Jean-Vincent Ridon

Family name: Ridon
Given name: Jean-Vincent
Jobs: Sommelier, Restaurant Aubergine, Cape Town
I love this about my profession: I am here to make people happy, to make my client talk to me but as well to enjoy the experience between them. I love that the wine and food experience becomes a social lubricant. Sometimes I feel I am more a shrink than a sommelier.
I get so much joy from: making people discover something new, and affordable. You can always make people dream with a glass of Vega Sicilia, but you can equally make them find pure excitment in an unknow Semillon from South Africa.
This is how a winemaker can get on my wine list: Winemakers should forget about only getting high points in US magazines by producing muscle wines. They must focus on their ability to make wines one can drink. Make a wine we want to finish the bottle, then I will put it on my list so I can sell a second bottle!
I would never do this: I would never refuse to try an odd pairing, because sometimes when all the boxes are ticked with “no” it can be “yes”... never underestimate our neuronal connections when it comes to pairing, sometimes there are secret doors.
I would never do this again: Listen to my own stories instead of listening to what my clients actually want!

South Africa