Sam Feldt has always loved wine, and with more time on his hands during COVID without touring, he decided to take the next step in his journey through the world of wine by taking up a professional course around it. He's currently undertaking a sommelier course at Stichting Dranken Examens en Normering (SDEN) in the Netherlands.
"I’ve always enjoyed drinking wine, but more recently, over the past couple of years, I’ve been learning about it more. Right now, I am following a sommelier course and expanding my knowledge through books (and obviously training the palate). I am also a big foodie and I believe wine is the ultimate accompaniment to a great meal, making every bite taste a bit better if you pair it well."
In the future, he definitely wants to open his own wine bar, "perhaps when I retire from DJing."
"I love showing people a good time and great wine and food could be the way I do it when I don’t tour (as much) anymore."
That said, the multi-platinum award-winning artist hasn't shifted his focus from music at all this past year. His latest single together with Kesha (yep! and she's fantastic) just came out with the video for 'Stronger' already amassing 1.3 million views. Watch it here, and pick up a few tips from Sam on how to pick a good wine when you're out below because let's face it, most of us have no idea what we're doing.
White wine Tip: Decide on the type of white wine you are in the mood for — full and round, or crisp and light
"If you are in the mood for a full, oaky, round wine — go for a Chardonnay and not a Sauvignon, for example. And take into account what food you’re pairing it with (if any). After doing the above, you can filter your selection down even more. If you’re craving a light and fresh wine, try and ask yourself what specific flavors you are in the mood for — apple, or citrus — flowers or fruits. With the power of deduction, you can find a white wine that is perfect for this moment and your mood."
What do you do when you don’t recognize any of the white wines on the menu?
"I go with a California Chardonnay since I love big, bold, and oaky wines and the USA usually has better value for money than France when it comes to these types of white wines."
Recommended wine: The One Sixteen Chardonnay 2017 from Kosta Browne out of Russian River Valley (USA). It’s a top-quality Californian Chardonnay that’s expensive but still worth it for special occasions (around €75) and has a balance that you can compare with a great French white from Burgundy.
Red wine Tip: Look at what’s on your plate, and the weather
"Red wine is especially great to pair with food, so it’s important to match it with whatever you are preparing to eat with it. A rule of thumb here is that you pair heavier wines with heavier food. I love red wine more than white wine, so I even drink red wine (like a chilled Pinot Noir) with fish dishes. I’d also take into account the temperature and weather. Nobody likes drinking an alcohol heavy Cabernet sitting on a terrace in the sun — instead opt for a lighter red like a Beaujolais in that case."
What do you do when you don’t recognize any of the red wines on the menu?
"I go for a Spanish red. They are usually of great value, full-bodied, and pair well with lots of dishes that I like."
Recommended wine: Vega Sicilia Unico. As I said, I am a big fan of Spanish wines and this one is simply the best there is.
Rose Tip: Look at how pale it is
"From the paleness of the rose, you can usually tell if it’s going to be good or not. I don’t really like the darker coloured rose’s and prefer ones with a lighter colour and taste."
What do you do when you don’t recognize any of the rose wines on the menu?
"I ask for a pale rose from Provence — usually, you can’t go wrong with that."
Recommended wine: Whispering Angel, I loved it so much we filled the whole fridge with it in Ibiza during our last trip there. It’s smooth, easy to drink and has a great floral aftertaste.
Champagne Tip: Make sure it’s properly chilled
"One thing I really dislike is drinking champagne that’s not been properly chilled, or that has been open for too long. While this might be a no-brainer, you’d be surprised with how many clubs and restaurants serve champagne at room temperature, which ruins the experience for me."
What do you do when you don’t recognize any of the sparkling wines on the menu?
"I don’t order sparkling wine — haha. I’m not a big fan of the bubbles and mouthfeel and usually, you get better value ordering a great white wine."
Recommended wine: Krug Grande Cuvee — it’s expensive at €190 per bottle but has a great complex taste, fine bubbles and a long finish.
Dessert Wine Tip: Choose a wine that’s sweeter than your dessert is
"If you’re going to have a sweet dessert, make sure you pair it with a wine that’s even sweeter - otherwise the wine will taste bitter. Obviously, this is less of a problem when pairing wine with a cheese plate for example. A great combo here that not a lot of people know about, is pairing blue cheese with white sweet wines like a Sauternes. Amazing! Oh, and watch out when your dessert contains chocolate — a lot of dessert wines don’t pair well with chocolate. Go for a good port instead."
What do you do when you don’t recognize any of the dessert wines on the menu?
Ask for something from the Sauternes region, which has yet to disappoint me.
Recommended wine: Château d’Yquem, during a recent trip to France which included a visit to their chateau. Such a balanced and complex dessert wine — with an extremely long finish you will continue to taste for hours.