The Love for People and Wine Shapes the Best Sommelier


How many times have you embarrassingly asked which wine goes best with your dish? And how many times did you find the wine list confusing because of the immense or small number of labels it offered? The help of a sommelier who knows what he’s doing would come in handy in all of these situations and one of these sommeliers is definitely Grega Repovž, whom Gault&Millau has awarded the title of Best Sommelier for the year 2021.


The secret of his success is in the understanding of a sommelier’s mission. To begin with, being a sommelier is not just a job for him; it is a way of life. His task is to share stories of winemakers – to share ideas of people who have been working their whole lives to produce excellent wine. Repovž has been sharing stories for almost 20 years now and the G&M award for Best Sommelier surprised him at first, however it also confirmed that he is doing the right thing. “My investment into recognising the regional community; the regions of  Posavje and Dolenjska, and smaller, not just mainstream, winemakers who demand a deeper deliberation about wine, has paid off. A few years ago, it was very difficult to convince a guest from Ljubljana to try wine from Dolenjska or Posavje instead of wines from the Primorska region but if you are confident, if you believe in a product and present it nicely, things start to change. Along with this, there is also the element of surprise and expectation – the guests do not expect much but get a lot, which is always a positive experience.”

According to him, price also plays a big part when choosing wine because the price range is simply too big not to notice it. The number of labels on the wine list is also important. “It isn’t easy to have a list with ten thousand wines because at the end of the day, you have to sell them so that the investment pays off but when you have a small number of labels, you cannot truly capture a representative sample of the region. Then again, if you want a wider collection that also includes wines of the world, the number of labels isn’t irrelevant either.”

Grega Repovž tries to include mostly Slovenian wines in his wine list, but is not confined only inside the borders of Slovenia – for his own sake as well as for the sake of his curious guests. He enjoys pouring local wines by winemakers he knows personally and visits them often, just like he visits foreign producers: “I know most of the “foreigners” from our wine list personally too, which always helps me to understand their stories, wines and this way I am able to share it with our guests more authentically.”


Grega’s warmth when sharing wine stories and his inexhaustible love with which he keeps discovering new wines and on the other hand a guest who needs to be heard – all of these are the characteristics of excellent sommeliers that Slovenia, as a wine-growing country and culinary destination, needs as many as possible.