September 30, 2023
In Conversation With Philipp Reinstaller, Head Sommelier at Trivet Restaurant
Philipp Reinstaller, Head Sommelier at Trivet Restaurant, talks about his journey as a Sommelier and shares an unforgettable wine experience with us.
Philipp started his career as a Commis Sommelier at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (2 Michelin stars) in London. For nearly five years, he had the pleasure of working alongside Stefan Neumann MS and Vincenzo Arnese. During this time, he was promoted to Assistant Head Sommelier, passed the COMS Certified exam, and became the first Austrian to achieve the SSA Master Sake Sommelier title. With over six years of experience in the industry, he joined Trivet as Head Sommelier in June 2021 and passed the Court of Master Sommelier Advanced exam in October. He was also a judge for the IWSC for the first time this year.
Your current place of work
Tell us about yourself.
I was born in 1993 in Kufstein, Austria. After finishing Tourism high school in Innsbruck, I moved to Munich to work at Tantris (2 Michelin stars) in 2013. Three years later, I started my first job as Commis Sommelier at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (2 Michelin stars) in London, having the pleasure of working with Stefan Neumann MS and Vincenzo Arnese for nearly five years. During this time, I got promoted to Assistant Head Sommelier, passed the COMS Certified exam, and was the first Austrian to achieve the SSA Master Sake Sommelier title. In June 2021, I started at Trivet as Head Sommelier and passed the Court of Master Sommelier Advanced exam in October. It was also an honour to be judging for the IWSC for the first time this year.
What's the best part of your job?
There are ample things which I enjoy, but if I had to choose one, service. The energetic atmosphere in the restaurant during the busiest time gives you so much adrenaline. Knowing that guests are having a good time because of what the team provides is incredible. Outside the restaurant, it would say trips to different wine regions can't be beaten.
Your favourite TV show right now?
The Office (American)
Image: Philipp Reinstaller
An unforgettable wine experience for you - tell us the whole story!
When I moved to London, my first proper lunch was at Pollen Street Social with a colleague at the time, who is now a dear friend of mine. Probably because of this lunch.
We opted for the lunch menu, priced at £45, and ended up with a bill higher than £600. We had just started working as Commis Sommeliers and were overwhelmed by the hospitality. Agnieszka, the head Sommelier at this time, gave us plenty of blind tastings during the meal and still remembers that we got a Vin Jaune right despite not knowing how to pronounce it. This was a warm welcome to the London wine world.
What are the biggest faux pas customers make when ordering and drinking wine?
The need that the wine has to match the food. There is nothing wrong with ordering good food and wine and having a good conversation about something else.
Your favourite restaurant in London right now?
Without a doubt, A. Wong.
Any favourite food and wine pairing suggestions for London drinks enthusiasts?
Aged white Bordeaux and ribeye
Your favourite book?
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
What's your personal career goal? And how are you investing or planning to get there?
Two big goals. Passing the Master Sommelier exam and competing in an international competition. Working on the floor is probably the best training for the latter.
Give us one good story that you remember of a customer and you.
I will tell you a good story, but I was the customer. It was on a trip to Portugal with a friend of mine, and we ended up saying hi to the head chef of a Michelin star restaurant because we had another friend working there. Just before midnight, we sat down with him for a glass of wine and a chat. At 6:30 in the morning, Chef started grilling sausages in the kitchen, and we moved on from wine to beers. Moments like this make hospitality very special for me.
Header Image: Philipp Reinstaller