Interview With A Sommelier – Juan Jose Gomez

3rd June 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Juan Jose Gomez

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

Tell Us About Yourself

“My name is Juan Jose Gomez, and some people in the industry know me as @Fochello. I was born in Cali but raised in Bogota – Colombia. I’m 25 and I’ve been working in Bogota for the past 6-7 months. My career started when I decided to study cuisine.

At first, I really wanted to become a professional chef and have my own restaurant and my own type of style, but it didn’t take too much for me to realize that I loved wine and everything behind it. After I finished my career I decided to leave for the United States and do the WSET level 2 in Napa Valley.

After some time I had the pleasure of working at Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach, I started as a bartender but it was a great opportunity to get a bit closer to the world of wine and the chance to become a sommelier. The head sommelier, Imre Papp taught me many things that I didn’t understand completely and made me fall more in love with wine.

I’ve been working in Bogotá, at a restaurant called Anima for quite some time and I’ve been enjoying all of it. The chance to be a junior sommelier is still very big for me and I’m on the road to be even greater.”

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

“My very first real experience with sparkling wine was actually not long ago. I had the chance to try a Franciacorta Millesimato from Le Marchesine, a delicious rose that I will always hold close to my heart.

Over there many opportunities have arrived with the chance to try many sparkling wines, from Argentinian sparkling all the way to be able to try a Krug from around 1980’s.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“The inspiration was actually one of my teachers during my classes, Juan Pablo Gomez. We took a very small course of wines and spirits, and he was just so passionate about it and so happy that it made me rethink my decisions. After finally realizing that I wanted to become a wine expert I thanked him and started this beautiful adventure where I’ve been able to meet many wine experts who have given me tips and tricks and that have taught me several lessons, Imre Papp at Cafe Boulud, Ricardo Grellet, Nicolás Reines, Andrés Muñoz. To mention some of my colleagues.”

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

“This is a tough one, probably the way that everyone tastes wine. I’ve found that there are many sommeliers and non-sommeliers that have so many ways to taste wine, from listening to music, watching movies, and relating wine to the scenes, remembering special places, or tasting the wine somewhere they think it’s ideal for it, viewing architecture or even paintings.”

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

“It definitely has to be France with Champagne. I’ve had the pleasure of having many encounters with this popular wine region tasting awesome wines like Krug, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Laurent Perrier and Moët & Chandon. It holds a very special place because all of the stories that have been told while tasting these wines and while watching everyone enjoy them have been incredibly satisfying.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Always follow your feelings and your heart. Wine is not something to be explained with technical stuff, we can leave that for exams and to talk about with other sommeliers, you should better enjoy your wines with special people, try to sell those wines that you love and express everything that you can when doing that. Wine is more like a mood, and always remember that the best wine is the one you like the most.”

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

“Sadly, I don’t remember the name, but it was on a rooftop in Napa Valley enjoying a delicious Moët Rosé with my friends watching the sunset, quite a magical moment.”

Thank you, Juan, 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 belong to Juan Jose Gomez. 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.