What’s the one thing you can do when visiting wine regions to make it your best trip ever? How can yoga help you become a better wine taster? How do you calibrate your palate and why should you do it? What’s it like competing in the World’s Best Sommelier Competition? How can you develop your wine tasting vocabulary?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, Master Sommelier Elyse Lambert shares tips on how you can become a better wine taster.
You can find the wines we discussed here.
- Why does competing make you a better sommelier?
- How can Le guide des Méchants Raisins help you learn about wine?
- Which simple tip does Elyse recommend for you when pairing wine and food?
- How can you make the most out of a trip to French wine regions?
- What key strategy should you keep in mind when visiting wine regions?
- Which wine can you pair perfectly with pizza?
- Does the documentary Somm give you an accurate depiction of the journey to becoming a Master Sommelier?
- How should you approach studying to become a Master Sommelier?
- Why should you taste with a variety of people you don’t know?
- How can yoga help you to master wine?
- When should you calibrate your palate and how can you do so?
- What framework can you use to talk about wine in competition?
- How can you develop your wine tasting vocabulary?
- Which Canadian wine regions should you keep your eye on?
- As a sommelier, do you need to know about wine regions that don’t have wide distribution?
- What role does humility play for a sommelier?
- When did Elyse realize she wanted to become a sommelier?
- How did Elyse wind up in her first wine class?
- How did hotel management inspire Elyse’s passion for wine?
- What are the characteristics of Elyse’s favourite wines?
- Who does Elyse most want to share a bottle of wine with?
Start The Conversation: Click Below to Share These Wine Tips
I like to think when you visit a region you should not focus only on the small wine. You should focus on a little bit of everything to have a good overview of the region. - Elyse Lambert Click to tweet
I am studying most of the time in the morning. I think that you need to be mentally ready and mentally rested if you want to absorb the information. - Elyse Lambert Click to tweet
If you think of tasting and wanting to step further in your journey as a Master Sommelier, taste with different people… Get in an uncomfortable position. - Elyse Lambert Click to tweet
About Elyse Lambert
Born in Montréal, Québec, Élyse Lambert graduated with a degree in hotel management from the prestigious Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ) in 1998 and as Sommelier from L’École Hôtelière des Laurentides in 1999.
Her career as a Sommelier began in the Québec Laurentians at the award winning Relais & Châteaux l’Eau à la Bouche. Her next move was to the Eastern Townships where, from 2000 to 2004, she was an integral member of the sommelier team at Auberge Hatley, a 5 diamond CAA – Relais & Châteaux.
Throughout her exciting career path, Elyse continued to earn credibility for her craft and accolades in Canadian and international competitions. Elyse Lambert is now the 5th Best Sommelier of the World 2016.
She is currently working as a Sommelier Consultant and continues sharing her passion at Radio-Canada’s morning show, Medium Large and as a wine column in Journal de Montreal. Elyse lives in Montreal and consults for private and corporate clients and is often invited to facilitate wine education seminars and to speak at corporate functions in Canada and around the world.
- Connect with Elyse
- Le guide des Méchants Raisins 2017: Les meilleurs vins pour toutes les occasions
- SOMM | Documentary
- Join me LIVE on Facebook every second Wednesday at 7pm Eastern
- My new class The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner And How To Fix Them Forever
Tag Me on Social
Tag me on social media if you enjoyed the episode:
- @nataliemaclean and @natdecants on Facebook
- @nataliemaclean on Twitter
- @nataliemacleanwine on Instagram
- @nataliemaclean on LinkedIn
- Email Me at email@example.com
Thirsty for more?
- Sign up for my free online wine video class where I’ll walk you through The 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)
- Join me on Facebook Live Video every second Wednesday at 7 pm eastern for a casual wine chat.
- You’ll find my books here, including Unquenchable: A Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines and Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass.
- The new audio edition of Red, White and Drunk All Over is now available on Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and other country-specific Amazon sites; iTunes.ca, iTunes.com and other country-specific iTunes sites; Audible.ca and Audible.com.
Transcript & Takeaways
Welcome to episode 67!
What’s the one thing you can do when visiting wine regions to make it your best trip ever? How can yoga help you become a better wine taster? How do you calibrate your palate and why should you do it? What’s it like competing in the World’s Best Sommelier Competition?
Our guest on the podcast today has those answers for you plus many more tips on how you can become a much better wine taster. Elyse Lambert has not only earned the coveted Master Sommelier designation, she was also named Canada’s Best Sommelier and came fifth in the World’s Best Sommelier event.
This conversation first aired on my regular Facebook live video show so occasionally you’ll hear me respond to viewer questions and comments. You can join that conversation every second Wednesday at 7 pm eastern.
I’ll put a link where you can find us in the show notes, as well as links to Elyse’s website, social media handles and the video version of this conversation at nataliemaclean.com/67.
Speaking of becoming a better wine taster, you can do just that when you sign up for my free, online video wine class the 5 Wine & Food Pairing Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Dinner (and how to fix them forever!)
Go to nataliemaclean.com/class and choose a time and date that work for you. I look forward to seeing you inside the class!
Okay, on with the show!
You can also watch the video interview with Elyse that includes bonus content and behind-the-scenes questions and answers that weren’t included in this podcast.
Well, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this chat with Elyse Lambert.
Here are my takeaways:
- I admire Elyse’s unquenchable curiosity, pushing her desk up to her teacher’s desk and asking millions of questions. She’s always in the books learning, tasting and traveling. That’s great advice for us as wine drinkers when we have a thirst to learn too.
- She shares great pairing tips such as region matches with tomato sauce and sangiovese, as well as the enticing freshness of Enta wines made on the southern Italian island of Sicily, especially those from the Nerello Mascalese grape.
- Elyse has a great tip about calibrating your palate before you taste wine with a high acidity, cool-climate white wine. Then you can benchmark everything you taste after that against it. This is especially helpful for those doing blind tastings since you start with a wine you know and then can make more educated guesses about wines you don’t. I compared that to musicians warming up before a show to see if they’re in the right key, but yes, don’t ask me to sing.
- I marvelled at how dedicated Elyse was to the competitions, from constant study to meditation, yoga and running to be in the right mindset. I’d say she’s an Olympic-calibre wine athlete.
- Elyse has some wise advice for any business: caring for people and keeping them happy is the cheapest advertising in the business. They’ll remember you and come back, and they’ll tell their friends.
If you liked this episode, please tell a friend about it, especially one who’s interested in the fascinating wine tips Elyse shared. You’ll find links to Elyse’s website, social media handles, the video version of this conversation and where you can find us on Facebook live every second Wednesday at 7 pm in the show notes at nataliemaclean.com/67.
Finally, if you want to connect with me personally, join me in a free online video class at nataliemaclean.com/class.
You won’t want to miss next week when we’ll be chatting with celebrity Chef Vikram Vij, the author of numerous best-selling cookbooks, who has also been on hit shows such Chopped, Top Chef and Dragon’s Den. He’s the first Indian chef to earn a sommelier degree.
He’s joined by his head sommelier Sean Nelson, who became Western Canada’s youngest Advanced Sommelier in 2016, and together they speak us from Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver, one Canada’s best restaurants, renowned for both food and wine to share tips on pairing wine with spicy dishes.
Thank-you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your glass this week, perhaps a wine that makes you curious to learn more about it!