Spotlight on: Meira Harel

Name: Meira Harel (Adelaide, AU) I am: Co-Founder of GROW Assembly, Sommelier, Wine consultant and a mum. What inspired me to become a sommelier: I worked at a little French restaurant back home (Israel) as a restaurant manager and the chef/owner who was Swiss and knew so much about wine and beverages gave me the … Continued

12 minutes with our Top 12: Steve Senturk

Name: Steve Senturk I am: Sommelier at Bentley Restaurant & Bar, and The Wine Library. What inspired me to become a sommelier: Travelling through the world wine regions, discovering all cultural aspects related to food and wine, then being able to share these stories. My favourite food and beverage match is: Aged Manchego cheese from … Continued

12 minutes with our Top 12: Justin Biskup

Name: Justin Biskup I am: Wine Manager, Jackalope Hotels What inspired me to become a sommelier: While travelling and pursuing perpetual summer, I developed a trend of working as a bartender at night and doing cellar door sales during the day.  The first time that I encountered a somm was during my time as a … Continued

Spotlight on: Julie Dupouy-Young

Name: Julie Dupouy-Young (Ireland) I am: Freelance sommelier, consultant for EXSTO Cognac, co-creator of SommNinja (educational mobile application) and President, Irish Guild of Sommeliers. What inspired me to become a sommelier: I always knew that I wanted to work with my sense of smell and thought about working in the perfume industry. However, on my … Continued

12 minutes with our Top 12: Jarrett Buffington

Name: Jarrett Buffington I am: Assistant Restaurant Manager/Sommelier at Nel Restaurant. What inspired me to become a sommelier: I’ve always been curious about cultures around the world. While working my first fine dining job in Texas I realised that a bottle of wine could encompass so much about a culture and history without ever having … Continued

12 minutes with our Top 12: Loic Avril

Name: Loic Avril I am: Beverage Director, Lucas Group What inspired me to become a sommelier: My Grandfather was a man of the land. Growing vineyards, forest and more. He taught us the smell of the nature. My role model is: Gerard Basset – He was a great inspiration because I was lucky enough to … Continued

Spotlight on: Louella Matthews

Name: Louella Mathews (Sydney, AU) I am: Head Sommelier @bibowinebarPlus some consulting and wine judging on the side. Creator of @sommspace. What inspired me to become a sommelier: Beginning my hospitality career in the Orange wine growing region. I loved the relationships that wine develops between people, whether it’s customer to sommelier, winemaker to retailer. … Continued

12 minutes with our Top 12: Manuel Conti

Name: Manuel Conti I am: Restaurant General Manager, Black Bar & Grill (The Star Casino) What inspired me to become a sommelier: Working in my parent’s gastronomy and wine shop in Florence when I was young. When I was about 18-19 years old I tried a bottle of very cheap wine next to a Sassicaia … Continued

12 minutes with our Top 12: Paolo Saccone

Name: Paolo Saccone I am: Head Sommelier, Mimi’s What inspired me to become a sommelier: In my teens I was working as a pizza chef in the evening and studying hospitality during the day in Milan. It included attending Sommelier lessons with Giuseppe Vaccarini. This is where I discovered my passion to distinguish flavours and … Continued

Spotlight on: Carine Patricio

Name: Carine Patricio (Portugal) I am: Sommelier & Sales Manager at Joh.Jos. Prüm, Mosel Valley, Germany What inspired me to become a sommelier: During a semester abroad in Germany, I met a chef [who] needed help in his restaurant… Very soon I realised that I liked being a host and wanted to do more with … Continued