Sommelier & Wine and Spirit Educator at Hatten Wines Bali
Ni Nyoman Kertawidyawati (Widya) works at PT Hatten Bali as a corporate training and development manager. Widya also builds and leads the Hatten Education Center (HEC) here in Bali. Widya is the first WSET educator in Indonesia, having a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines as well as holding a certified hospitality trainer (CHT) from American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.
Hatten Wines is a genuine Balinese company, owned by a Balinese family and managed by Balinese people. Breaking the rules of traditional viticulture and winemaking by braving the climate, the elements and fierce critics, Hatten Wines has been making wine in Bali since 1994. Now more than 20 years of experience have forged a solid winemaking company with incredible pride in its staff, products and trust in its owners. In 2017, Hatten Wines received the highest regional award of Winery of the Year by the renowned Asian Wine Review.
Dine & Wine Bali: Hello Widya! Please introduce yourself.
Widya - Hatten Bali: Hi my name is Ni Nyoman Kertawidyawati, but you can call me Widya. I work at PT Hatten Bali as Corporate Training and Development Manager. I also build and lead the Hatten Education Center (HEC) in Bali.
DWB: How did you get started as a Sommelier and how did you learn?
Widya - HB: I have to say I am more of an educator rather than a sommelier. It started when I worked in the hotel industry with my last position as Executive Assistant Manager of Food & Beverages. There I get in contact with wines, and my interest was more due to the fact that I like to drink wines! I first learned as I worked, then self-study and learn from masterclasses I attended, organized by wine suppliers, wine exhibition etc., until I enrolled with WSET wine education program and went to Singapore to obtain the level 1 award in wines, then WSET level 2 award in wine & spirit, and finally WSET level 3 award in wines. I took my WSET educator class in London (I am the first WSET educator in Indonesia, not because I am better that other, just because nobody did it before) in the preparation for taking WSET Diploma (my classes were supposed to start this February in Hongkong but got postponed due to COVID-19).
DWB: What is your role at Hatten Cellardoor?
Widya - HB: I am the Corporate Training and Development Manager, also the Head of HEC, a division of the company concentrating on the wine education. This goes from in-house development program to International certification on wine and spirit knowledge from Wine & Spirit Educational Trust from the UK. HEC is the first approved program provider of WSET in Indonesia.
DWB: What tips do you have for someone going to their first wine tasting?
Widya - HB: Well, enjoy it! Open your mind and trust your palate, there are no right or wrong in tasting wine. It’s quite simple, whether you like it or you don’t. There is a quote that I really like: “wine is not just an object of pleasure, but an object of knowledge; and the pleasure depends on the knowledge.” - Roger Scruton
DWB: How do you work with the chefs to pair wines and their creations?
Usually, I let the chef create the dish and with given chef’s clue on expected flavour that could be suitable with the wine and I taste it with wine later on. Wine can’t change but food does. Usually, after pairing it I let the chef know shall there is missing element or need more flavor component in the food that can enrich the combination of both.
DWB: What are your tips for Indonesian dishes pairing?
Widya - HB: As for all pairing, we need to focus on the flavour component of the dish and the body of the flavour itself before pairing it with the wine.
Play around don’t limit yourself to rule by the rule: only red meat with red wine or white meat with white wine…
DWB: What are some of the wines you have and how are they different from others?
Widya - HB: My favourite wine from Hatten range is Hatten Alexandria, because on how amazing the wine pairs so well with Indonesian food. In many pairing sessions, the wine just gives me a lot of surprises on how it changes the flavour or enhances the food and the harmony between the food and this wine.
The wine I’m the proudest of is Pino de Bali. Its quality shows the making process and ageing showcases on how Bali wine could be into maximum quality. I’ve been presenting Hatten wine in many international expos and events, many wine professionals have been surprised with this wine and gave us very good feedback.
My favourite to drink is Two Islands Reserve Shiraz. The fruit, spice and oak combination is perfectly right for me to enjoy!
DWB: What has been the biggest change in these wines since you started your career?
Widya - HB: Hatten Wines evolved grandly within the past few years and are the only wines using 100% Bali grown grapes. While some other producers here, simply buy and blend imported grapes or juice, our R&D department has been working on the grapes varieties suitable to grow on our terroir and all the viticulture aspects, up to the winemaking process to maximize the flavours. It's a long and costly process. Two Islands Reserve range is another proof on how we elevate the quality of wines vinified in Bali and I am really amazed by the vision of our owner Bapak Ida Bagus Rai Budarsa and his determination to develop and improve our products.
DWB: We know the high import tax for wines in Indonesia and how expensive it can be for young sommeliers to train and educate their palates with wines from all over the world. What will be your recommendations for them?
Widya - HB: This is the reason why I am also active with the Indonesia Sommelier Association Bali Chapter. Currently, I am the president and our main purpose, for the education of our members, is to provide, as much as possible, through our contacts, the possibility to taste and study wine.
To start you need to have your study group who can share the cost of the wine to study together, to maintain your learning motivation, and partnering for discussion.
Take part in tasting event, visit wine exhibition, giving the opportunity to taste a lot of wines, to improve the palate and the knowledge.
DWB: Thank you for your great involvement in Bali's wine education and for your time!