#StraitsTalk: Vincent Tan, Wine Director at Odette Shares His Wine Approach at the 3-Michelin Star Resta
One of our absolute favourite parts of our job is the chance to meet people in the F&B industry. This week, we had a chance to chat with Vincent Tan, Wine Director at three Michelin-starred Odette, who has been with the celebrated restaurant since opening, and has played a leading role in establishing the wine and beverage programme. Vincent is a Certified Sommelier accredited by the Court of Master Sommeliers and has a WSET Level 3. His passion and dedication for wine extends outside the restaurant, as he works closely with the Sommelier Association of Singapore to develop training programmes for the future generation of sommeliers.
Pic Credit: Odette
Hey Vincent! You’ve been with Odette since the beginning — can you share with us how you approach the wine programme for the restaurant and if that has evolved over the years?
The wine programme at Odette has always been about flexibility; we look for producers that have a vision and of course, the quality in the bottle. It definitely evolved over the years, as the wine programme is very much dictated by the people who work with them day in and out, so that’s the transition that all the sommeliers we’ve had all these years have been through and I believe you still can see traces of them on the wine list today.
The champagne cart is a favourite of ours at Odette. Do you often change the offerings here? What are some personal favourites?
We order almost exclusively with grower champagnes, so the selection is rotational depending on the availability. My personal favourites have to be the champagnes from Cedric Bouchard, an excellent grower in the Cote de Bar.
How closely do the kitchen and wine teams work together at Odette? Could you share some insight into this relationship?
We are very lucky to have a Chef and team who work closely together and are very much interested in wines. The pairing is definitely a joint effort, where Chef Julien will try out the wines we have selected and subsequently, we will discuss and make a decision together about the wine. Not to mention, our colleagues from the kitchen side also often return to us with insights and/or recommendations whenever they dine out.
We particularly love meeting Singaporean sommeliers, but we know it’s not a very common career for locals. Can you tell us how you got started in the industry and what led you to this point in your career?
I was lucky enough to enter the hospitality industry when I was a student and I also happened to work at a wine importer very early on, which granted me great insights into the world of wine. Ultimately, my curiosity and love for wines led me to explore the domain of fine dining, as cuisine and wine go very much hand in hand together.