Interview With A Sommelier – Arnav Das

18th June 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Arnav Das

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 man working in the Maldives, who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Arnav Das, let’s find out about his life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself & What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I am Arnav Das, from India. I have been in hospitality for little less than a decade and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have worked in different parts of India and most recently in the Maldives. I am attached to wines in a way that it’s a part of my daily life; be it tasting, serving or studying about it. In my journey I have taken various courses; WSET Level 3 being the most recent one.

I come from a place and generation where being a sommelier was still pretty much an alien concept other than very big brands. It was difficult to find inspiration; I always studied to find inspiration but I found some inspiration from two fantastic people:

Gagan Sharma: He has been a thorough professional, a great Sommelier, and a fantastic storyteller with exceptional knowledge. I looked at him and that became a base from where I created my style of storytelling.

Rajat Paar: Comes from my city in India and went ahead to be a legendary professional. Inspired me to believe that ‘Sky is the Limit’.”

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

“My first experience with sparkling wines was a Champagne itself and it was at a time when I didn’t understand the complexities of production but I really enjoyed a few glasses of it. It was the wedding of a daughter in one of the most influential families in India; I was in the beverage serving team and Dom Pérignon was free flowing. I had a glass out of curiosity and liked it. I stuck to it for the rest of the evening and cost them a few glasses.”

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

“Being true to yourself brings out many surprising and interesting things. When we started off in the industry it was about who knows more within our colleagues. But as I grew in the industry, acceptance created fantastic experiences; I have surprisingly met guests who have thousands of bottles in their cellars and have tasted more than you. It was interesting to have great conversations and share a great bottle of wine with them.”

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

Two regions close to my heart have to be Champagne and Franciacorta from Lombardy.”

How Important Is It From Your Point Of View, Communicating With The Service Brigade And Kitchen As A Sommelier?

“That is a must for all the sommeliers, even if a commis sommelier, a sommelier, a senior sommelier or a head sommelier, the COMMUNICATION with the team for service is a priority from both sides. Also, I recommend all sommeliers have weekly meetings with the Head Chef/Executive to understand exactly the way of cooking and all the ingredients referenced in all the food menus. In the restaurant industry, the good service and the accolades are coming in the places with top communication.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Find your style in the art of Sommeliere, It will be difficult to be a bit unconventional but hopefully it will work out. Read and gain the basics properly before creating that style to support what you do. Be open to getting knowledge from wherever you can. Be the best of yourself and try to be better the next day.”

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

“On an overwater jetty overlooking the Indian Ocean in the Maldives.”

Additional Question for Champagne CollectorsWhat’s The Oldest Vintage Champagne You’ve Tasted?

“The oldest vintage Champagne that I have tried was a 2001 Philiponnat, Clos de Goisses.”

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

Photo Credit belongs to Arnav Das, 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.