Interview With A Sommelier – Olivier Gasselin

2nd January 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Olivier Gasselin

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

Tell Us About Yourself

“My name is Olivier, I am originally from the Loire Valley in France, and I settled in the UK in the early 2000s working as a Sommelier in various places for the Conran/DandDLondon group, including in a private member’s club called Morton’s and for the Hakkasan group afterwards. I am now working with Hatch Mansfield as a Founder Producers Ambassador for Louis Jadot and Errazuriz wineries.”

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

“I remember very well my first experience with sparkling wine, this was at a Christmas lunch with my extended paternal family, when my grandfather, who was producing wines in Vouvray, opened a Sparkling Vouvray Demi-Sec 1978. The wine was off-dry and lingering, made of Chenin Blanc 100% and was absolutely extraordinary. My grandfather’s wines have been a revelation for me even though he wasn’t a great producer, but this wine stood out.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I have always had a keen interest in wine, but didn’t train as a sommelier as such in a school, little by little with some retail experience I grew in confidence, and was given a chance to start doing shifts in Bluebird Chelsea. I was mentored by Olivier Marie, who then took me on in Coq d’Argent, where under his guidance I gained experience, more knowledge, and started to take WSET and CMS courses. I only worked in outlets with very big wine lists, therefore learning on the job was key.”

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

“You keep on learning every day about things, about yourself, about some amazing people working on the trade, about guests in the restaurants, and about wine. I started off as a wine geek, but I have learned much about food and wine pairings, which I love to replicate at home, with my family and with friends…so, food would be the most surprising as I didn’t really cook when I was a kid or teenager, and the capacity of wines to match great food is fascinating.”

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

“I love Sparkling wines from the Loire of course and discover new ones every time I go home…I love undervalued and relatively unknown Sparkling wines from France, like Cerdon and Methode Ancestrale wines; I also love great Methode Cap Classique from South Africa, great English Sparkling wines,…and of course great Champagnes. I work closely with Taittinger and their wines are truly special.”

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

“I recently visited Taittinger in Reims, in their reception house in the centre of the city, and even though I have tried their prestige cuvee many times and in many different settings, that one time was special, because of the people I was with, most of them new to Champagne, therefore full of excitement, the place was also like a little paradise within the city centre, and the wine which stood out was Comtes de Champagne 2012, which I had tried a few times. I don’t get enthusiastic easily for great wines because of their label or price tag, but that bottle was stupendous…!”

Thank you, Olivier, 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 Olivier Gasselin. 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.