This article is for JRE-Inside+ members onlyGo JRE-Inside+
Christa Hollerer is sommelier at restaurant Zum Blumentritt. After finishing Tourism School in St. Pölten, Christa was a cooking apprentice at Landhaus Bacher. In 1997, she joined her sister, chef Ulli Hollerer-Reichl, and took over the family business with her. At restaurant Zum Blumentritt, chef Ulli prepares hearty Austrian cuisine, while sommelier Christa makes sure you have the perfect wine to pair your lunch or dinner with. We asked Christa some questions to get to know her better, about her rules for food and wine pairings, her favourite labels, and much more.
Christa, there are many different ways to become a sommelier, what type of educational path did you take?
For the past 35 years, I’ve always managed to learn something new and keep developing my skills.
What characterizes a good sommelier?
A good sommelier should be able to empathize with their guest. Don't be preachy. You notice very quickly in which direction the sales pitch is developing. Never discuss a cork wine because you're not doing yourself any good. If you do, you’re always on the losing side.
What are your personal rules for food and wine pairing?
First and foremost, wine should simply taste good. You should also develop a special feeling for the different dishes. I am happy to recommend a Sauvignion blanc with our granola dumplings. And it doesn't necessarily have to be from Styria. I also don't find it a problem to serve a slightly chilled wine with fish. Unfortunately, I often find it a pity that many white wines are served much too cold and many red wines are drunk much too warm. The greatest catastrophe for me is that for some time now, the so-called "higher society" has been defacing white wine and sparkling wine or champagne with ice, watering it down. To me, this is terrible.
The nicest thing is to discover and promote a newcomer.
What are some of the most special wines you have and how are they different from others?
Since we live in a less-frequented area, we have to hold our own food and drinks. The variety of vintages and mature labels that we hold is the reason why some guests come to us.
What are the qualities to look for when purchasing wine?
Be mindful of the long-standing relationships with winegrowers or merchants. Friendships are made from this. In addition, one should not forget them even if a vintage is not a "century wine year". The nicest thing is to discover and promote a newcomer.
What is the best wine you have tasted and what made it so great?
I once had the pleasure of drinking a Petrus from 1966, my year of birth. It was an experience I will never have again. That's 15 years ago now. The bottle was only opened and not decanted. It didn't have that age tone yet, but it changed with the last glass and you could already taste the age.
I would recommend guests to go hiking in the Lower Austrian Alpine foothills.
I would tell visitors to simply enjoy the tranquillity of our forests and the beautiful landscape.
Thank you, Christa.
Book your table at restaurant Zum Blumentritt
Try the fabulous Alpine cuisine by chef Ulli Hollerer-Reichl and sommelier Christa Hollerer at restaurant Zum Blumentritt in St. Aegyd am Neuwalde, Austria. Make your lunch or dinner reservation through our website, for an excellent culinary event.