The New French Sommeliers – France Today | EUROtoday

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Communication is vital

“The most important thing I do in my work is having a dialogue with my client,” says Guilloteau. “This way I can understand his or her tastes and personality.” This means Guilloteau's strategy to wine service is each didactic and complicit, and likewise very charming, which makes ingesting right here a very nice a part of a meal, particularly since he works so intently with chef Eugénie Béziat to create unique wine and beverage pairings. “My goal is to break the old codes of wine, and to lead my clients to great wines from regions they might not think of, including Alsace, the Loire and the Jura. I also love serving beverages other than wine. Mead, a fermented honey drink, pairs beautifully with certain desserts,” says Guilloteau.

At La Défense, the gang of vinophiles, amongst them most people and a few 450 younger sommeliers graciously invited to the occasion by Philippe Faure-Brac, President of the Association of Parisian Sommeliers, was bristling with pleasure. A French girl had made it to the finals: the sensible, much-loved New York City-based sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier, whose spectacular profession consists of having turn into a Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommellerie and Meilleur Sommelier de France in 2018. A Frenchman or girl had Not received the World's Best Sommelier competitors since Olivier Poussier in 2000, so Lepeltier was clearly the one the gang was rooting for as we streamed into the auditorium and took our seats earlier than the slick black-and-white stage. The stagecraft of the occasion, which is usually referred to as the Olympics of wine, was extremely skilled and really dramatic when it comes to lighting, music, choreography and units.

The four-day whittling down of the unique 68 candidates had been harrowing and even a bit bit hazing, with blind tastings galore and repair duties aimed toward placing them in skilled conditions to judge their abilities and talents. Their wine and beverage information was put to probably the most exacting take a look at with quarter-final examination questions together with: What is the sensory threshold for acetic acid in wine? (140mg per liter); Identify the native nation of this grape selection – Yan (China), Bishty (Uzbekistan), Chinuri (Georgia), Cienna (Australia) and Anab-e-Shahi (India); Indicate the dominant soil sort of those well-known wines or wine areas – Masseto (blue clay), Graacher Domprobst (slate), Monteverro (crimson clay). One query many candidates obtained unsuitable was, What is makgeolli? A Korean rice alcohol, after all.

“Taste is one thing,” explains Philippe Faure-Brac, “But this competition isn't just about being the best taster in the world. It's about the job of sommelier in terms of all the facets that must be mastered – knowledge, management, running a wine list and cellar, food and wine pairings. It's also about the behavior of the contestant – their expertise with their clients has a big impact on the success of their candidacy.”

Food author Vincent Ferniot, host of one of many testing classes, provides that sommeliers are additionally “judged according to their ability to psychologically analyse their clients and also according to their talent for good story telling”. Or in different phrases, good sommeliers give wine a voice. Of the unique 68 candidates from 65 international locations, 4 semi-finalists remained: Reeze Choi (China), Nina Jensen (Denmark), Pascaline Lepeltier (France), and Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia).

After welcoming remarks by William Wouters, the President of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale, the gang had been on the sting of their seats to know who the three finalists can be, and an enormous collective groan went up when Pascaline Lepeltier was eradicated. The contest continued, nevertheless, with the viewers perceptibly shaken.

Meet the New Generation of French Sommeliers