Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Nassyrova Dayana

Once again we go for girl power, please meet sommelier Nassyrova Dayana from Kazakhstan. Dayana is yet another great example of when you find a passion in life, the best is to follow that passion. Dayana actually did studies in Chemistry at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and only found her passion in one a few years ago.

She might have only started working with wine two and a half years, but Dayana is a VERY ambitious and driven person as in these few years she has followed a wine education at the OVino wine school in Almaty, obtained her WSET Advanced Certificate in St Petersburg and competed very successful in national and international sommelier contests like Kazakhstan Sommelier Competition, Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceania and Best Sommelier of the World earlier this year. She won both the Astana Somm Cup and the First International Women’s Sommelier Cup. So you can say she is a very ambitious person and I’m sure a bright future lays before her as the world like ambitious people.

Today Dayana works as a wine Brand Manager for MonteBianco LLP in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

What is your favorite wine region to work with?

I love to work with Burgundy and Barolo, because it`s always interesting to explain the differences between region’s plots.

What does it take to be a good sommelier according to you?

Being a good psychologist, to feel the people`s mood and desire, also to be involved in kitchen life and to make a cooperation with the chef. Of course, it`s all about passion: passion for wine, passion in learning and constant interest in the development of the wine culture. Good sommeliers are also good teachers, because you need to educate your customers about wine in good and none boring way.

Is the job of a sommelier underestimated/valued?

I can`t talk about everywhere, but in Kazakhstan it`s definitely underestimated now. Most people don’t even know what or who Sommelier is and what his role is.

When and how did you get the passion for wine?

It was only 3 years ago when I realized that my wine knowledge is close to zero and I started a wine course in Almaty, 1 week after that I decided to connect my life with wine. Love at first sight let’s say.

Who is your big example in the wine/sommelier world?

I really respect and admire a lot of people from the wine world, but no real idols for me. My biggest example or role model is my current boss - Kuan Ketebayev, who pushes me, teaches and supports me every day and works a lot with wines in Kazakhstan and he likes to share them with the world. On international level I am really inspired by Sören Polonius, Olivier Poussier and Peer Holm who never skimp on help and advice.

What is your approach for pairing wines (or other beverages) with dishes?

I always focus on the compatibility of food and wine textures and their complexity. It’s also very important for me that neither wine nor food interrupt or “clash” with each other. I am always careful with sauces, because sometimes their role in pairing is even stronger than the dish`s itself.

Which wine region would you recommend everybody to visit and why?

If we speak about everybody I will recommend to visit Loire Valley: easy to get different styles of wines, starting from the crispy white Muscadet and finishing with noble sweet Vouvray and Bonnezeaux, so everyone could find to their liking and, of course, the beauty of French Castles in this region

For which wine would you make a big sacrifice to be able to taste?

For sure it would be something from rarest Burgundy, like Henri Jayer, Cros Parantoux 1996 (to touch the history) or Musigny 1990 from de Vogüé.

What is your most wonderful memory of hotel management school or viticulture studies?

Hitting the mark on my first blind tasting, after a week of studies.

A culinary or wine experience everybody should have had besides have a meal at your restaurant, shop, winery, etc..?

The influence of wines` aeration. once we tasted Coulee de Serrant opened that was opened on different times before serving: 2, 24 and 48 hours before serving. I’ve done a similar thing during special tastings in restaurant I work with.

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