Interview With A Sommelier – Ilya Sakharov

1st August 2023

Interview With A Sommelier Ilya Sakharov

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 who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Ilya Sakharov. Let’s find out a bit about his life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself

“My name is Ilya Sakharov. I am currently based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Now I am a manager & sommelier in a new wine bar – “DOC by AlmaWine”. Also, I work as a development manager of wine distribution with a friendly wine & spirits distribution company.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I have a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and before I started my wine career I was working in the IT-industry as a content-marketologist for 4.5 years. In those times I didn’t know anything about wine and preferred beer 😉 2 years ago I burned out and started to find a new profession to create a new chapter of my life. I discussed this with my mother when I visited her on the Christmas holiday. We drank beer and ate pizza and in the process of dialog remembered that there is a profession of sommeliers. Personally, wine and gastronomy is a full value of the art world as literature, music, architecture, etc. And this is what I found.”

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

“Typically it was classic points about differences of wine glasses, wine’s change’s during the years and terroir’s impact on the wine style.”

How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending English Sparkling Wine?

“I spent some months researching English Sparkling Wines last autumn and today I recommend this type of wine about 1-2 times a week.”

In Your Professional Opinion, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?

“If we speak about Sparkling wines I think that English sparkling, Franciacorta and Zekt will be an amazing pairing. From still wines, the most interesting options for me are amber wines.”

What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Sommeliers?

“Let’s advise our guests with unusual wines without prejudice or fear.”

If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?

“Recoltant Champagne or English Sparkling wines + beef tartare with spinach and black truffle ponzu.”

Thank you, Ilya, 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 Ilya Sakharov. 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.