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 16th birthday my granddad opened a bottle of wine from my year of birth (Chateau Marquis de Terme 1983) and it really opened my curiosity for wine. That’s when it all started.
My role model is:
My mother, grandmothers and one of my great grandmothers. All strong women yet incredibly caring, thoughtful and straight as arrows.My role model in the profession was Gerard Basset – he encouraged me to compete at international level, always had kind words to say and was a such an inspiration – for what he achieved, his hard work, resilience, kindness and genuineness
My greatest professional achievement is:
Reaching the final in the Best Sommelier of the World competition in Mendoza, 2016. This was a very emotional and proud moment.
My favourite food and beverage match is:
It is hard to pick one…. I would say my favourite pairing with wine are friends. Then if you are in the right company, the wine and the food can shine.
What I enjoy most about taking part in ‘Best Sommelier’ competitions
is the preparation. I enjoy pushing myself and see how much I can commit to my training and see how much I can give. I love the journey to the competition, the competition is only a destination, once you are there, it is over in no time while the journey last for months so you may as well enjoy it.



Image with thanks to Dora Hurley.