The Evolution of Wine Service

In our latest podcast, host and Master Sommelier Christopher Tanghe interviews Taylor Parsons of Whole Cluster Hospitality and MS Gareth Ferreira of Core by Clare Smyth. They discuss what constitutes good service, how service has changed over recent decades, and the logistics of running restaurants and wine programs that place a high value on service.

Taylor Parsons has worked as a sommelier and beverage director for a range of celebrated Los Angeles establishments, including République, Campanile Restaurant, Spago Beverly Hills, and the Mozza Restaurant Group. He is a co-founder and partner of Whole Cluster Hospitality, a restaurant investment and development firm with two restaurants, Dunsmoor and Bar Chelou.

Gareth Ferreira is the beverage director at London's three-Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth, where he has worked since the restaurant's opening in 2017. Previously, he was part of the opening team at 67 Pall Mall and worked at hotels around the world. He holds a diploma in tourism and became the first-ever South African Master Sommelier in 2021.

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In this episode:

Taylor Parsons

Taylor Parsons is a co-founder and the CEO of Whole Cluster Hospitality, a full-service restaurant investment and development firm. The company has two restaurants in LA, Dunsmoor and Bar Chelou, and two additional restaurants and a wine retail business are planned for 2024. Taylor first worked in restaurants while pursuing a career as a jazz pianist before committing to a career in wine in 2007. He worked at Campanile Restaurant, Spago Beverly Hills, and the Mozza Restaurant Group before joining the opening team at République, where he worked from 2013–2017. Taylor became a consultant in 2017 prior to launching Whole Cluster Hospitality with his partners.

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Gareth Ferreira

Gareth Ferreira is the beverage director at Core by Clare Smyth, a London fine dining restaurant with three Michelin stars. He became the first-ever South African Master Sommelier when he passed the exam in 2021. Prior to joining Core in 2017, Gareth was assistant head sommelier and part of the opening team at the wine-focused members' club 67 Pall Mall. He has also worked at top hotels around the world, including The Ritz-Carlton, Naples; Dubai's Burj Al Arab; and The Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. Gareth represented South Africa at the 2016 ASI Best Sommelier of the World Competition, where he qualified for the semi-final and finished in the top 15.

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  • Yes! Thank you for this conversation. As a foodie and a consumer, as well as a retailer and pairing suggestor,  I appreciate the conversation, and want to raise up the conversation about temperature service. - I love the idea of decanting half and letting the oxidation/opening up take place naturally and seeing the comparison. I find that timeplay to be my favorite and least favorite experience of service, depending.

  • Ideally you'd have a dual zone lowboy for BTG wines but if that's not in the cards then bins of ice with no water covered with a couple layers of dish towels can get your reds to cellar temp with minimal monitoring. 

  • Thanks for this! I noticed a theme of proper serving temperature for by the glass offerings, and I wanted to inquire how many programs solve this. When space, storage, and sometimes budget is an issue, what solutions have people found?