David Stevens-Castro, Sommelier for InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, talks food and wine pairing.

After growing up in a family that owned vineyards and sold grapes to wineries and attaining a degree in agricultural sciences, the path to becoming a sommelier has always been clear for Chilean-born David Stevens-Castro.

Coming to Australia in 2007 for a working holiday, he fell in love with the lifestyle and has never looked back.

“I was sponsored to become a farm manager of a blueberry plantation initially,” he says. “And then I was selling wines for an importer. But I realised there was a space in the market for sommeliers.”

A sommelier is a beverage expert that specialises in all aspects of wine service, especially food and wine pairing, and is the role Stevens-Castro now fills at InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort.

“I look after the beverage selection across all outlets – that includes the fine dining restaurant, the café, the bar, banquets, weddings and events, as well as training staff,” he says. “Wine service, coffee, tea, beers – all beverages really.

“I deal with a lot of people from different outlets in the resort and I deal with wine merchants and winemakers as well.”

And what’s his expert advice for choosing a wine to go with food?

“I think the simplest rule is ‘What grows together, goes together’,” he says. “So if you’re eating pizza, pair it with a good Italian wine; fajitas go with good Spanish wine. It’s that simple.”

Next time — David explains how to discover a wine type to suit your tastes…