Interview With A Sommelier – Yevhen Zinevych

1st February 2023

Interview With A Sommelier Glass of Bubbly - Yevhen Zinevych

The World of Wine is beautifully showcased by an army of talented Sommeliers, who help consumers discover their next favourite bottle, understand the different regions and pair a delicious meal with the right Glass of Bubbly.

In this article, I speak with a man who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, his name is Yevhen Zinevych, let’s find out a bit about his life as a Sommelier.

Could You Tell Us About Yourself?

“I will start by saying that I was born and lived the first part of my life in the small town of Dzhankoy, which is in the south of Ukraine, Crimea. Crimea is a wine-producing region of Ukraine. True, in that distant time produced mostly sweet, fortified wines. Probably then I had a special relationship with wine.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“Now about my profession: Already in Kiev, I got a job as a sales manager at a wine merchant company. But for the first 1.5 years I sold only strong drinks. It was spirits that inspired me to study a lot of history, technology of production and so on. I read a lot, attended all sorts of tastings and my sales skyrocketed. Then I went to another company. And there I began to study wines. For me it was unexpected that the lion’s share of the world’s wines are dry wines. In the Crimea I was used to sweet and fortified. My interest in wines kept growing. I founded a private wine club in Kiev. Where we gathered with the same wine lovers to drink something interesting. After 6 years of this kind of work, communicating with sommeliers, I suddenly realized that, in principle, I could already work confidently as a sommelier. That first interview was a success.”

How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending Ukrainian Sparkling Wine?

“I can’t say that I often recommend Ukrainian sparkling wine. But in general I recommend Ukrainian wines very often, at least once a day. It just so happened that I was the first sommelier in the world who started to work exclusively with Ukrainian wine. That is, in my restaurant there were exclusively Ukrainian wines. For a long time, it was thought that there were just no good wines (dry wines) in Ukraine. Or very few. But I managed to build up a solid collection of good wines and change anger into grace for our guests every day. After that I consider myself one of the best SOMELIER in Ukraine in this context.”

In Your Professional Opinion, When Pairing Wine With Food, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?

“In my opinion all sparkling wines can be divided into 3 categories:

1: Charm Method. There are simple, not expensive wines that are very good as a light aperitif, even without a combination with food.

2: Classic Champagnization with a short aging period. Whether it’s Champagne or Corpinato, this category pairs well with food, light snacks, unripened cheeses, etc.

3: Top cuvées with long aging. Some Champagnes are aged in oak, or even in Kvevries, (before secondary champagnization) such wines are better combined with main courses, they can accompany the whole dinner and even combine with pork for example.”

What Advice Would You Give Inspiring Sommeliers?

“Specifically for me, I have singled out this formula for success and I think it is the only right one.
To be a successful sommelier and not to burn out on the second year of work, you need to continuously do three things:

  • Drink
  • Read
  • Travel

It is always interesting, though not always easy.”

If you sat down for a quiet dinner, what dish and sparkling wine would you choose to enjoy together?

“Of sparkling wines I certainly prefer Champagne, I also don’t mind drinking a Cap Classique. I can’t pick just one dish. At least it would be oysters and Dorado with vegetables. With obligatory digestif Barolo Chinato or 20-year-old Porto.”

Thank you, Yevhen, 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 Yevhen Zinevych. 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.