“Ultimately, my work resonates with my passion for travel, meeting people and experiencing new cultures,” says Merivale Group Sommelier Adrian Filiuta MS.

From a young age, Filiuta spent his summers picking grapes in his grandparent’s vineyards in Romania. Later he found himself working at London’s Tom Aikens with Gearoid Devaney MS, who at the time was preparing for his Master Sommelier exam. This encounter was the spark that ignited Filiuta’s career.

Now, as the Merivale Group Sommelier, Filiuta works across a range of venues, including the recently opened Mimi’s at Coogee Pavilion. “Mimi’s features a great Australian selection with depth of producers and age, alongside other classic wines of the world,” Filiuta tells us. “Natural wines are represented, too and there’s also an exciting Chablis section.”

If you’re looking to learn about the wine you’re drinking, Filiuta says the by-the-glass selection at Mimi’s is ideal. “It has an educational flight currently showing a specific vineyard in Chablis (Premier Cru Vaillons) from three different producers and also a vertical of Tolpuddle Pinot Noir from the first vintage ever made.”

As we move into autumn, Filiuta says guests across Merivale venues can expect a range of food-friendly wines on the lists. “Light style reds served chilled has been a growing category in our restaurants and we expect to see this throughout autumn as well,” he says. “Whether it’s a juicy Australian grenache (think Ochota Barrels, Gentle Folk, SC Pannell), Beaujolais or nebbiolo, these vin de soif styles are highly sought after.”

What will you find him drinking in the comfort of his own home? If the opportunity arises, he’ll pair his spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino with an Italian white with good acidity and no oak – an Etna Bianco, Soave or Fiano from Campania.