscadet, Rioja (amazingly), Otago Pinot Noir (previously only Marlborough), Chilean Merlots, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Pinot Noirs, an Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon to act as a counter-weight to the Malbecs already listed and many others. The result is a fully rounded list with something for everyone. Of course the list remains conservative with all the usual suspects required by clients of such resorts but he tries to steer them towards some of the less obvious wines especially in the New Moon dinners that are a feature and takes pleasure in their satisfaction when it works.

In his profile he describes himself as 'a self-motivated Wine Professional, who started his career as a steward and fallen in love with wines.' He enjoys 'meeting people from every corner of the world and understanding their aspect for their respective wines and their choices.' He adds: 'I read whatever I get, mainly literature... ' I am 'a creative person at heart with a love towards kitchen experiments.'

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So if you go to Dubai and eat at one of the Burj Al Arab restaurants, ask for Dipan. You will be well looked after and should you have time to talk about wine Dipan is guaranteed to give his time and share his enthusiasms. A really dedicated and knowledgeable wine-lover and in equal measure a charming and efficient Sommelier who will always strike the right note.

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