Interview With A Sommelier – Umberto Rusciano

13th May 2024

Interview With A Sommelier Umberto Rusciano

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

Tell Us About Yourself

“Ciao Oliver! I was born in Napoli (Italy) and I have always had a passion for adventure, stories and for beauty in all its forms. After years of studying pharmaceuticals, I decided to start a backpacking trip through Europe, from France to the Atlantic Ocean, listening to people, and experiencing the spontaneous hospitality of the souls I met along the way. I have therefore decided to dedicate my life to reciprocating that hospitality, combined with my great love for food and wine, becoming a Wine Hospitality Sommelier. Thanks also to my experience in a museum, my approach to wine tasting and tours is the same as with a masterpiece of art, respectful and passionate, full of wonder. In 2023 I’ve been working for a winery in Sicily, Tenuta di Castellaro and, thanks to this experience, I won the Best Wine&Tourism Award in Rimini BBT.”

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

“Well, my family has always been into wine, and as an Italian family, in every celebration there was a chance to try some. But in a more professional sense, I remember when I was in Bologna for my University, I started to try different sparkling wines for understand the differences between Charmat and Champenoise, but also enjoying the typical sparkling red wine of that area, the Lambrusco.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“I was lucky enough to have a centuries-old family vineyard, so I was born and raised in strict contact with all the processes of winemaking, I still remember when I was kid and tasting the grapes ready to be harvested with my grandpa. But I wanted more, I wanted to understand as much as possible of that world, and I wanted to combine the study with the experience, so I graduated as a sommelier at the Italian Sommelier Association. But it was not the goal but a start, my real mission was then to spread the knowledge and help people to enjoy wine because wine has to be democratic.”

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

“I’ve learnt that it’s possible to get excited and emotional because of wine. That a taste or a smell can be so powerful on our emotions; it is more than a drink, is a key for precious memories and of meeting with very interesting people.”

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

“For sure Vesuvius region. The volcanic region around the volcano Vesuvio, full of minerals, rich of history. Over there are many the native grapes used for Metodo Classico sparkling production.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“My advice is to consider each wine as a book, full of stories to tell: loves, details, struggles and protagonists. It is our job to learn, tell and provide everyone with the right alphabet to be able to read these wonderful books in the best possible way.”

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

“There are many places where I’ve enjoyed a great Glass of Bubbly, watching the city and the sea, but my vineyard in Napoli while watching the New Years Midnight – fireworks, is priceless.”

Thank you, Umberto, 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 Umberto Rusciano. 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.