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“One does not need to be a connoisseur to enjoy a glass of wine. Wine is for everybody.”

Wojciech Cyran
Brand Ambassador, Jacob’s Creek

Wojciech Cyran is the Brand Ambassador of Jacob’s Creek, an Australian wine making company. Cyran spent last the 10 years gaining his wine experience working and training in France, Australia, Spain and the Great Britain where he got his WSET Diploma in wines. He is also the Pernod Ricard Wine Ambassador. Recently, he was in the capital to educate and aware people about wine culture. He conducted 15 workshops for people who are in the wine trade. “The workshop focused majorly on pairing wine and food. Also how to professionally taste wine and recognise its several properties,” he informed. Besides wine, Cyran loves hiking and in his next visit plans for the Everest Base Camp trek.

In an interview with B360’s Ankita Jain, Wojciech Cyran talks about his role as an ambassador, the growth in wine consumption in the country, and aspects of wine. Excerpts from the interview:

What are your duties as a wine ambassador?

As a wine ambassador, I serve as an opinion leader within the wine industry. Besides, we are assigned to conduct workshops, tasting sessions in different countries, and create awareness about wine and the brand.

Do wine palates differ across geographies?

In Europe and Australia, people like dry wine. On the other hand, in countries like Nepal and Poland, people like sweet wine. But when it comes to food pairing, dry wine goes with food. In several workshops, I aware people about the properties of dry wine and how it pairs best with food. Usually, after the training session, people switch to dry wine.

How do we reorient the way we consume wine?

In the West, spirits are used as an aperitif before a meal or as digestive after the meal. Wine, on the other hand, is considered food that has some alcohol in it. It has been used historically to break down food made of cheese and butter. In fact, there have been times in history where wine was used as a substitute for water in wars because drinking water was dangerous.

What’s the difference between a wine connoisseur and an ordinary drinker?

I personally do not like the word ‘wine connoisseur’. It gives you a feeling that wine can only be consumed by people who are well educated about different varieties of wine. I believe one does not need to read books to enjoy wine, even an ordinary guy can have wine. The good wine is the one you enjoy. Of course, there are a few people who know about wine, they go to wine tasting, wine region and they know more. But one does not need to be a connoisseur to enjoy a glass of wine. Wine is for everybody.

There is a shift in the market with more people consuming wine in Nepal. Your thoughts…

This is because of the rising number of wine tasting sessions at restaurants and pubs in and around the city. Also, more and more global wine makers are visiting the capital to talk about their brands. Further, courses on wine tasting are being organised. The trend of dinner guests carrying a bottle of wine is gaining ground too.

Which is prefered: red or white wine?

It is definitely red. I think people feel red wine is more prestigious. Also, when one pictures a glass of wine, it is usually red. Currently, the wine market is growing in double digits in Nepal.

What are the major elements to look for in a wine?

The aroma is the most important element of any wine. Second, you may or may not like a certain tannic wine but that should not blur your ability to assess its quality independent of personal choices. The most important character of good taste is the ability to first identify it. Also, it is important to know if the wine was aged in an oak barrel or not. If a wine is aged in oak, it will have spicy character to it.

Majority of wines should be consumed up to five years from the date of production. While many people think that older wine is better, this belief is not true. There are some wines which have aging potentials. It also depends on the grape variety. Further, they are usually aged in oak barrel. And they have higher level of acidity. Nevertheless, there are several wines which are amazing when they are young.

How useful are the different wine applications available today?

They are useful but I am an old school guy. I like taking wine notes on a paper. Whenever I try a new wine, I take notes. It helps develop my palate.

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