Combining rigour with an element of surprise, Chief Sommelier Yuta Yoshida introduces a dynamic approach to wine. Along with bringing an eclectic wine list to the table, he loves to talk with his guests in order to tailor his recommendations. “First I understand the guest’s tastes and preferences, and then maybe suggest a bottle they might not have considered,” he explains. “As sommeliers, we must resist the temptation of simply pushing our favourites.”
Yuta’s carefully curated collection draws on tradition as well as innovation, featuring venerable French and Italian winemakers alongside unsung heroes from the New World. Another area of focus is Japan itself. Yuta tracks down the best vineyards in the country to reveal the treasures and secrets of the Japanese terroir – from prefectures like Yamanashi and Nagano, to Hokkaido.
Along with earning a diploma from the Japan Sommelier Association, Yuta has spent years refining his talents in Tokyo’s cutting-edge gastronomic landscape. As Assistant Chef Sommelier at a luxury hotel, he expanded his knowledge around wine selection and selling, while at a top-tier French restaurant, he mastered the art of pairing wine with food. Just prior to joining the Four Seasons team, he served as Chief Sommelier at a high-end dining establishment in Ginza, Tokyo.
Now at est, Yuta performs the delicate task of pairing wines with Chef Guillaume Bracaval’s artful French menus, centred around seasonal Japanese ingredients. “The right wine should enhance the flavour of each dish, not alter or lessen it,” he says. He finds the challenge exhilarating, with the innovative cuisine at est inspiring him to think outside the box. Under his leadership, precision and attention to detail elevate the wine experience at Four Seasons, whether it is the process of decantation or the glassware on the table.