Interview With A Sommelier – Fotis Sapnaras

22nd May 2024

Interview with a Sommelier Fotis Sapnaras

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 from, Athens, Attiki, Greece, who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Fotis Sapnaras, let’s find out about his life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself

“My name is Fotis Sapnaras.I was born and raised in Rhodes, Greece. I’m 20 years old and I have been living, studying and working in Athens for the last 3 years. My journey in hospitality started when I was just a young boy (16 years old) who wanted extra money for a vacation, but it turned out that I really liked being a waiter and communicating with guests and customers.

As a young boy, I was inspired by one of the chefs I had the chance to work with, I remember myself in the second season and it was exhausting, very stressful, and long shifts (12+ hours) but always due to the chef something kept me there and make me to say myself I have to focus more and be the best at my job for myself.

Later, I came here to study and I saw that it was possible to do some courses for wine, and coffee etc., here we are, my trip in this magical world of wine and hospitality just started.”

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

“I remember when I started realising the complexity of Champagne in one of the wine courses I took in 2022. One of my favourite Champagnes is the Deutz Brut Classic, for me it has everything that I’m looking in a typical Champagne bottle and it’s value for money, it has a crispy character but delicate, fruity aromas, floral and brioche it’s perfect.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“To be honest, I don’t know exactly what inspired me, I think it’s the culture that exists around the wine and the practical service. The interaction between wine enthusiasts, wine professionals and everyone involved is a huge factor for me personally.”

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

“For me, everything that I have read and learned about wine but especially about Greek wines, we have some great wines either natural wines, VDN and light wines and one of my favourites is Vidiano from Crete.”

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

“The most special place in my heart belongs to Cremant de Bourgogne, almost every sparkling wine from there is perfect like a good Champagne.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Be patient, believe in yourself, study and always work, you will never know everything, but every day you will find something new to learn. The good sommelier for me is the one that knows how to make a wine list, communicate with a customer, manage a wine cellar and always understand what the customer wants.”

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

“I like enjoying a glass of bubbly every time our shift ends in a restaurant or hotel I don’t know why but I like it.”

Thank you, Fotis, 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 Fotis Sapnaras. 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.