Master of Wine
Since February 2016, Jan Schwarzenbach has been one of only a few Masters of Wine in Switzerland. He is also an oenologist and agronomic engineer. Having gained several years of experience in vineyards, cellars and specialist retail, since 2008 he has been Head of Direct Wine Sales at Coop Cooperative, a role in which he is responsible for subscriptions and corporate customers.
The aroma of fresh bread straight out of the oven instantly brings back happy memories for Jan. For him, a kitchen is not complete without a number of great products, such as the classic Pelati tinned tomatoes, jackfruit, spaghetti, herbs, seeds, his hand-forged Santoku knife from Japan and, of course, his splatter guard. And for those times when speed is of the essence, pizza with an Italian red wine always hits the spot.
What was your favourite food as a child?
I think it was braised beef with noodles.
What food makes your soul sing?
Spaghetti, in any form.
What is the most memorable dish your grandmas made?
For one of them it was cheesecake, and for the other meatballs.
What dish or ingredient have you recently rediscovered?
I regularly use chervil these days, plus ajowan caraway seeds and black garlic. I’ve also recently discovered homemade pizza and even homemade ravioli.
Which dish do you most enjoy cooking?
It depends. Sometimes, I crave something simple, other times something fancy. I love making pizza, because it smells so good. I also enjoy making a vegetarian version of game stew, with Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, spaetzle, poached pear with cranberry sauce and veggie sausages with onion sauce. That's when I feel like something fancy.
White wine, red wine or beer?
Which is your favourite country for wines? And why?
It has to be France, based on the number of bottles I've counted in my cellar. But I’m equally keen on Australia, the USA, Italy and Spain.
Cork or screw-top?
It really doesn't matter. The main thing is that the wine tastes good.
Which is your favourite cooking wine?
None come to mind. I don't use much wine for cooking and when I do, I just use whatever I’m drinking.
What ingredients do you always have in the fridge?
Lots of vegetables, olives, herbs, juice, milk for coffee.
Which wine do you always have on your wine rack at home?
Champagne, red Bordeaux, sherry, Madeira, white Burgundy, Barolo, German Riesling, Rioja, Napa Cabernet, Barossa Shiraz, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and something from the northern Rhône, such as Cornas or Côte Rôtie.
Most of my culinary creations are produced at the weekend, when I've just been shopping and my fridge is full, or conversely at the end of the week, when I try and cook up something delicious from what I have left.
Which dish are you unable to enjoy without the right wine?
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