Interview With A Sommelier – Matthew Wakeford

11th June 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Matthew Wakeford

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 Matthew Wakeford, let’s find out about his life as a Sommelier.

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

“I’m 37 years old born in Surrey, I wasn’t exposed to wine until I moved out at 15 and was living in Europe and travelling around a lot with my previous profession (a long time ago and many kilos ago as well ) I was a professional cyclist. The culture within the team was more French and having a glass of red wine with dinner was very normal, I liked the idea that it wasn’t just a drink it was an extension of the meal and I think this is what lit the flame for me knowing that a beverage is more than just something to drink it can be an experience in itself.”

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

“My first experience with a kind of sparkling wine was when my grandma gave me a small glass of Moscato D’Asti when I was about 6 or 7 years old it was Christmas so it was a special occasion and it has stuck in my memory since. That sweet peachy grape juice was amazing for a 7 year old at Christmas, already over excited as I got my first proper bike. I still have a soft spot for Moscato D’Asti.”

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

“That no matter how much you know about wine you still don’t know everything and that is quite humbling to remember. The most surprising thing is that the guest isn’t always right I know that’s something many of us have been told over the years and to never say no to a guest but I have learnt that actually they aren’t always right and it’s OK to say no, it’s just how you do it and what you can do instead.”

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

“Being from the UK it would be English sparkling wines, there is a deep passion with some producers now and they are really trying to create their own style which I think is amazing they are so complex and layered and I’m a big fan of Langham Estates.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Keep going, it’s tough and it’s hard you will be out of your depth, you want to get on with everyone you work with but keep going it does get easier, it does get better and hearing from that table that they loved your pairing with that dish it makes it all worth it.”

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

“Randomly it was in the woods around me foraging for mushrooms for dinner with one of my best mates, I had a bottle of Krug 168th Edition and I had that with me with some plastic party cups that I found in my car and we sat on a log drinking this amazing wine.”

Additional Question asked by Champagne Collectors – What’s the Oldest Vintage Champagne You’ve Tasted?

“1985 Bollinger RD – it was intense nutty brioche and morel mushroom and this waxy lemon peel and almond note.”

Thank you, Matthew, 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 Matthew Wakeford & Latymer By Steve Smith at Pennyhill Park, 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.