Interview With A Sommelier – Matteo Di Giovanni

10th April 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Matteo Di Giovanni

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

Tell Us About Yourself

“Greetings, I Am Matteo Di Giovanni. I’m currently working as Head Sommelier at Borgo Sant’Anna, a 1 Michelin Star Restaurant in the heart of Langhe area in Piedmont, definitely one of the most important enogastronomic places in Italy.

I grew up in a family which runs a very historical restaurant in the north east side of Italy, so to me eating and drinking well has always been a big deal and a part of my educational program.

I worked in different restaurants, probably the most important was a 2 Michelin Star in Milan. I also competed last year in the finals for the best waiter in Italy under 30 years old. I Love being a curious guy and I’m always trying to discover new wine maisons and especially trying to have the chance to know the people behind them.”

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

“My first time opening a sparkling wine was not at all a good memory! When I was a teenager I used to help my parents at their restaurant during my school holidays (I like to say I grew up behind a bar counter) when suddenly I found myself in front of a bottle of Prosecco (which is made in Veneto, where I come from) that I had to open to serve two glasses. It took me so much effort to open it that I moved it so much up and down that once I managed to pop the cork I lost half of the wine inside and my work clothes got completely wet.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I got two key figures that inspired me the most:

•My father, who taught me the verity of being a waiter and serving people and to never give up even if this job is quite intense in terms of hours per day and can be stressful like few other jobs can be.

•The second one is the first Sommelier I had the chance to work with when I moved from my home town. He used to be Head Sommelier in a 3 Michelin Stars restaurant before opening his own restaurant.

He didn’t usually talk much, he was very quiet, so I had to steal every piece of information just by watching him working during the service. But after every dinner service he used to ask me to sit next to him while he was tasting new wines and to take notes, I can still remember those magical words he used to describe every single glass, that’s when I understood it was the profession I would aspire to do.”

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

“Probably the most important and interesting thing I’ve learnt is that people and the history behind a wine label can totally change the perception of wine itself.

I have the chance to visit numerous wineries every week and what surprises me the most it’s not if I find wine ‘good or less good’ for my tastes, but the stories behind the people who work to make the wine I’m tasting in that moment. Storytelling is so important for our job.”

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

“Definitely Champagne, I know it might sound obvious but every time I open a bottle of Champagne it reminds me of the time spent at the table having lunch or dinner with my family because they couldn’t ever miss Champagne on any occasion!”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Keep studying every shade of wine, from the chemical parts to geography. Keep tasting and always be curious about everything, not just food and wine. Because sometimes who’s having a meal at your restaurant doesn’t want to talk only about our passion, and that’s where we can surprise him/her by knowing something of their field as well! Knowing a little bit of everything has always been the most beautiful skill a waiter/sommelier has.”

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

“I have more memorable people that I’ve enjoyed a Glass of Bubbly with than places, but if I have to pick one it would be for sure at Clos Saint-Jacques at Bollinger at Äy in Champagne, nothing can beat that atmosphere in my opinion!”

Thank you, Matteo, 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 Matteo Di Giovanni. 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.