Interview With A Sommelier – Joshua Bratt

10th June 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Joshua Bratt

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

Tell Us About Yourself & What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I grew up in Birmingham and moved to London for university around 10 years ago. During my final year, I started working in a restaurant and fell in love with the energy of hospitality. Although being exposed to some wine during these formative years in the trade, things didn’t really kick off until a few years later.

I remember my first glass of ‘natural’ wine and being blown away by its vibrancy and how different it was to anything I’d drunk before. Since then I’ve never looked back and have wanted to learn more and more about this magical juice which has so much craft and history behind it; this mysticism is such a juxtaposition to the craziness of modern life. As GM of Carousel in London and the curator of the wine list there, I consider myself lucky to be exposed to the wine that I do, not to mention the incredible humans that are in the wine business.”

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

“Who knows when my first proper glass was! I think the first time I felt the magic of sparkling was going on a trip to the Nyetimber estate in Sussex. Tasting different cuvees next to each other and seeing how the terroir of South East England affected the wines gave me a grounding in how special these bottles can be.”

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

“Probably the simple fact that winemakers are farmers. Grower Champagne always trumps the big houses as their understanding of the land and their hard work with nature results in a more complex and more truthful end product. I think my understanding of all wine opened up when I started examining the natural aspect of the process. From soil to grape variety to climate. pH levels, sugar ripeness etc. all seem technical from the outside but, in the end, grapes are fruit and only the best fruit can make the best wines.”

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

“It would be so easy to say Champagne at this point however I think my heart of hearts would say Prosecco. As much as I’d love to drink grower Champagne with every meal, it’s an unfortunate reality that it is more an occasion wine due to the price. Yes Prosecco is mass produced, and yes the English consumer has completely rewritten what it means in many ways, but when you want a bottle of fizz for £10, it never fails to disappoint. There are also still many growers who produce incredible Col Fondo method sparklings which are still authentic representations of the region.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Never stop tasting. Even if it’s retrying the house wine you’ve poured a thousand times, it’s important to hone your palette as regularly as possible. Also, the only way to even begin to experience the breadth of wine in the world is to get yourself out there. Meeting producers, importers, and other people in the trade is, in my opinion, more important for your understanding and knowledge than reading a textbook. Not only will they introduce you to wine you won’t have seen before, but they will also enhance your understanding of what makes wine tick and why it’s so special.”

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

“More often than not at home. Always with friends and always celebrating, these moments are without the pressure of being in a space that’s not your own. Just a few weeks back I had some old school friends round for dinner and one of them gave us the amazing news that he’d proposed (successfully!) to his long term partner. Popping a bottle of Francois Martinot’s ‘Bistrotage b.10’ (an extended lees ageing release from one of my favourite natural growers) had all the more weight to it as it was an opportunity to share a wine from my own collection which they were blown away by.”

Thank you, Joshua, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Photo Credit belongs to Carousel, 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.