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Dayana Nassyrova, winner of the first Astana Sommelier Cup

Best Sommelier titles make people trust me more!!!

Dayana Nassyrova is 21 years old, and while studying Chemistry at al-Farabi Kazakh National University, she has also been working as a sommelier for about two and a half years. She received her wine education at the OVino wine school in Almaty, before studying for the WSET Advanced Certificate in St Petersburg. She is currently working as a wine Brand Manager for MonteBianco LLP in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Even though her career has barely begun, she’s had a lot of success in a fair number of competitions. Just in 2018, she was the first runner up in the Kazakhstan Sommelier Competition, represented Kazakhstan at the Best Sommelier of Asia & Oceaniacontest, and she won both the Astana Somm Cup and the First International Women’s Sommelier Cup.

Q: Dayana, you competed in three major competitions in just two months, and won two of them. That’s a lot, in a very short time. How do you feel about this?

I feel really happy because I got an incredible amount of experience. I made mistakes, saw my weaknesses, and I am glad about it, because now I see what I need to work on. When you prepare, you do not see all your mistakes, but during the competition, it`s much easier to identify them. During the competition in Kyoto, I met a lot of great professionals, got great feedback and saw how things work. During the competitions in Astana and Kiev, I was really happy that I had improved my skills on the stage and gotten more confident.

Q: Have those titles already started to change your professional and private life?

In my professional life, I’ve noticed that since I’ve won some titles, more people tend to trust me more and ask for wine advice, so it`s become easier to work with our partners.  It`s never been difficult, but still… I also noticed that sometimes, strangers in bars and restaurants recognize me. For me, that is a bit unexpected, because here, in Kazakhstan, we don`t have any wine newsletters or anything like that. Talking about my private life, it became non-existent from the beginning of my preparation for the Asian competition, and now it`s even less. I have a lot of work, still have full-time studies in university and all my free time is about preparing for competitions

Q: You are going to compete for Kazakhstan in the next ASI World Contest. What are your expectations?

To be honest, I don`t expect to get to the final, because I feel a great lack of experience, especially with tasting. Our market is not big enough yet, there are a lot of important wine and spirits categories we don`t have here, but I hope that by the next contest, we can fix that. In any case, I’ll do my best to have a good result.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

About one week ago I registered for WSET Diploma and I think it`s a good chance to get more great tasting and theory experience, which will help me for future competitions. As a brand manager for a wine importing company, I’m going to expand our market and get more and more interesting categories into Kazakhstan. I would also like to work for some time in a European fine dining restaurant to improve my skills on the stage.

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