Interview With A Sommelier – Ilayda Buse Acar

28th February 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Ilayda Buse Acar

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 woman from Istanbul, Turkey, who has helped many people discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Ilayda Buse Acar, let’s find out about her life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself

“Hi there! My name is Ilayda Buse Acar. I am 27 years old and live in Istanbul/Turkey. It has been about 4 years since wine came into my life. I work as a Food  Beverage Manager and Sommelier at a restaurant called Joker No:5 in Nisantasi, one of the popular neighbourhoods of Istanbul. I am at level 3 of Wine & Spirit Education Trust. I am also a Professional Food and Beverage Management graduate from the internationally recognized Academy of Culinary Arts. I entered the industry as a barmaid 9 years ago. Then, I devoted myself to the wine. Currently, I am providing first level wine training to students of Boğaziçi University Gastronomy Club which is one of the most prestigious universities in Turkey.”

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

“I guess, it was quite a long time ago. I think I drank my first sparkling wine at a movie premiere which was about 7-8 years ago. I remember consuming an Italian sparkling wine. It was a life-changing experience for me and my career.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I have always been curious about the food and drink cultures of different regions. This curiosity became my focus over time and I have decided that I want to be one of the best in a special field. This special area became the alcohol area, which is one of the things I enjoy consuming the most. When I dug deeper, I realized that I had a special interest in wines and it was a pure passion for me. I started to receive professional training on wine and then realized that I wanted to put it in the center of my life. Wine should have been my profession!”

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

“Great question! I think I will have a few answers. The first was learning that there are ‘wine killer foods’. One of our guests asked, “Can you call your sommelier?” When I went to him, he said that there were some problems while consuming wine with artichokes. He was right, artichokes and wine were not a match. It was an interesting experience. Another experience that excited me was tasting the Ice Wine. It was quite enjoyable to drink a sweet wine made from frozen grapes.”

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

“Prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine. It was the first sparkling wine that I have consumed, and now I drink it constantly and it repeatedly gives me great pleasure. Of course, I cannot go on to the next question without talking a bit about the Champagne as well. I will be going on a vineyard tour in France soon and I am excited about drinking Champagne in the place where it is produced.”

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

“Recently, at an event I have attended as a sommelier; I found myself having to open 70 bubbly bottles in 2-3 hours. Later, I drank the same bubbly wine at the end of the work. It was a sweet tiredness and an intense experience for me. That’s why the sparkling wine I drank gave me that much pleasure.”

Thank you, Ilayda, 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 Ilayda Buse Acar. 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.