If Batman were to own a corkscrew it would be an Elite series Stealth model – at least according to Sören Polonius. Who – though he might sound like one – is not a Shakespearean character but, no less worthily, head sommelier for the Esperanto Group of restaurants in Sweden – which includes a Michelin-starred one whose Thai chef serves up Nordic-Japanese food.
In addition, Sören is both Director of 'Swesomm', the Swedish national sommelier team, and of the Didactic Committee for the Association of International Sommeliers (ASI). That the last bottle of wine he opened with his Code38 was a 6-year old Barolo (Bussia, by Giacomo Fenocchio) may provide a clue as the fact that here is a sommelier in pursuit of both the excellent and the extraordinary.
Indeed, he cites as the most exciting wine he has opened with his wine-knife the 1989 Richebourg by Domaine Leroy. "I have waited a long time to open this bottle", he tells me. "Opening it with my Elite series Stealth model, kind of wrapped the whole experience together. Everything just fell into place. A true sense of 'here and now' ". (Domaine Leroy, most probably know, is one of Burgundy's legendary producers; the vineyard Grand Cru).
Sören isn't inclined, when asked to nominate favourite wines, to mention the obvious ones. Those he is loving at the moment are "balanced and mature wines" and then, when he begins to be more specific, he mentions Hungarian Furmints and ("dry, mineral-driven") Greek Assyrtikos as his preferred whites, and cool climate Grenache as his favourite red – although "Burgundy would be the one coming on top", he insists. It's "difficult to choose amongst your darlings."
It was, however, a "simple Muscadet sur lie" which stands out in Sören's memory – "drunk from the bottle while jumping around between rocks in low tide, in Normandy" – as a potent experience. He accompanied it with wild oysters, adding that "good things in life doesn't (sic) have to be the same thing as expensive things in life."
And yet the wine he recommends other Code38 members to try is one exceedingly difficult to find! It's the 2015 Encrucijado by Cota 45: an unfortified sherry-style of wine and one of the rarest in Andalusia (Spain), in the rancio style. "Served with grilled lobster tail with an XO sauce", he adds. "(It's) an unlikely combo, that works like a charm. Lots of fermented pork in the XO sauce ties the whole thing together." He says it is elegant and finely tuned, and it "not only works but adds a beautiful flavour profile to the course itself." For all those who don't have a very good connection with the importer in Sweden, you may find it in Sanlucar de Barameda, the Andalusian summer tourist destination famous for its cuisine – and its Manzanilla sherry. Good to know!
It's the elegance – sheer elegance – which Sören loves about his Code38, along with its light weight. "Finally", he says, "a detail where design and functionality work together." Fit, indeed, for Batman.