Interview With A Sommelier – Amit Bandodkar

8th July 2024

Interview With Sommelier Amit Bandodkar

The World of Wine is beautifully showcased by an army of talented Sommeliers, who help the consumer discover their next favourite bottle, understand the different regions and pair a delicious meal with the right Glass of Bubbly.

In this feature, I speak with a gentleman from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Amit Bandodkar, let’s find out about his life as a Sommelier.

It’s Great To Speak With You Amit, Can You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?

“Hello everyone, My name is Amit Bandodkar. Currently, I’m the resident Sommelier for a pre-opening Restaurant in Dubai. I was born and raised in Mumbai city in India, Where wine is not a big thing, From a very early age I worked in a bar and beach restaurant as a waiter, and bartender. But for the wines, I was introduced accidentally and since then till now I’m enjoying every moment of my job. Before starting in this area, I was a very shy person, and when I started talking to people more often my shyness disappeared and I ended up becoming a more extroverted person. That’s why I’m so grateful to this area which taught me so much about building my best version.

Studying wines was also challenging, and preparing my tasting palate, I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, WSET LEVEL 3 in Wines and after finishing that I did my Court of Master Sommelier (Certified Level), I then moved to the Maldives to work as a sommelier for a 5* star resort. Later I moved to the Seychelles where we had around 1,900 labels which was a great opportunity to try and taste many wines and everyday learning about new labels. Still today, for me, every day is learning and challenging and that’s what I enjoy a lot.”

Do You Remember Your First Experience With Sparkling Wine? When It Was And What Kind Of Wine It Was?

“The first sparkling wine was Champagne Bruno Paillard in 2011. I tried this with my friends and everyone felt that this Champagne differed from what we had tried before. It was so full of flavors and also full of winemaker emotion, and history, and when you understand the traditional method it was good.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“When I was working in a vineyard at a very young age, that was the first reason, then the second one was whenever I used to see a new bottle of wine I used to take information that every wine had a wonderful story and emotion so when I understood these things I started to learn about it. That inspired me to choose a profession as a wine sommelier.”

During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising & Interesting Thing You’ve Learnt?

“Overall, the world of wine is endlessly rich and complex, and there’s always something new and surprising to discover, whether it’s the science behind winemaking or the stories woven into each vineyard’s history.”

What Sparkling Wine Producing Countries or Regions Hold A Special Place In Your Heart?

“I am fond of certain sparkling wine regions! Champagne, of course, holds a special place due to its prestige and tradition. The meticulous methods used in Champagne production are fascinating. Prosecco from Italy brings a lighter, fruitier twist, and the Veneto region’s beautiful landscape adds to its charm. Spain’s Catalonia region, particularly with its Cava, showcases a unique blend of history and innovation. And let’s not forget about the newer contenders like the sparkling wines from the United States, particularly those from California’s Sonoma and Napa Valleys, which are gaining recognition for their quality and diversity. Each region offers its distinct character and contribution to the world of sparkling wine.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Develop your palate, practice service skills, build relationships, stay humble, seek practical experience, and develop communication skills.”

Where’s The Most Memorable Place You’ve Enjoyed A Glass of Bubbly?

“On the Beach in Mauritius if you are single it’s the best place to enjoy, with a nice calm, and wonderful view.”

Thank you Amit, for sharing your story and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Photo Credit belongs to Amit Bandodkar, Glass of Bubbly was granted permission, to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.