Bhatia Dheeraj, Director of wine at arkhé (SA Committee)
|I BECAME A COMMITTEE MEMBER TO:
Adelaide is a very unique place, and [due to] the fact that we have the best viticulture and oenology university there are many overseas students from various different cultures and backgrounds that you get to meet and learn from. I joined the committee way back thanks to my mates Geoff and Jonathan to spread more wine knowledge through events and masterclasses, that I love to host.
|MY BACKGROUND IS:
I come from an Indian heritage and although I never grew up there, the culture is still the same and we never had a wine drinking culture, unlike in Europe. It was the quest to learn more, and thanks to Kalyan Mukherjee at my hotel school who ignited the wine spark in me, and later Assistant Chief Sommelier Ashwani who gave me my first apprentice role as a Sommelier in 2006 at Burj Al Arab in Dubai where I was a bartender. I met Rajat Parr and he came to see me at The Peninsula in Hong Kong when I started there as Chief Sommelier – he has really inspired me.
|ONE THING PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT ME IS…
I am not driving and please don’t ask me why 🍷
|THE MOTTO I LIVE BY IS:
My mum always taught me “work is worship”.
|THE PERFECT MEAL WOULD BE:
With my wife Shikha who is a pastry chef. She often cooks a delight, surprises me and then challenges me to look for a wine to match. Her opinions in general are very honest and keep me thinking and I try to be on top of my game.
|MY GREATEST WINE MEMORY IS:
When I opened a 1900 Château Margaux with late Paul Pontallier and 1900 Château d’ Yquem with Sandrine Garbay at Raffles Singapore. Also, I have many other memories like opening Henri Jayer Cros Parantoux… the Russian New Year’s where I was opening Petrus and Crystal all night… when we hosted Irvine for a Barossa Valley vs Ch Montelena wine dinner at The Peninsula Hong Kong…