The great painter Salvador Dali once said, « Who knows how to taste never drinks wine again but discovers its sweet secrets ». The sommelier consultant Romain Sauzier has made this quote his own and uses it as inspiration for the wines he chooses for his clients. It is also the guiding principle that guides him as he revisits the wine lists of the Southern Cross Hotels today. An exercise in which he gives pride of place to his favourites and local products.
In the Mosaic restaurant at the Prekil Island Resort, where Romain has arranged to meet us, the afternoon is drawing to a close. The heat has not yet fallen but the breathtaking view over the bay of Mahebourg makes us forget the discomfort. And Romain is going to make us feel even more comfortable by opening a Sancerre from Pascal Jolivet. What better way to talk about wine than with a bottle that suits the atmosphere of the moment? And as wine is above all convivial, there is also Sixtine Marot and Julie Lauratet from the marketing and communication team of the Southern Cross Hotels group around the table.
“I chose this Sancerre because it suits the atmosphere of the moment. It is a white Sancerre, 100% Sauvignon Blanc. It is fresh, very mineral and well balanced. Its lightness suits the moment. With this choice, I wanted to express my philosophy in the creation of the menus that I am working on at the moment”, explains the sommelier. “It is a question of making wine suggestions according to the customer, the moment, the atmosphere”.
The revision of these lists, which is done after an audit of the existing wine lists, purchases and sales, also includes a fundamental element. « Wine is also about storytelling. We are here in a place full of history. Even though the climate of our island is not conducive to the cultivation of vines, the land is in our genes, as is our unconditional love for wine and good food. The Beau Vallon Company, which owns Southern Cross Hotels, has a history of 300 years. In Mauritius, we have always been very close to the land: it all started with the cultivation of sugar cane, a story of men, of terroir, of efforts, of sacrifices, of passion and ancestral values, » says Romain.
In the new menus, he gives priority to the values of wine and life: simplicity, pleasure and sharing, while placing particular emphasis on quality winemakers’ wines and exceptional terroirs, divided between the new and old worlds, with a dominant share of French and South African wines.
« We have given priority to winemakers who respect the environment through wines produced using organic and biodynamic farming methods. This is a topical subject that concerns all the inhabitants of the earth and which is of particular interest to us. Romain remains very connected to contemporary trends and as such, he did not hesitate to highlight a Mauritian producer of lychee « wines », Alexandre Oxenham, who founded the Takamaka Winery. This Mauritian company, the fruit of a crazy and daring bet in which a Mauritian oenologist and his wife embarked, produces beverages that have no reason to be ashamed of the wines produced from the vine. It is not surprising that it is now offered at the tables of great starred chefs in France, such as Michel Sarran, a former member of the Top Chef team. « It’s also our tribute to our region, which has magnificent products from the sea and the land, » explains Romain.
The menu, which is in the process of being finished, will also have a « sexy » look with a graphic design that sets the tone without going into exhaustive descriptions. So, see you soon in the restaurants of the Southern Cross Hotels, the Prekil Island Resort, Solana Beach and Astroea Beach.
Born in Mauritius, Romain flew to South Africa at the age of 16 to complete his education. There he discovered the world and the magic of wine: a passion was born!
On his return to his native island, he did a series of internships in the hotel industry before leaving for France where he completed a diploma in Sommelier Conseil at the Université du Vin. This was followed by successful experiences in luxury hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants as well as social restaurants.
He then discovered the Maldives, Seychelles and Rodrigues Island through various missions.
Passionate about wine & gastronomy, he favours values such as simplicity, sharing & the pleasure of giving pleasure.
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Beau Vallon Hospitality
Riche-en-Eau,St Hubert, Mauritius
Groupe Beau Vallon