You've Been Served: Lisa O'Doherty of The K Club on life as a chief sommelier

You've Been Served: Lisa O'Doherty of The K Club on life as a chief sommelier

Meet Lisa O’Doherty, the chief sommelier at The K Club.

I’VE been working in hospitality for over 20 years now. My job, as a sommelier, chose me.

I was working in the iconic Shelbourne Hotel, while completing a diploma in hotel management at Dublin Institute of Technology, in the early noughties, when they offered me an extracurricular WSET evening wine course. My mum joined me on the course and, seven short weeks later, I was hooked!

I love what I do, because I get to meet interesting people every night. As a sommelier, I find people want to talk to you. I get to visit amazing wine regions; I get to meet crazy winemakers: they have all been just a little bit crazy!

I’m incredibly fortunate to be working at The K Club and to be able to taste some of the world’s most amazing wines.

It sounds like a cliché, but it literally changes every day. That’s hotels!

Some days, I’m meeting suppliers, tasting wines for the resort’s seven wine lists; they never seem to be done; that’s wine for you. There is always a new vintage, always a new wine to sample. Or, I’m hosting cellar tours. I do up to three cellar tours a day. We are lucky to have the original 19th century wine cellars beneath the original house at The K Club. Then, it’s into the flagship restaurant, The Byerley Turk, for dinner service, chatting, suggesting, telling stories, and serving amazing wines.

There are so many memories, but I suppose it’s either serving princes and presidents, during The Ryder Cup, or attending and winning the Champagne Academy in 2017. (I’m the first Irish woman to do so.)

I think that even though I get to choose from the best of the best for The K Club wine lists, I am most proud of the fact that little old me gets to travel once a year to Bordeaux and have a hand in the blend of the house wine for The K Club.

I’d love to tell you I’m crushing the grapes with my feet, but it’s more lab coat and test tube, but I’m still very proud to have the role.

I think, in the 20+ years of service, the one thing that still takes me by surprise is when people order a bottle of house wine and then make that noise, that goes ‘mmmmm’, as if they are shocked by the quality. I am so proud of our house wine. It does, as I believe it should, say something about us at The K Club.

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