Vintage year for Raffles sommelier

Thrilled Raffles head sommelier Nicholas Murcott sent thanks out to his team after winning the accolade Sommelier of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards last month.
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Nicholas Murcott, the head sommelier at Raffles Dubai, was named Sommelier of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2008.
Nicholas Murcott, the head sommelier at Raffles Dubai, was named Sommelier of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards 2008.

Thrilled Raffles head sommelier Nicholas Murcott sent thanks out to his team after winning the accolade Sommelier of the Year at the Hotelier Middle East Awards last month.

Murcott looks after the wine menus and cellars for the 11 F&B outlets at Raffles Dubai and has implemented a sizable wine programme that continues to grow.

“I take care of the entire programme in the hotel and we have a signature wine menu for the hotel consisting of more than 800 products,” he explained.

Murcott praised the efforts of his team, many of whom he has nurtured himself.

“We bring a lot of young people up through the ranks, so it means as much to them as it does for me,” he said.

“It is important to implement confidence in your staff and we teach them everything in a back-to-basics manner.”

The experienced sommelier also cited his father’s influence in his early career as a factor in his success.

“I’ve been involved in hotels since I was a child because of my father and, having grown up in the industry, winning at the Hotelier Awards is simply unbelievable,” he admitted.

Murcott said he was impressed with the growth of the wine industry in Dubai.

“It’s amazing to see the wine culture that is developing across the city; it is moving in the right direction and is growing tremendously,” he pointed out.

Murcott is not put off by the fact that the UAE only has only two companies who can distribute wine.

He explained that this factor meant sommeliers had to remain “on top of their game” to stay ahead of the competition.

“Both companies have very unique wine menus — the competition is fierce but it forces both companies to continue developing to meet fast growing demands,” he concluded.

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