In April of this year, Oleksandr Meier (44) prevailed in competition as the new Best Sommelier of Ukraine, becoming the 17th person to earn that distinction. Given that he graduated from the Wine School by Goodwine in Kiev in late 2012, a mere six years ago, his victory put an exclamation point on Meier’s meteoric rise. Meier currently works at Restaurant “Vino e Cucina” in Kyiv.
Q: How is the somm profession in your country?
It’s very interesting to grow our wine culture and discover new wine horizons with our clients.
Q: Why did you choose to become a sommelier in the first place?
I was interested in wine for about five years before working at my first restaurant. But once I decided to change my profession, graduated from a wine school and held my first job as a sommelier… I liked it and I realized that this is my way.
Q: What was the biggest challenge during this competition for you?
The whiskey tasting contest. I love whiskey, but I work more with wine.
Q: How has this title already started to change your life?
For me, it is a big confirmation that I have chosen the right path and this opens up new opportunities for me.
Q: What was the greatest challenge for you working as a sommelier so far?
Organizing my first big tasting dinner.
Q: What are your plans for the future? How you can help promote the sommelier profession to the new generation in your country?
I am already involved in the preparation and training of young sommeliers, promoting wine culture and national winemaking.