Q&A with Isaac Coleman on Kiyomi's QHA Wine of The Year Award
With a passion for wine and a deep understanding of Kiyomi's dining offer, sommelier Isaac Coleman, has succesfully developed an amazing balance of wines to complement the menu at Kiyomi, while adding value and quality to the guest experience. We interviewed Isaac to find out where his passion for wine came from and the process involved in developing an award-winning wine list.
When did you realise your passion for wine?
I was told in high school that in order to be successful, you must focus on one subject of study, and this always bothered me. I have so many different interests from history to chemistry to biology, and to understand the complexity of wine – each of these subjects must be studied. Since discovering my passion for wine, my days off and even holidays are spent travelling to wine regions to broaden my knowledge in this field.
Why do you think Kiyomi’s 2018 wine list was successful at this year’s Wine List of The Year Awards?
Kiyomi’s list has an amazing balance between iconic names in wine that are perfect for special occasions, and also sustainable and minimal intervention wines. The list is also designed to complement the food menu at Kiyomi which specialises in authentic Tokyo flavours with a modern twist.
How did you put together Kiyomi’s 2018 wine list?
I’ve been working with Kiyomi since its inception, so I have a deep understanding of our food offering, and I also have a strong relationship with a lot of our guests. Both are top of mind whenever I’m altering the list. I believe food and wine pairing is a very personal experience, and knowing the guests is just as important as knowing the food and wine that they will be enjoying.
How long did it take to finalise Kiyomi’s 2018 wine list?
It took months to get Kiyomi’s wine list to a point where it represented the ethos of the restaurant, whilst adding value and quality to our guests’ experience. Kiyomi’s wine list is ever-evolving, and will never be completely finished.
How many people were involved in finalising the list?
There are a lot of people involved in the production of a beverage program such as Executive Management, food and beverage attendants, and the procurement team.
Name your top 3 standout wines on the menu, and what is special about them?
My top 3 wines would have to be:
2017 Cullen Amber Sauvignon Blanc: The white grapes are left in their skin for a period of time to extract a beautiful colour and texture. This is a unique wine that expresses a real sense of place and the amazing texture pairs beautifully with Kiyomi’s cuisine.
2005 Yamabuki Koshu: This is an aged sake that is produced from high quality rice in the Akita Prefecture of Japan. It has an outstanding golden colour with amazing nutty caramel flavours.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti: Kiyomi has a selection of wines produced by Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. This is widely considered the best producer of red Burgundy. These wines truly offer a once in a lifetime flavour experience.
What is your favourite pairing at Kiyomi and why?
One of my personal favourites is the 2008 House of Arras Grand Vintage Sparkling from Tasmania, paired with our Kiyomi Sashimi Sampler. The Sashimi Sampler unites three quite different sashimi-based dishes that each bring out unique flavours in the sparkling.