Devati BASU MALLICK
November the 21st, 2021
The first female somm' to ever win the Best sommelier of INDIA competition
Devati's very first memories of wine (serving, mostly!) weren't very pleasant ones as it was starting positions, done as intern in different hotels in India. However, she realized that the only thing she wanted to study and learn about was wines and spirits - the infinite vastness of the subject seemed so exciting to her !
In the year 2018, Devati won the 11th Indian Best Sommelier Championship and therefore became the very first woman in 11 years of the competition to ever lift the trophy and this title!
Currently, Devati is a Certified Sommelier and works as the Somm' & Brand Head for Krsma Estates Wines, a boutique wine house from Hampi Hills in the South of India. Prior to this, she worked for the Oberoi Group of Hotels & Resorts during more than 7 years, specialising in Food and Beverage Service.
Her passion is anything that is around food and beverage.
We had the chance to ask a few questions to Devati, here are her answers !
Name : Devati Basumallick
Nationality : Indian
Birth year : 1993
What region would you pick for a bottle of your vintage? Torn between a Sancerre and a Chablis!
What's for your favorite varietal ? and why?
As a sommelier, it becomes difficult to pick favourites – simply because there are so many! But if I had to choose one that I love exploring each time it’s in my glass, it would be a Sauvignon Blanc. It may seem like a common, everyday-style grape varietal, but there’s always something special to discover with Sauvys, with each style it is made in. Perfect to drink for every mood, every occasion, and somehow fits the bill when it comes to pairing with most dishes & cuisines!
Any varietal you don’t get along well ? Not found one I dislike yet!
What do you drink when you don't have a glass of wine in your hand? G&T! Classic versions or quirky twists around it – I’m always up for gin tipples!
Let's say you are alone, at home, what's your favorite casual food and wine pairing for dinner?
Pasta! It is, in my opinion, the finest comfort food ever created, and just perfect for a night in with minimal mess in the kitchen (hehe!). My go-to wine with pastas have to be equally comforting, and would either be a Syrah, Sangiovese or maybe even a full blown Chardonnay – ultimate happiness!
What is your favorite wine region, not to drink, but to visit ? Rioja in Spain or Lombardy in Italy – both feature on top of my bucket list!
If you had to save one bottle from your cellar being on fire, which one would it be? A Magnum bottle of the KRSMA Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Do you/Did you have a role model/a mentor in the wine/sommelier world? If so, who ?
Yes – two role models in fact! Magandeep Singh – an acclaimed wine writer and one of India’s top sommeliers. He was one of the first persons in the wine industry with whom I interacted, and I've admired and looked up to him ever since! Second – known by every wine lover – Jancis Robinson. Everything I know about the wine world today have come from being immersed in her never-ending stream of wine knowledge!
Best advice you ever received?
Specific to wine tasting – listen to everyone, but trust only your own palate.
Imagine you have been cursed !! You are only able to drink 1 red wine and 1 white wine until your life end. What would it be?
I would love drinking the KRSMA Estates Syrah from India or the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for the rest of my life!
What is your next step/objective in the wine/sommelier world?
I am currently preparing for the advanced certification level at the Court of Master Sommeliers Exam. I am also working on a special project involving wine education at an entrepreneurial level!
Champagne, Cava or Franciacorta?
Tough choices, but – Champagne!
In the city you currently live in, do you have a favorite wine shop for Champagne or other wine categories that you love to go to?
Yes – Tonique! It is one of the biggest wine stores in Asia, complete with a Tasting room and an excellent selection of wines and spirits.
We are a Champagne focused media, however, what would be your recommendation for an Indian sparkling wine?
The Grover Zampa Soiree Brut or the Chandon Brut Rose.