ELEONORA, PROUDLY SOMMELIER
meet Eleonora Caso
Sommelier and Beverage Manager
Eleonora is an Italian sommelier and she has been living in Dubai for many years.
She has worked and still works for the most prestigious restaurants in town.
Eleonora is an entrepreneur as well: she founded Cuvee3 ( a professional beverage focused company) and she lounched a new concept: “Ladies who taste” which she will tell us about.
A conversation with Eleonora
I know you’re a Human Resources graduate… What made you backtrack and restart your studies all over again to become a sommelier? And why Dubai?
I left Milan at the age of 25, ready to embark on an exciting experience abroad, learn English and specialize in the wine industry.
I spent some time living in Edinburgh. I was working in catering for many years when, out of the blue, I received a job offer from the well-renowned Zuma restaurant in Dubai.
Of course, I didn’t think twice about it!! I dashed to grab my suitcase and headed off on a new adventure.
Can you tell me some pros of the job?
I liked the dynamic temperament of the clientele and definitely the many prestigious bottles of wine I got to open 🙂
How has your profession progressed over the years?
I started out as a senior sommelier and was soon promoted to head sommelier at Zuma.
Meanwhile, I also opened my own consulting agency: Cuvee 3. My company is specialized in wines for restaurants and private events. Nowadays, I also work as beverage manager for Orange Hospitality which is a boutique F&B hospitality company
What does your job mainly consist of now?
My work today is quite varied; it ranges from the selection and ordering of alcohol, to creating and constantly reviewing the wine list, to briefing the restaurant staff of the group I work for.
I also deal with sales, incentives and targets for the sommelier team.
Eleonora’s project “Ladies who taste”:
Can you tell us a little about ‘Ladies who taste’? What is it?
Well, the name says it all really! It is a group we created for women only, with the aim of meeting and networking with like-minded individuals and enriching our knowledge of wines and food pairing.
We share a common interest in ‘tasting’ be it Wine, Champagne, Gin, Sake, Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Oil or Deserts.
We combine our experience with events, products, venues and bringing people together to offer a unique tasting experiences!
There will always been an educational element as we journey through each tasting. It’s the right environment to socialize with friends, colleagues and meet other members of the group.
How did this project come about?
My friend and I wanted to give other women like us the chance to get together and learn about the wonderful world of wine tasting in a stylish but relaxed environment.
Eleonora’s etiquette tips:
Good manners and etiquette are very important in your field of work. What do they mean to you?
It is essential for me to receive friends and clients and make them feel comfortable and at ease in every context. It is important that my guests feel pampered. The sharply outlined rules of etiquette provide me with the necessary skills to be able to manage any situation calmly and confidently.
What are some pitfalls to avoid when we have guests or at a restaurant?
I would say, never speak loudly and never adopt airs of superiority or that of a know-it-all as it doesn’t speak highly of you. Always treat others with respect.
Some tricks to receiving guests and making them feel welcome and comfortable?
Given my extensive professional background in the hospitality sector, I would say that it is highly recommended to welcome guests with a glass of bubbly and also make sure to have a non-alcoholic alternative at hand for those who prefer to keep a clear head.
I like to use candlelight and different fragrances to bring out the best of every theme set for the occasion.
What is your workhorse when hosting an event?
I have to say that for me an impeccably dressed dining table is paramount.
Regardless of the tone of the evening, having a nice table with the correct glasses and the right setting for what I’m about to serve, makes all the difference. I feel composed and unfazed knowing that I have left nothing to chance and this allows me to let my hair down and have fun with my guests.
I believe that what you prepare is not very relevant as long as it is something you like and enjoy making. Even a simple roast chicken with oven baked potatoes gains value if accompanied with a good wine (in this case I recommend a Cervaro della Sala Chardonnay)
For enquires and informations please visit www.cuvee3.com
and follow Elenora @cuvee3_sommelier