Interview With A Sommelier – Tina Johansson
17th 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 woman who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Tina Johansson, and let’s find out a bit about her life as a Sommelier.
Tell Us About Yourself
“My name is Tina Johansson, I live in Stockholm in Sweden, but I grew up in the northern part of the country. Currently, I work as the head sommelier in one Michelin star restaurant Ekstedt and I recently finished my WSET Diploma. I also used to compete in wine and have been third in the Swedish Sommelier Championship and won the Best Female Sommelier of Sweden a few years ago. Besides wine, I like meeting friends, enjoying the ocean side and visiting the opera.”
What Inspired You To Become A Sommelier?
“I moved away from home quite young and loved cooking for my friends and hosting dinners so learning about wine and other beverages felt natural. After I while my interest grew into a passion and I decided to take a real sommelier education and when I did I became hooked and started working in wine after that.”
During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learnt?
“Maybe that people are more curious and open minded than you would think. I often serve grapes and regions people might not have heard of before and most often they love it and that gives them a different experience than drinking what they usually do. I feel like my job is to inspire and that’s a fun way to do it.”
How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending English Sparkling Wine?
“Not very often, at the moment we sell a lot of Champagne (of course), but also a lot of Swedish sparkling wine which is a style that’s emerging here now. I do enjoy English sparkling quite often at home though.”
In Your Professional Opinion, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?
“I would pick Champagne, mainly because it usually has a fuller body and more texture to it, which makes it a lot more food friendly and can handle more flavorful dishes. But it all depends on the dish of course. You should always aim to drink what you like and not what people tell you you should like.”
What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?
“You can learn a lot on your own, or by talking to sommeliers in restaurant. Be open to trying new things and continue to learn and be surprised. That’s how you keep your passion for wine! Never forget wine should be fun.”
If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?
“I’m one of those who love pairing very special bottles of Champagne with fast food like pepperoni pizza or snacks like cheese doodles. There’s something special in pairing something as elegant and rare as Champagne with something easy going. You don’t have to have the most extravagant dish to have a great pairing. Like I said, wine should be fun and I think people forget that sometimes.”
Thank you, Tina, 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 Tina Johansson. 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.