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interview • December 20th, 2021

Interview with Monique Korteschiel


Sommelier Monique Korteschiel from restaurant De Saffraan in Amersfoort has a deep passion for wines. At the restaurant she owns with her partner, chef Kars van Wechem, she is responsible for the excellent wine list, which includes surprising wines from Dutch soil.  Here, she will make sure to pair each dish with an excellent glass of wine, completing your perfect gastronomic adventure.

Monique, can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I was raised in a family who worked in the catering industry, in Zwolle and Nieuwleusen. I first started working at restaurant Tiens in Zwolle. Here I had my first acquaintance with many wines, and I attended wine courses by vinologist Jan Tjong Tien.   After this, I did an internship in a hotel in Stuttgart. After hotel school, I started working in Harderwijk but eventually returned to Zwolle where I worked at restaurant De Librije and learned a lot. There I met my partner Kars. Together with him, I left for Aruba where we worked at De Links. Then the moment came we wanted to go back to the Netherlands, and we started our restaurant De Saffraan in Amersfoort.

I like to work with Kleine Schorre and Betuws Wijndomein because they really have their own character.

Monique Korteschiel

Restaurant De Saffraan

There are many different ways to become a sommelier, what type of educational path did you take?

Because we were going to start for ourselves, I had to manage the wines myself. By tasting wine a lot, and listening to guests and suppliers, our wine list has grown into a diverse wine list over the years.

What characterizes a good sommelier?

A good sommelier is someone who listens to the wishes of his or her guests.

What are your personal rules for food and wine pairing?

All the ingredients are first tasted separately, with different wines. Then as a dish, as it will be experienced by the guest. This leaves 1 wine with the highest ranking.

What are some of the most special wines you have and how are they different from others?

I find Dutch wines very interesting, and there are some very surprising ones among them. I like to work with Kleine Schorre and Betuws Wijndomein because they really have their own character. A favourite is the Assyrtiko from Greece, a very versatile grape.

What are the qualities to look for when purchasing wine?

Most important is that we like it ourselves.

What is the best wine you have tasted and what made it so great?

Ovilos from Northern Greece, made from the Assyrtiko grape. It has so much flavour, freshness, and finesse. A delicious glass that never gets boring.

Thank you, Monique.

Book your table at restaurant De Saffraan

Are you ready for an amazing food-wine pairing at restaurant De Saffraan in Amersfoort? You can make your lunch or dinner reservation through our website, for an unforgettable gastronomic event.