Jurica Gojevic has been a key figure in the Adare Manor team, joining ahead of its reopening in Novemeber 2017. Jurica had been tasked with sourcing more wine to improve, increase and enhance the existing wine collection, and within 17 months has increased the wine list from 350 to 700 wines. A native of Croatia, Jurica travelled to Ireland, and has worked with esteemed restaurants such as the Greenhouse in Dublin before being appointed as Head Sommelier of Adare Manor. With an ever-growing wine list, Jurica offers thoughtful pairings to each dish at The Oak Room, complimenting the fine-dining experience and flavours.
Recently, Jurica has been promoted to Resort Wine and Spirits Manager so we caught up with him during his busy schedule to discuss his career, upcoming wine-related events, and the future of wines at Adare Manor.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your experience in your own words? How did you start your career as a sommelier?
“My passion for wine came from watching the locals in my village in Croatia making homemade wine. The process fascinated me, and I was hooked on learning everything I could about the wine industry and the winemaking process.
As a teenager I worked as a waiter on the Islands in Croatia, learning my trade and improving my knowledge of the restaurant. I then decided to join Cunard’s five-star luxury cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth. After a short time and a lot of hard work I was finally given my dream job and promoted to a Sommelier. Prior to joining Adare Manor, I was the head sommelier in The Greenhouse, a one-star Michelin restaurant based in Dublin.”
Congratulations on your promotion from Head Sommelier to Resort Wine & Spirits Manager! What has it been like to work in Adare Manor since it’s reopening in 2017? Are there any memories which stand out to you?
“Thank you, it’s a great feeling when your hard work pays off, I am delighted to take on my new role. The whole experience of the reopening has been nothing short of magical. So far, I have so many great memories, creating my own wine list from scratch has been fantastic and seeing the wine list in print for the first time is a memory I won’t forget.”
Could you tell me what is the most exiting wine being produced today?
“Currently, natural wines made with organic or bio-dynamic grapes is something that I am finding very exciting in the wine world now.”
If you could choose, what are your top three white wines and three red wines that you recommend and why?
- “Champagne – No better way to your start dinner than with a glass of bubbles.
- Burgundy Chardonnay – Simply the best white wine.
- Riesling Germany – Most people think this wine is sweet, however, it can also be very dry. This is a very nice surprise.
- Burgundy Pinot Noir – Best money can buy for wine lovers.
- Cote Rotie Shiraz – great wine to enjoy during the meal, to please even the most demanding palates.
- Beaujolais – most underrated red wine that will surprise you.”
What is involved in the training of pairing wines with dishes and ingredients? How do you decide what flavours work together?
“To train your palate takes years of tasting different food and wine choices and working closely with chefs and other sommeliers. I decided what foods are best paired with wines by following the simple rules below:
- Sweetness in the wine balances beautifully with spicy foods and pairs well with a slight sweetness in the food.
- Tannic wines are balanced beautifully with fatty-food and proteins.”
There are over 700 wines available in Adare Manor, which are some of the rarest bottles available?
“There are so many special wines on my list it’s very hard to pick out just a few, however, Chateau Lynch-Bages, 1945, Colares 1934, Biondi-Santi 1968 are worth a mention.”
What wine is commonly chosen by guests in The Oak Room?
“Guests of The Oak Room have a very good selection of wines to choose from. I try to recommend wines based on guests likes and the chosen food. A very popular wine would be, Greco di Tufo from Campania wine region in southern Italy.”
You recently hosted a wine evening with Château Lagrange and Château Rayne Vigneau with great success! Do you have any upcoming events with other wine houses?
“Yes, I am working on some very exciting top-secret plans for the summer. I will be sharing my plans very shortly with our guests via social media.”
What plans do you have for the future of wine at Adare Manor? Any plans for expanding the wine collection?
“Yes, the wine collection will expand, I am always on the lookout for new and exciting wines. I am very picky and it needs to be the best to make it onto our wine list.”
Question: What advice can you give for those who would like to start a career as a sommelier?
- “Invest in a good book and get studying, get a job in a restaurant & a good mentor to watch and learn from.
- Maybe study a course such as WEST Level 2.
- The wine industry is ever-changing, it’s very important to keep up to date with wine the latest trends and discoveries.
- www.guildsom.com is a very good web site for any aspiring sommeliers.”
About The Oak Room
The gracious splendour of The Oak Room sets the scene for Adare Manor’s fine-dining experience. Providing a genuine taste of the best that contemporary Irish cuisine has to offer, The Oak Room restaurant invites guests to explore the culinary treasures of Ireland. Award-winning Head Chef Michael Tweedie has devised spectacular seasonal menu for The Oak Room, drawn from the rich gifts of the Irish landscape. Every care has been taken to source the highest-quality ingredients from Irish artisan producers, including many local suppliers. The result is a collection of simple but innovative and refined dishes which allow the true personality of these exceptional foods to shine through. An extensive and adventurous wine-list, curated by Resort Wine & Spirits Manager Jurica Gojevic, offers thoughtful pairings to perfectly complement each dish. You can explore what Jurica has to offer with each dish, by calling our Guest Relations team on 061 605 200, or book your table online at The Oak Room.