Interview With A Sommelier – Joanna Nerantzi

15th April 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Joanna Nerantzi

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 lady from, England, who has helped many people discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Joanna Nerantzi, let’s find out about her life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself

“Hi Oliver, I’m Joanna Nerantzi and thank you for having me. I’ve been working as a sommelier for a while now, and my journey with wine began a few years back in Santorini. It was there that I realized just how much I needed to learn to become a sommelier.

After that, I made the move to London and started working at 67 Pall Mall, which is known as the most exclusive wine club for members worldwide. I’ve also been following the Court of Master Sommeliers path to further my expertise.

Now, here I am, having recently obtained my Advanced Sommelier Certification and working in the hospitality industry in London. I’m excited to be here with you and talk about how I can bring my passion for wine and hospitality to your readers.”

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

“A 2006 Millesime Charles Heidsieck Rosé bottle holds a special place in my heart. It was during my first job as a sommelier, right after I passed my WSET II exam, that my head sommelier surprised me with this as a gift. The experience of opening that bottle is etched in my memory forever – it’s one of those unforgettable nights that revolve around a remarkable bottle of wine.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“Honestly, I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into – haha! I’ve been in the hospitality industry since a young age, so I found myself serving wine long before I even knew what a ‘sommelier’ did. It wasn’t until later that I realized I wanted to become a sommelier myself. That’s when I made the move to London.

My ultimate dream was to join the team at 67 Pall Mall, which I saw as the pinnacle of sommelier excellence. At that time, the team was led by Ronan Sayburn MS as Head of Wine and Terry Kandylis as Head Sommelier, and I was determined to become a part of the best sommelier team in the world.”

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

“Discovering the world of wine is an ongoing journey that never truly ends. Each day brings new opportunities to learn and refine your skills. Through this process, I’ve come to understand that unwavering dedication, authentic passion, and love for what you’re doing can pave the way to a life beyond your wildest dreams. I’ve learned that in order to curate exceptional experiences for your guests, you must first seek out and create your own extraordinary experiences.”

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

“I’m not certain if there’s any place quite like Champagne that holds such a special significance for a wine lover. Nevertheless, I am truly astonished by the potential of UK sparkling wine and the sparkling wine from Tasmania.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“I believe that choosing to embark on a journey in the wine and hospitality industry is a true gift in life. With its pros and cons, It is a magical realm that extends far beyond simply being able to identify and comprehend what’s in your glass or serving guests. It’s a life enriched by extraordinary individuals, wine tastings, literature, travel, and the pursuit of novel experiences.”

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

“As I visited the first restaurant where I ever worked as a sommelier in Santorini, memories of how this beautiful journey began came flooding back to me throughout the entire night accompanied by a bottle of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2007.”

Thank you, Joanna, 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 Joanna Nerantzi (Photo Credit: Kimonas Patiniotis). 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.