Zsofi, sommelier with Berry Bros.& Rudd

February 29, 2024

Zsofi, sommelier with Berry Bros.& Rudd

When I was 2 years old, I had my first “wine tasting” experience in Italy where my grandmother made me smell and taste a little of a sip of red wine. A few years later I found myself in Tokaj with my family where I kept sipping up the sweet wine leftovers from my parent’s glass (of course they had no idea.. but it was delicious!).

I was studying hotel management, catering, and hospitality at one of the best universities in Budapest. We all had to have 2 internships. I have done one in Cyprus and 1 in the US, in Colorado. Whilst I was in Colorado I heard about the profession of sommelier, for the first time. I was amazed by them, how much knowledge they had on not only wine, but food. 

I enrolled in the Court of Master Sommelier program and did my introductory course while I was out there for the second time in 2014. I did go back to pass my certified level to the US in 2015.

Moving back to Hungary I found myself my first Sommelier job in a 1 Michelin Star restaurant which for the year I was working at got the best restaurant in Hungary title. I enjoyed it but I barely sold anything but Hungarian wine and my passion for the world of wine just got bigger after my Certified Sommelier Exam.

Szentkiralyi Orsi, who is an Advanced Sommelier, reached out, not even knowing me. We met and had tastings together, and she said I have a talent and would love to help me, I shall come to London as if I ever want to become a Master Sommelier one day I should be studying in London.

So, I did. I had nobody I knew but Orsi in this country. When I moved to London, it was a huge shock and the most difficult time of my life. I started working in a 2 Michelin Star restaurant called The Greenhouse. Long days, lots of hours, not much social life did not help to feel better, but I had one aim, I wanted to be an Advanced sommelier. Eventually, the same friend, Orsi told me about 67 Pall Mall and sent my CV to Ronan Sayburn MS, who has given me a chance, so I started there in 2018 as a Junior Sommelier.

It was really heaven in terms of wine selection, clientele and I realized I still have so much to learn, but I was in the best place I could be as many Advanced Sommeliers, Master Sommelier & Master of Wine candidates were working there that time and who then helped me to grow. A couple of years later I took the Advanced sommelier exam. I passed for the first time, and I was on a high! Those 5 days of classes and examinations have been the most difficult days of my life in terms of studies and having my university diploma after this I can say was a walk in the park!

I decided I would like to and hopefully will become the first Hungarian woman Master Sommelier which I am still studying for. I have now left the floor – I needed a bit more balance and a routine, however, I still do some shifts in the Chiltern Firehouse next to my main job at BB&R. where I work as a Senior Events Executive.

The more I know, the more I think I do not know, and that makes me grateful. To me, wine is not an alcoholic drink. It is history, family, story, climate, geography and so much more. I do get emotional when drinking a special bottle which does not have to be expensive but that reminds me of the struggle of the vintage, or the story of the winemaker of perhaps a memory I shared with a loved one.

It has been difficult to live in a country where I had to build relationships, stand strong, and get to higher positions without much support from friends and family as they are far away. However, it made me stronger and I got to know and meet so many legends in the world of wine and have been mentored by such amazing people 

Come and join Zsofi at Berry Bros for a unique journey, tasting carefully selected wines in a very special environment (the cellars there are amazing and a "must" if you have never been).

We will have a seated dinner and taste 6 wines. We start at 18:30 and will be finished by 21:30.

We have only 3 spaces remaining.

Zsofi, sommelier with Berry Bros.& Rudd
  • Day February 29, 2024
  • Cost £170.00
Berry Brothers
Zsofia Kiss and Berry Bros. & Rudd
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website