Interview With A Sommelier – Edward Bailey
5th April 2023
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 article, I speak with a man who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Edward Bailey. Let’s find out a bit about his life as a Sommelier.
Tell Us About Yourself
“My name is Edward Bailey. I am a 23-year-old certified sommelier who studied with the Associazione Italiana Sommelier. I’m from a town in Hertfordshire, England called St Albans but currently working at a private member’s club in central Mayfair.”
What Inspired You To Become A Sommelier?
“My passion for wine has stemmed from many different events during my career but one in particular played a big role in my decision to become a sommelier. It started with a single bottle my father had been given as a gift. One night we opened it and when it was finished I looked it up so we could buy it again. As it turns out it was worth far more than we expected. I was so annoyed and certain not to let it happen again from then on whenever I drank a wine I would research it beforehand. In doing so I fell in love with the idea a single glass of wine could have so many aspects; tasting notes, terroir, the history of the vineyard, the viticulture and viniculture that went into making the wine.
“Wine has a rare effect in the fact it can take you travelling to so many different countries, regions and places just through the expression of flavour and the complexity. I couldn’t help but fall in love and set myself a goal to earn the right of calling myself a wine expert. “
During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learnt?
“I would say that I have learned to listen to people and identify the needs of guests based on their preferences and to reveal the secrets of wine. I would like to repeat Salvador Dalí’s famous maxim “A real connoisseur does not drink wine but tastes of its secrets”. And I like a sommelier who helps people to open wine secrets.”
How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending English Sparkling Wine?
“Being an Englishman myself I love recommending it. I believe in the next few years many factors will increase the demand for it as well. Global warming affecting the climate and conditions in which the wine is made as well as the market becoming bolder in their exploration of English wine.”
In Your Professional Opinion, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?
“Hard question, there are a lot of factors that affect what goes well together. I would say that I recommend Champagne a lot more regularly as it covers a lot of bases. Its freshness and minerality means it can cut through the greasiness of a lot of fatty foods such as dishes with bacon or cream, its oak means it has enough body to go with some of the richer dishes and the flavours of brioche, toast and biscuit make it a fantastic accompaniment for desserts.”
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Sommeliers?
“Just start. Whether it’s buying a wine book and learning more about your favourites or trying something that isn’t necessarily in your comfort zone. One of my favourite things to do when working is to experiment with pairing wines and dishes. What is to stop people doing this at home?
I believe the best advice I can give is to read more about wine. It is an industry that is always changing. From 6,000 years ago to now there is so much to learn.”
If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?
“For me, Crab and Sparkling Rosé Champagne are such a fantastic pairing that have a lot of balance and complexity. A risotto with crab and some saffron and a glass of rose that’s been aged on the lees so it’s toastier and doesn’t get overpowered. My idea of heaven.”
Thank you, Edward, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!
Images belong to Edward Bailey. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.