Interview With A Sommelier – Mohamed Aous

26th February 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Mohamed Aous

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

Tell Us About Yourself

“My name is Mohamed. I was born in Algeria and moved to France when I was 9. I had the privilege of serving as the former Head Sommelier at Restaurant Vanderveen* in Amsterdam, where I had the honor of working alongside Chef George Kataras. My journey as a sommelier began with a classic hotel school education in France, and since then I’ve spent the last 11 years perfecting my skills and expertise., I’ve had the pleasure of working in some of the world’s most esteemed restaurants, including restaurant Sat Bains**, Geranium***, and Blue Hill at Stone Barns**.”

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

“My first experience with sparkling wine happened during my time at Hotel School. However, my most memorable encounter with it took place during my early days as a Sommelier at Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham. I was just 19 years old, still getting the hang of the English language and having only basic wine knowledge. But what stands out vividly is when I poured a glass of sparkling wine from the UK, specifically from Nyetimber. This marked the beginning of my journey into the world of wine, especially sparkling wine, beyond the borders of France and Champagne. From that point on, I’ve kept an open mind, appreciating the various styles and regions of wines from around the world.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I would say that one of my biggest inspirations to become a sommelier is Laurent Richet, a Master Sommelier who was the Head Sommelier at Restaurant Sat Bains, where I began my career. Working alongside Laurent was an incredible experience as he recognized my determination and mentored me closely. Under his guidance, I not only achieved my goals but also successfully passed the certified sommelier exam. Starting my career under the wing of such an industry expert was truly amazing.”

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

“Early in my career, I learned an important lesson: the wine world is much more than just the “old world.” This understanding became a central theme in my work at Restaurant Vanderveen*, where I made it a priority to highlight the rich diversity of wines from around the globe. It’s a continuous learning journey, not just about new vintages, but also about ever-evolving techniques, regions, and rules, especially with the growing interest in ‘Natural wine.’

Being a sommelier is about more than serving and pouring wine; I like to think of it as being a ‘storyteller.’ It’s a role that lets me explore a wide range of beverages, from sake and cider to beers and non-alcoholic options, all carefully paired with food. This perspective enriches the guest experience, offering a vast array of possibilities and combinations.”

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

“Champagne is undoubtedly one of my favorites. I often say that Champagne is like your trusty friend; when in doubt, it’s always a great choice. Sometimes, we overlook the fact that Champagne comes in various styles, making it suitable for any occasion and a wide variety of food pairings. Champagne holds a special place in my heart as it was the first wine trip I ever took. The experience was truly memorable and deepened my connection with this exceptional beverage.”

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

“Two fantastic memories come to mind. The first one takes me back to when I was 19. Together with the Sat Bains team I was invited for a lunch at the renowned restaurant ”Le Gavroche” in London. Being there, at my first two Michelin-starred restaurant, with such an amazing team was truly incredible. To make it even better, the first thing we were offered was a glass of Champagne. It’s especially meaningful to me now, considering that this iconic restaurant is closing its doors.

The second cherished memory was on New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia. I was working at Restaurant Quay, and as the clock struck midnight, everything came to a halt. The entire team, both front and back of the house, gathered together to witness one of the most spectacular fireworks displays in the world. We raised our glasses of Champagne, and at that moment, we shared a truly unforgettable experience.”

Thank you, Mohamed Aous, 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 Mohamed Aous. 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.