Svetoslav Manolev MS during the wine tasting The first-ever Master Sommelier exam took place in 1969 and in 1977 the first and most prestigious institution for sommeliers to this day was founded. Nowadays the training is conducted in Europe, Oceania, Asia and America. There are 4 levels of training – Introductory Sommelier, Certified Sommelier, Advanced Sommelier and Master Sommelier Diploma. The exam is made up of atheoretical part, a tasting and wine serving skills.

Here is what he share with us.

My name is Svetoslav Manolev. In Bulgaria, I studied Tourism at the Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv. I have been living abroad since 2009, having lived in the United States and now in London since 2014. I have been in the wine business for 7 years, having completed the WSET Diploma last year and the Master Sommelier Diploma this year.

Светослав Манолев

During the exam

Right now I work in Flemings Mayfair Hotel – a five star boutique hotel in central London as head sommelier as well as consulting restaurants and hotels as an independent consultant.

Usually I spent most of my time in the hotel where I work. We’re expecting a very busy season ahead and I’m now focusing on updating the wine list and brainstorming ideas about wine evenings and events in the upcoming year.

Not to give up. Anything is possible with a lot of hard work and effort. Nothing is impossible.


I’m tasting better and better Bulgarian wines every year. With our climate, diverse microclimates and soil I’m certain that we’ll keep seeing even better wines in the future. If I’m being honest, the wine trends and fashions have never been of interest to me. I prefer trusting my instinct and experience when it comes to choosing wine.

There are many places which impress me. To me anywhere where there’s vineyards is incredibly beautiful and interesting. The nicest thing about the world of wine is that it gives you the opportunity to get to know not only the grape varieties or the types of wine but also the culture, history and people. That’s why I think we should always be open to discovering new regions, varieties and wines.

Source: Wine Tours