A new wine channel on youtube and studies for his Master Sommelier exam and the world championship in 2022. Francesco Marzola, Head Sommelier at Park Hotel Vossevangen in Norway and Nordic Sommelier Champion 2018, is doing what he can to keep busy during days of isolation.
”Sommfidential is a YouTube channel I started less than a week ago... Honestly I started it just for fun, to keep myself busy in this period where there is not that much to do. The purpose of starting it was to use social media to spread my knowledge and to keep me sharp for better times,” he says.
In Norway, most restaurants and bars are closed indefinitely due to corona.
”It’s quite dramatic: the majority of restaurants and hotels are closed, including Park Hotel, and most of us, including me, are currently out of work, relying on government support. It’s not a good situation, and the fear is that a lot of smaller companies will go bankrupt. Hopefully, it will be better in not so long, and hopefully, Norwegians will travel a lot within the country this summer, so that we may try to save some at least,” he says.
When Francesco got his Advanced Sommelier exam last November, he started thinking about using his title to do some writing or to start a podcast. But the idea of a youtube channel he got from sommelier friend Charlotte Hui just a couple of weeks ago.
”I honestly didn’t know they existed... I met Charlotte on a Monday night, and on Tuesday I thought, why not. So, it was quite impulsive, but pleasant to see the response to it! I’ve started an Instagram account to Sommfidential as well, and I’ve already created a podcast with the same name.”
I just came up with the name, and thought I’d have to do this now when I finally found the name
In less than 24 hours, the Sommfidential youtube channel got more than 200 subscribers.
”I have to admit that I didn’t expect this fast growth, but now I’ve started to think that I might do something more than just fun out of it! I do clips about arguments I’d like to talk about, connected with sommelier topics, but in general, it will be more on a ’simple’ side, rather than for expert sommeliers. The bottom line is that I am doing videos about things I have at home (so no sponsor involved at this stage). When I start doing videos about wine regions, I will most likely not talk that much about producers and so on, but more about styles and history, and grapes. A kind of academic approach to it, rather than commercial.”
The goal is to put out around 2-3 videos each week.
”The funny thing is that the name was a kind of eureka moment. I did play with the idea of starting something the last few months, but suddenly this Tuesday I just came up with the name, and thought I’d have to do this now when I finally found the name!”
What else do you do to keep yourself busy these days?
”My daughter is staying home from the kindergarten, and that takes a lot of time, but besides that, I’m studying for the Master Sommelier exam that I hope to be ready for in 2022. I’m also studying for the Best Sommelier of the World competition in 2022, even if it’s not yet decided that I will be the candidate – but it’s good to be ready for it if it happens!”
Check out Sommfidential here.