Success Story: Laurentia Tache Panayotov

It’s more than job…it’s a career!

A UNIWORLD SUCCESS STORY

Success_Story_Laurentia_Tache_Panayotov_interview

“I could also be like that guy!”

While working as a waitress, Laurentia had a chance to observe sommeliers serving the wine and talking to the guests. They seemed to love their job and they were respected and earned more than she did. She says, “I looked at that guy, and I looked at myself and I thought – what does he have that I don’t? I could be like him!” The love of wine came later.

Hard work and passion

What does it take to become a Sommelier? Well, it's not only wine tasting! Once Laurentia decided to be a Sommelier, she had to take many courses, learn a lot and practice even more. Being a Sommelier means studying all the time – you are expected to have an extensive knowledge not only of wine, but also of other beverages and cocktails. Laurentia started with two introductory courses, then had to pass theoretical exams and challenging "blind tastings" of wine. "The more you know about wine, the more you love your job”, says Laurentia.

It is all about the wine and the guests

There is no such thing as typical day in the life of a Sommelier at Uniworld, as every itinerary is completely different. Being a Sommelier on a ship is much different than being a Sommelier onshore. Working on land is mostly about increasing revenue, creating wine lists, and matching wine with food; on a river cruise ship, a Sommelier is more focused on guest satisfaction. In the end, it is all about the wine and the guests. Oftentimes our guests choose a specific itinerary because they want to learn about the wines from the region and experience the life of a wine producer. The Sommelier is there to accompany and guide them, helping them discover all the ins and outs of the wine world and thus understand the culture and history of the region. Laurentia says that one of her main tasks is offering precious memories and enriching the lives of her guests. She also teaches other crew members about wine, which increases the overall quality of the service.

Is passion enough?

According to Laurentia, “Without passion, one will never be a successful Sommelier, but the love of wine is as important as perseverance and an open mind.”

“Learning never exhausts the mind”

Laurentia is always very happy to take part in training possibilities within Uniworld, such as the Butler training. This year she also took another challenging wine course, the “WSET level 3 Award in Wine and Spirits”. Her professional goal is to eventually become a Master of Wine, which is a program run by Wine and Spirit Education Trust in London. This is regarded as one of the world’s leading providers of wine education. We wish her much success and hope she reaches her goal soon!

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