Interview With A Sommelier – Hansley Sarah

21st May 2024

Interview With Sommelier Hansley Sarah

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, Mauritius, who has helped many people discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Hansley Sarah, let’s find out about his life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself

“My name is Hansley Sarah, but I’m often referred to as ‘The Flying Gentleman’, a title bestowed upon me by one of my satisfied guests. I embarked on my journey as a sommelier at the age of 17, honing my craft at the Constance Belle Mare Plage Hotel. Over the course of five years, I delved into the enchanting world of wine, with a particular focus on those effervescent delights known as Champagne and sparkling wine.”

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

“As a Mauritian, my beverage of choice had been beer for quite some time. However, my first encounter with sparkling wine left me utterly captivated. There was no bitterness, just an explosion of refreshment and complexity. It was Champagne Delamotte, not the finest in my collection, but it held a special place as my first love. This memorable experience took place at an end-of-year party where the DJ was playing my favorite tunes.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I was simply looking for a temporary job at a hotel during my high school holidays, with no expectations of finding my true passion. On my very first day, I had the privilege of meeting a gentleman named Tony, and I can confidently say that he was the one who ignited my journey to becoming a sommelier. Tony exuded elegance, possessed an immense wealth of knowledge, and displayed the qualities of a great leader. He was everything I needed to set me on this remarkable path.”

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

“Constance Belle Mare Plage, boasting the largest wine cellar in the Indian Ocean, proved to be the ultimate place to deepen my knowledge of wine. It’s a haven frequently graced by winemakers who generously share their creations in enlightening master classes. I quickly realized that it’s not just about studying wine; there’s a whole world of knowledge to explore, from cheese and cigars to understanding the intricacies of meat that harmonize with the world of wine.”

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

“My current favorite sparkling is the Champagne Amour de Deutz Blanc de Blanc from Aÿ. This Champagne is truly special, being a premium cuvée. Its elegant and refined taste, featuring subtle notes of green apples, citrus, and delicate floral aromas, is a true delight. The crisp and refreshing acidity adds to its allure. What makes it even more charming is the hidden treasure beneath the cork—a small golden capsule featuring a cupid holding a tiny diamond, designed to be used as a necklace. It’s the embodiment of luxury and taste.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“I would advise anyone aspiring to become a sommelier to nurture a deep passion and unquenchable curiosity for the world of wine. Invest in comprehensive wine education to build a strong foundation of knowledge. Explore and taste a wide spectrum of wines from diverse regions and varietals. Travel to wine-producing regions to gain firsthand experience and insight into the craft. Focus on mastering the fundamental aspects of wine service, including proper storage and presentation. Develop a profound understanding of the art of food and wine pairings, enhancing the dining experience. Lastly, stay current with the ever-evolving world of wine trends to continually broaden your expertise.”

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

“One of the most memorable places I’ve savored a glass of bubbly was in Venice. During my last trip, while I was battling the scorching heat of Italy, I made a decision to order a glass of Prosecco to accompany my pasta dish. The cool, refreshing bubbles of the Prosecco danced on my palate, and at that very moment, as I enjoyed the exquisite combination of flavors, I couldn’t help but smile and tell myself, “I made it.” It was a moment of pure satisfaction and achievement.”

Thank you, Hansley, 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 Hansley Sarah. 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.