I’ve been in the hospitality industry for almost a decade. I started my career as an undergraduate intern with the Oberoi Group and then received my postgraduate management training from the coveted Oberoi Centre of Learning & Development.
In fact, it was quite a revelatory moment that inoculated the quest in me to learn about wines. While working in the restaurant during my early internship days with the Oberoi, a wine service at a VIP table went horribly wrong, followed up with an irate supervisor giving me a piece of his mind – was the start of it. Initially, I took to reading about wines as a part of my training in Food and Beverage, but I quickly got hooked on to its fascinating world.
Not even the slightest! During my high school days, I wanted to become a CA or work in finance like my older sibling. I even enrolled in a B. Com. programme at a prestigious college in Bangalore. A chance application to the Oberoi Group’s STEP, a 3-year on-the-job hotel training programme led me to explore the opportunity, and before I knew it, I was on a train from Bangalore to Agra (I was placed for an internship at The Oberoi, Amarvilas) to pursue the course.
There have been so many, each special in a way. From achieving the toughest wine certification I have faced up until now, the Certified Sommelier level by the Court of Master Sommeliers to winning the Indian Sommelier Championship in 2018, I was the first lady to win the title in the competition’s 11-year history! They have always been great milestones for me.
I started by approaching the most humble way of learning – reading. The big, fat, endless volumes of wine books were fascinating to the ‘book worm’ in me. Even today, despite the abundance of online resources on the topic, I prefer reaching out to my trusty wine books! Over my time in the various luxury hotels I trained in and worked at, I met different people who would teach me new things about the beverage.