Congratulations to Carl Etcheverry, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
To whom asking me:
-Why are you drinking?
-Because I’m hungry
Wine and food are indissociable. A certified sommelier I’m fascinated by the art of pairing food and wine-true alchemy. When I select a wine, it must first capture my attention and bring to my sensorial memory the dish which is before me.
It is all about balance and harmony. Like a painting , the chef’s creation must be the center of the attention(color, shape, texture, smells and perfume, taste of cold, or sensation of warmth). Like a frame, the wine should not take away the attention of the guest.
I often compare wine to classical music( my other passion). For example, members of a family may never have had real contact with wine nor exposure to classical music. By habit a father might enjoy beer over wine all his life and his children whom had not practiced an instrument of music might consider that wine; like Classical Music, is "too complicated” : you have to dress up to go to a concert hall, don’t know when to applaud. Opening a bottle of Champagne is such a costly hazard! For me, it is never too late in one’s life to enjoy a good glass of wine.
I must have been predestinated to become a sommelier. Each summer during my childhood my parents were leaving Montreal bringing me to the USA for our mid-July annual, family vacations. Everything started at the shore. There I was recuperating the blue, green, red and yellow rubber bands holding together the claws of the Maine lobsters sliding them around corks like belts and inserting vertically the bobby pins of my sisters to create fake riffles for my brave imaginary soldiers. Under my high command the sandy beaches were converted into the Napoleonic War's battlefields. As long as I can remember, corks have always been part of my life!
For me “a sommelier describes wine as he talked about his beloved one: with passion, devotion and sincerity.”
The best way to learn is to teach. One must be a great communicator to envision being a sommelier.
“Wine is not for sale, it is to be shared. In almost every part of the world, there is a family sitting at a table having a meal and enjoying a bottle of wine. One of the most cultural objects which can be found, wine is everything but a commodity. Wine is a gift of nature, a carbon print of the culture of a specific region, the panorama of a landscape, a reflection of the soil composition, bleeding rocks, the echo of mountains, valleys and plains, the shadow of the sun, the music of the weather, the story of a family, the memory of our ancestors, the pride of a nation. Wine is civilization in a glass. Throughout centuries, this safer-than-water , noble elixir, has always had a special status, a divine function: to elevate the spirit and mind of human kind. Wine is my life.”
As a newly French Wine Scholar, I can certified that the Wine Scholar Guild online training program is excellent. Very knowledgeable wine educators, engaging program with plenty of background information about the origins and characteristics of the varietals, the aromatic profile of the wines, the impacts of history, geology, geography, topography, vineyard management and winemaking traditions on the finish product. The online wine-seminars are visually appealing and are available on replay if you missed the live ones. Plenty of maps of the vine regions, beautiful pictures of the vineyards. Interactive tools are given to the each student allowing them to better understand the topics and to assimilate and retain the vast sum of information. I have taken the Italian Wine Scholar Preparatory Course and cannot wait to start the formal IWS online training.
I’m now working at the Hotel-Musée Premières Nations in Wendake, Quebec. This unique resort owned by native businessmen host a private museum with a rich collection of 2000 artefacts about the Hurons of Quebec and actively promotes the cultural heritage of this Amerindian tribe trough live workshops offered daily. At "La Traite" restaurant the curiosity and palate of the guests staying at the Inn is teased with menus inspired by aboriginal ancestral recipes! Quite a challenge for a sommelier! I need to take all the tools I can in order to select the perfect wine pairings. Fortunately I can rely on the Wine Scholar Guild online training programs to stay up to date with my wine knowledge and achieve this goal!
The best is to come!