Anong Klinyoo Tells Us What It Takes To Become a Sommelier

We caught up with wine Geek and entrepreneur Anong Klinyoo to talk about culture, wine, and how she got started at being a sommelier. Anong Klinyoo founded A-LLURE, a wine distributor that has made it possible for Kiwis to have an authentic Thai wine experience.

When you’re done reading the interview check out Klinyoo’s Fusion Food pairing guide.

Firstly, why did you become a sommelier?

At the beginning it was just something I found fascinating.

This fascination of wine grew into a real passion. I am heavily influenced by the fusion of culture, so becoming a sommelier for me helped me bridge the East and the West through sharing wines from my home, to the world.

Then the more I got into wine, the more I found similarities between people and wine.

We all have different backgrounds and characteristics; we change over time and are affected by external, uncontrollable factors, much like wine.

What’s the purpose of matchmaking wine for you?

The purpose of food and wine pairing is to enhance the overall flavours of the meal. Also, to avoid unpleasant flavours that could happen as a result of food and wine interaction.

There are two components I consider when pairing wine and food: compatibility and basic.

What do you look for in a match?

Like being a matchmaker, you generally try to pair up a couple that has similar interests and lifestyles. With wine, you take into account the level of sugar and complexity. The idea is that one does not overpower the other. Having this being said, as we know, sometimes opposites attract. The pairing of acid and fat can provide a pleasant sensation of the acidic wine cutting through the richness of the food, cleansing the palate.

I also consider sweetness, umami and bitterness flavours that tend to make wines taste harsher (drier, bitter, more acidic, less sweet and less fruity). While sourness and saltiness tend to make wine taste smoother (sweeter, less acidic and more fruity).

Other than considering compatibility and basic flavours interaction, I always keep in mind that wine tasting is an art. Like art, it is subjective. Each person has different sensitivity of flavours and aromas. So we must take into account individual preference when consider pairing.

I found that the best way to applying these principles is to examine and analyse other people’s pairings.