My name is Roman Zakharov. I have no professional connection to any stages of wine creation or sale. I love wine, I buy it, I drink it, I share it with my friends and keep learning more about it.
While I attempted to dabble (unsuccessfully) in wine while studying in the US, it wasn’t until 2004 that my close friend and colleague at the time guided me onto a more proper path. It helped that both of us were quite green and enthusiastic. Having a partner helped us get up the learning curve immensely: we tasted twice as many wines as either of us could’ve on our own; we shared information while pushing each other to gain deeper understanding of what we were drinking. We still do that, although our little club has grown slightly since then.
Since I have no commercial interest in wine or in wine-related areas, what I now drink is almost always determined by my choice or recommendation of fellow wine-lovers whose opinion I trust and understand.
This choice is usually based on some prior information about the producer/wine, although there are plenty which are a product of a simple curiosity.
Of the wine that I do not choose myself, virtually all comes from other people during our tastings.
I acknowledge that this creates a somewhat skewed selection, but I am fine with this for the simple reason that I know (broadly) what I like and what I do not like. I prefer to focus on the wine, which has a high probability of giving me pleasure and not simply an academic exercise. That being said, I am generally quite curious, so those “academic exercises” do happen on a regular basis.
I live in Kyiv, Ukraine. It is here that I drink most of the wines that I talk about. The remainder comes from my visits to the producers and other non-wine-related travel.
There are a few sources for the wines I drink:
- My personal stock.
- We share wines with friends in formal and informal tastings, each contributing a bottle or two for an evening of discovery, debate and, usually, enjoyment.
- I visit producers and taste their wines there.
- I also attend tastings organized by third parties.
- I taste wine by the glass via Enomatics at a few locations I visit relatively regularly.
The bottom line, I seek out various ways to try new wines or re-try the ones I’ve had before. I am quite fortunate to have friends who share this passion and help me along the journey.