Interview With A Sommelier – Shubham Raulo
2nd October 2023
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 Shubham Raulo, and let’s find out a bit about his life as a Sommelier.
Tell Us About Yourself
“I’m Shubham Raulo, born and raised in India, an Aspiring sommelier, who loves to read about history and mythology I’m currently training my palate, nose and widening the horizon of my knowledge, I was 14 years old when I first tasted wine and it has always fascinated me since then, Wine became my first Love and my third parent. I’ve been selected as a Food and Beverage executive in an Indian Five Star hotel, which will help me to broaden my thoughts into this world of wines. Now I’ve been focusing my energy and all my spirits to get my Court of Master Sommeliers certification.”
What Inspired You To Become A Sommelier?
“Wine or alcohol’ to be precise has always been a taboo in Indian culture and in my family history when my elder cousin was pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, I came across his notes on alcohol, And I was shocked that it has always been a taboo in our family history for generations, and then I knew that’s when I want to be a sommelier, A ten year old making such career decisions was quite eccentric according to my family,
But as I grew, My love for wines became immeasurable. And then I came across a wine based competition in which I was the 1st Runner up, named ‘Young Sommeliers Olympiad’ headed by Mr Gagan Sharma a certified sommelier who is also my mentor who uplifted my confidence and gave me an exposure to the world of wine industry.”
During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learnt?
“Actually there are a lot of things, but the most eccentric and surprising thing I’ve learnt is the importance of excise laws that govern the wine and spirit industry, they play a major role in the industry from planting to harvesting to winemaking to bottling and the selling of these wines. Excise departments can either make your growth successful or can lead towards its downfall.
As an aspiring sommelier, I think it is crucial to be aware of these laws and regulations.”
How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending English Sparkling Wine?
“My first English sparkling wine was Henners Foxearle English sparkling brut 2016, but it’s quite difficult to recommend English sparkling wine as India as the country doesn’t have a wine consuming culture, however, things are changing, thanks to Indian winemakers and wine manufacturers such as Sula vineyards, Reveilo wines, YORK winery, Grover Zampa and Chandon India, In coming foreseeable future we can expect some change and the inclusion of English sparkling wines.”
In Your Professional Opinion, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?
“In my opinion, It really depends on which kind of food are you planning to complement it, both wines have their unique characteristics, Champagne is rich, it’s sharp and crisp bubbles and its autolytic element, which gives a brioche and a yeasty taste is essential to wash down the meal, on the contrary, Prosecco is known for its light, floral and fruity notes which would very well complement a brunch, appetizer. Prosecco is also widely considered as an aperitif.”
What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?
“I’m an aspiring sommelier myself, but if I were to give any advice it would be to just be focused and concentrated. There will be times when you will feel alone and lonely while your friends and family are out enjoying themselves. There will be distractions, but the most important thing is to never give up and always be hungry for knowledge. As a wise man once said “Knowledge is Power”.”
If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?
“It would be Butter Chicken paired with a fruit driven sparkling rosé wine such as Chandon Rosé, Butter Chicken is globally renowned for its creamy flavorful gravy that can be enjoyed with rotis (Indian bread) or rice. When paired with this beautiful dry sparkling wine made with Shiraz grapes, It complements the burst of flavours and allows you to enjoy the fruity notes beneath.”
Thank you, Shubham, 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 Shubham Raulo. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.