While 2020 brought many challenges, it also brought Wine Courses Barcelona some wonderful new beginnings. We’re very proud to introduce certified sommelier and WSET Diploma candidate Gabriela Di Nardo, who will now be teaching our WSET Levels 1, 2 and 3 courses in Spanish! Originally from Venezuela, she has a background in hospitality, tourism and retail. We knew at once she was the right fit for WCB. Her sunny outlook, enthusiasm, passion and can-do attitude make for an inspiring educator. Join one of her classes and see for yourself! In the meantime, let’s get to know her a little better…
Gaby, welcome to the team! You’ve been working with wine now for 6 years. Could you tell us how you became interested in the subject?
I am thrilled to be part of WCB! I became interested in wine while I was living in Houston, Texas. I began working as a hostess at my favorite restaurant in town and after a short time I was offered a FOH and Events manager position. I come from a country where wine is something drunk on Christmas and on very special occasions, so I didn’t grow up with wine around me. After becoming a restaurant manager I was introduced to the world of wine by studying the wine list at the restaurant. I began to realize how many different countries and styles of wines were out there and how interesting that all seemed. I wanted to learn more about where wine came from and how it was made. From there, a new vision of what I wanted to become as a professional emerged.
What brought you from Venezuela to Barcelona?
I felt pushed to leave Venezuela because of the political situation. After moving to Italy to start my Sommelier studies, I decided to get on a plane and move to Barcelona because I had very close friends living here, and when you emigrate the thought of having friends close to you is very comforting. Barcelona ended up being the best decision of my life.
You’re currently undertaking the WSET Level 4 Diploma. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
The main challenge for me has been staying focused during Covid times. I should be done by now, but with all the travel restrictions I haven’t been able to sit my examinations. Hopefully, I will be able to complete it by the end of this year. On the other hand, it is a big commitment and you need to invest many hours of studying. Nevertheless, I believe that if you take the time to enjoy the learning process it can be an incredible experience. I’m having a great time!
What is your best wine memory from your career so far?
The first morning of harvest with Klaus-Peter Keller in Germany. I spent three months harvesting after that but I will never forget that morning. It was freezing, I didn’t understand a word, I didn’t have a clue of what I needed to do but there I was with my favourite producer, getting ready to learn so much.
What is your favourite style of wine?
My wine fridge is very well stocked with German Riesling but I believe that to be a very tricky question for anybody who loves wine. I like all styles of wine but I tend to lean towards light-bodied and fresh styles, both for white and red. I am also a big fan of Sherry wines.
Where has been your best wine region visit?
I think this region is a very common answer for this question, but it has to be Burgundy. I went during fall and the whole experience was breathtaking. I believe that that, if you love wine, it’s a region that you absolutely need to take the time to visit, not only for tasting fantastic wines and eating delicious food, but to really understand it.
Your favourite place to drink wine in Barcelona?
I enjoy going to Bar Brutal for the atmosphere. They have a great natural wine selection, apt for both the risky- and traditional-minded. I also enjoy going to Maitea Taberna. The food is delicious and they have a great selection of Sherry wines.
What advice would you give to someone beginning their WSET adventure?
Just go for it! Whether you already work within the wine industry or you are just pursuing a hobby. The WSET qualifications are internationally recognized programs that can help you built a solid base of knowledge, allowing you to upgrade your wine experience while having lots of fun along the way.
Sounds like good advice to us! Gaby, thank you so much for your time and for sharing your experiences with us. If Gabriela has inspired you to grab a glass and get involved, you can check out upcoming course dates in Spanish here, or in English here or contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your first step into the wine world starts here!
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