FROM GRAPES TO APPLES TO ...?
After returning from 4 years in India where I hope to have planted the seeds of a clean wine movement, I'm back in France. Having always nurtured a deep love for the rolling orchard hills and moody seaside skies of the Pays d'Auge in Normandy, I decided to spend a season here helping a master cider maker.
After observing and learning how to make artisanal cider, economic, physical and environmental factors have made me decide not to pursue that path.
Running parallel to my wine career has always been the path of yoga. I obtained my teacher's certification in Rishikesh in 2014, and have been guiding practices since. In Goa, I even did it full time for a year. Once back in Europe, I continued doing so in Paris and here, in Normandy. The calling has been strong. The therapeutic aspect of yoga and meditation fascinates me, as well as the ancient lineage of meditative practices. Studying, sharing and practicing yoga give me a renewed sense of purpose, and the complexity, history and vibrancy of this field is on par with that of wine, I'd say. It is therefore time I make the switch from hedonistic to yogic studies. Now all that's left to discover is how ecstatic meditative trance compares to that first sip of perfectly chilled Chablis Grand Cru Montée de Tonnerre on a balmy summer evening.
A passion for livelihood.
Active in the wine industry globally for many a vintage, my focus has always been on quality.
Quality stems from care. Careful work, care for raw material, care for the earth.
Short supply chains make me happy.
Barrel tasting at the holiest of holies, the DRC. In the background, Bernard Noblet and Claude Bourguignon. May 2008.
THINGS I DO/DID
Private Tastings & Classes
Wine is so much more than a beverage. It is the poetic expression of a soil's livelihood through the interpretation of a person, the winemaker.
Rather than educating people on the technical aspects, which are certainly important and fascinating, it is my belief that the key to transmission lays in a sincere love for and understanding of the human aspect of the product.
Riding the Paris metro, sitting on cases of wine to showcase at an event, ;-) November 2012
When I accept to represent a brand it is because its values are in line with mine.
Becoming the ambassador for a brand, I carry its message forward and make sure its identity is respected across platforms and distribution channels.
With Vincent Caillé (Domaine le Fay d'Homme, Fabien Jouves (Mas del Périé) and Xavier Ledogar (Domaine Ledogar) at the premier organic winemaker dinner in India. October 2016
Customer satisfaction is the single biggest influencer of the bottom-line.
Knowledgable and confident staff put your guests at ease so that they are open to exploring new options. A happy guest is a repeat guest.
Rather than focusing on up-selling techniques, my staff trainings focus on story-telling and customer engagement, making sure your staff adds value to every single interaction.
With the fantastic service team of Sevilla, the Claridges, conducting a staff tasting on organic wines. Bottle shown: Fabien Jouves Haute Cot(e) de Fruits April 2016
Wine list consulting
From selecting the wines that best fit your establishment and needs to creating informative and attractive lay-outs, I provide turnkey solutions to all your wine list needs.
When you're hosting a gourmet event and want to make sure your guests enjoy top notch service, you can count on my experience and versatility.
From wine service to synchronisation of the kitchen and the dining room, I'll make sure your event runs smoothly so that you are free to enjoy the company of your guests.
With chef Jenna Short, May 2017.
Beverage Purveyor and Smile Manager
Since May 2018, I am so fortunate as to assist all-round fantastic human being Inès de Villeneuve in managing her gorgeous Parisian café on 13, rue des Gravilliers, in the heart of the Marais. Each day brings renewed joy and surprises, working with extremely talented chef Manon Negretti.
Some selected features.
Times of India
That time Saloni Bhatia came to chat about the opportunities and challenges of the Indian wine market.
That time Karina Aggarwal called me elegant and graceful. She knows me better now.
That time I preached the gospel.
That time my exclusive wine selection for the Claridges took its restaurant Sevilla to the New Delhi top 20 list.
That time I took a road trip with my mother and was so impressed with my homeland's wine production that I penned a report.
That time I was made to wear lipstick and to explain my spiel, more or less.
Little Black Book
That time LBB Delhi picked up on my organic wine selection and praised its benefits.
That time I didn't fact check my numbers and reduced the quantities of one of the world's already rarest wines by 90%. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
That time I wore a red dress and had the sun in my eyes.
That time I looked like an eager squirrel and made new friends for life.
That time I fed natural wine to Nicolas de Rouyn and he loved it.
Paris à la Mode
That time I was hip courtesy of François Champsaur, interior decorator for Hotel du Ministère.
That time I wrote with a love-soaked pen for France's foremost bridal publication.
That time I gave recommendations for good independent wine shops across France.
(Maisons de Campagne)
That time I convinced the Dutch expat association in Paris to go organic for their yearly Beaujolais Nouveau fest.
The Claridges New Delhi
That time I spoke of wine lingo, my hands led a life of their own and my Dutch accent was strong with the Force.
The Claridges New Delhi
That time I spoke of where some of the main flavour components in wine come from.
The Claridges New Delhi
That time I had 30 seconds to explain how to chill wine.
The spark that ignited my passion for wine came in the form of a 2000 Côte Rôtie by René Rostaing, of which I enjoyed a taste in San Francisco circa 2005. This epiphany led me to complete my MSc in Wine Business from the renowned ESC Dijon-Burgundy School of Business and to embark on a career in wine.
After a year working the USA East-Coast Import market, I spent 10 years on Paris' bustling wine scene, managing consecutively a wine shop, a wine bistro and the first natural wine bar in a 4-star hotel. My leitmotif has always been a focus on sustainably produced wines that are clean, precise and expressive. My passion lays in the product and the producers above all.
It was the desire to discover a completely different culture and lifestyle along with my love for yoga that took me to India in 2014. After joyfully wandering around for a few months I decided to settle and reintegrate my industry. From January 2015 to May 2017, I headed the wine program at the five star Claridges New Delhi. During my time there, I was a regular contributor to Sommelier India the Wine Magazine where I was also a member of the tasting panel. During my time in New Delhi, our wine program was unique to India as we imported clean wines from France and introduced these onto the nascent market. Several biodynamic winemakers from France flew over and we held the very premier true winemakers' dinner on the subcontinent. Proud moments for yours truly.
After two and a half years in chaotic, beautiful, historic, fascinating, exhausting, megalopolis New Delhi, I spent a year teaching yoga in Goa, enjoying a much slower life. Closer to nature and writing a lot, it became evident I was ready to make the step into the next chapter of my life. In April 2018, I returned to France.
Thirteen years after my wine calling came through that glass of Côte Rôtie, it is now the field of yogic studies that is calling me. Tag along on my adventures here or get in touch for a chat over cider, perry, wine or coffee. ❤