We caught up with Ismo “Mo” Koski, to find out a bit more about his job, wine list and of course Apéro!
Hi Mo, thanks for your time. Please tell us a bit about your background
I have worked in the industry for the last 20 years in Auckland and overseas. My experience has tended to lean towards more fine dining restaurants, especially in Auckland. Held the position of Maitre’d at Merediths and Sidart, and have worked at both The Grove and The French Cafe.
Why did you decide to become a somm?
I wouldn’t quite class myself as a sommelier as I have never really studied to be one, but having said that, I really do enjoy wine. It is something that I kind of just fell into but totally love it. I really enjoy wines from all over the world, and in some cases, the more diverse the better. One aspect I really enjoy is food and wine matching.
If you were a wine, which one would you be?
Probably a Chateauneuf-du-Pape…it has to be my favourite style of wine, it ages well, its powerful yet elegant and at the same time very understated.
Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Any match that really sings. There is a lot of talk of ‘Orange Wines’ at the minute…one match in recent times that I really loved pairing would be pretty much any Orange Wine with something salty or fatty, like pork belly.
What’s the most popular wine on your list right now?
The most popular, probably because it is one of my favourites at the minute is the Millaman Carménere from Chile. Perfect balance of fruit to dryness, and wicked when paired with our Pork Sausage.
Describe your wine list in 3 words
Diverse, Affordable and Interesting.
Share a fact about yourself that only a few know
I am borderline obsessed with Spider Solitaire.
Hidden gems and favourite spots in Auckland
In terms of eating, Greedy Guts Cafe on Wellesley St for breakfast, New Flavour Dumplings on Dominion Rd for post work eats, and gotta be Cocos Cantina on K Road for all round awesomeness. Cocoro also kicks major ass!
Outside of eating and drinking…A day on Karekare Beach on the West Coast is hands down the best way to spend a few hours.
Things you still want to do – what’s on your bucket list?
Go to Easter Island…gotta see those statues.
Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
Has to be Les…my partner in life and business. Anytime we get to hang out away from Apero and enjoy a glass is awesome.