Vladimir Kojic swapped his native Serbia for Thailand’s capital to become head sommelier at Gaggan in Bangkok, the best restaurant in Asia for the past four years and the fifth-best in the world 2018.
What was your last pairing recommendation?
I pair nine different wines throughout our 25-course menu at Gaggan, as it isn’t a classic cuisine that allows one wine for each course. I love to serve bubbles for dessert so people get a lot of sugar at the end, while I love pairing chilled sake with the raw seafood section of the menu. As for everything else, I love to play around with something different every week…
What did you drink last night?
I had a Claus Presinger Kalkundkiesel for the first time in a while. Probably one of the best-value wines that I’ve had in a long time…
What’s your favourite wine region in the world?
It’s very hard to say but if I had to choose, maybe I would go with Styria in Austria. The reason is down to five different winemakers: Strohmeier, Muster, Werlitch, Andreas Tscheppe and Tauss. They are all great people, they, believe in same philosophy and their personalties reflect in their wines. I could have a wine list with only these five guys and stand proud next to it.
What do you love most about your job?
The best part is interacting with so many different people on a daily basis, where you are trying to show them your passion. At same time, though, it can also be the worst part…
Name a gem in your cellar.
There are a few wines I have in very small allocations that aren’t on the list. So if I have a really good guest who I know will appreciate it, I will bring out one of those bottles…. I wouldn’t name any of those, though, as they change all the time.
What’s the best thing that ever happened to you as a somm?
Joining Gaggan, as he gave me the opportunity and the budget to bring in wines that I want and believe in.
If you were a wine, you’d be:
It would be definitely be a wine made without any additives, which hasn’t been made in the best way. Some days it’s super volatile, other days it’s clean, it can also closed and reductive while it will also have days when it shows superbly. But at the end of the day, it would be alive!