In this interview Georgi Mihov talks with Dimitar Nikolov
How did you get into wine? Is there something that has provoked/motivated you?
I am into wine since 2004. While working in Chicago as F&B Manager for major hotel chain, I had to do inventory every month. At that time we had huge wine selection in the hotel restaurants, since the hotel location was in the center of the city it required extensive wine list. I became fascinated by the origin of the wines, by the superior qulity of some expensive wines, as we had tastings every week. I became obsessed by the wine I wanted to learn more. I signed up for a course in ISG (International Sommelier Guild) and during this time I decided to change my carrier and go with wine, I never looked back.
Is there any particular person that has been your inspiration?
It was my first teacher in ISG, Canadian, Wayne Gotts, who is English teacher professor, who became wine trainer. His supreme English literacy opened new world of understanding the language and coding the wine vocabulary in my mind in a way, so I understand it and remember it forever.
Do you have favorite grape variety and why?
I do not have favorite grape variety, however, I have professional preferences to Chardonnay and Riesling from the whites and Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc from the red.
What are your expectations regarding wine trends in next 1-2 years in Bulgaria?
The market will grow towards quality over quantity, and new small (up to 1 000 Hl capacity) wineries will continue to open.
Where do you see “Bulgarian wine” in next 10 years on the world wine map?
I see Bulgarian wine being exported to no less than 50 international markets with volumes up to 10ml..bottles and average price above 1.80 Euro.
If you have to recommend just 1 Bulgarian winery, which would that be and why?
I can’t recommend only one winery.
What is your everyday wine?
Medium bodied, fruity, soft tannins, medium alcohol content, from Bulgarian grown grapes.
What is your dream wine no matter country that you want to try?
DRC ( GM remark - Domaine de la Romanee-Conti )
Describe „Bulgarian wine" using only 3 words
Current Bulgarian wine is: Concentrated, high alcohol, fruit and oak bomb. Bulgarian dream wine: Complex, long lived, 13% alc.
Dimitar Nikolov has eight years’ experience in the wine industry as a wine buyer, sommelier and wine judge, holds qualifications from the ISG Chicago, the WSET Advanced Certificate, and is currently studying for the WSET Diploma. He is a wine buyer by profession and a sommelier by heart. Starting his career as a sommelier for a major hotel chain in Bulgaria, and at a restaurant in Chicago, Dimitar then took a position for Metro Cash & Carry, firstly as the Wine Buyer for Bulgaria, and then as Wine Buyer for Metro Cash & Carry’s entire Russian Federation operations, which saw him move to Russia. After five years with the company, Dimitar was appointed to a top management position at a wine importer specializing in Hungarian wines. From the autumn of 2014 he returned to Bulgaria to join forces with his wife in www.apollowine.com online wine selection project. From the beginning of 2015 he is a Export Manager for the bigger wine and spirit company in Bulgaria. He is international judge for Decanter World Wine Awards since 2011, Mundus Vini since 2013.