Interview With A Sommelier – Marie Hoppan
12th April 2023
The World of Wine is beautifully showcased by an army of talented Sommeliers, who help the consumer discover their next favourite bottle, understand the different regions and pair a delicious meal with the right Glass of Bubbly.
In this article, I speak with a woman who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Marie Hoppan. Now let’s find out a bit about her life as a Sommelier.
Tell Us About Yourself
“For thirty years, I have been passionate about wine tasting, member of several oenology clubs in Picardy then in Toulouse, I have refined the art of tasting. My definition of tasting a beverage comes down to shared pleasure. Being able to exchange and savor together pushes me to discover new areas, meet winegrowers and listen to their know-how, their history and their values in order to be able to transmit them during tastings. We don’t savor wine, we tell its story!
The home cellar came naturally after thinking about various projects for so-called traditional cellars. The desire to be able to meet people, to make these moments of sharing “personalized moments” appealed to me all the more as it gives me the opportunity to meet new winegrowers and thus diversify at best my wine list according to the seasons.”
What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?
“The possibility of moving from hobby to professional activity was offered to me and it was with immense pleasure that I was able to legitimize this transformation, through a university course at the University of Wine in Suze la Rousse (26) and obtain my double degree as Sommelier and Cellar Advisor. The adventure can begin!!!”
During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learnt?
“I was lucky enough to be able to take part in workshops at the Paul Bocuse institute in Lyon, during my training at the university of wine, with a MOF (best worker in France) Maître Fromager who trained us on pairing cheese and … Tea!!!! a real revelation as a Sommelier….”
How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending French Sparkling Wine?
“We can perfectly offer sparkling wine other than Champagne at different times of the day, with a beautiful snack cake accompanied by a Crémant de Bourgogne from the Domaine de la Veuve Ambal for example, or even by the pool at the end of the day with the zero dosage bubbles of the Château de Nage (Rhône Valley) which will bring freshness and elegance and always this festive side!!!”
In Your Professional Opinion, When Pairing Wine With Food, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal?
“The food and wine pairing is not always easy to research, it can turn out to be a nice surprise or follow a more precise method as mentioned in the superb book of “The great course of food and wine pairings” from the University of Wine from Suze la Rousse who guides us as well as possible so that this pairing sublimates the dish and the wine as well as possible…We have an incredible chance of being able to choose almost infinite magical combinations thanks to the whole of the wine-growing region.. It would be too sad to define just one…”
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Sommeliers?
“The ability to remain curious and open, thus being able to offer original tastings, to know the winegrowers who make the wine well in order to be able to transmit their value and their know-how, and to be attentive to everyone’s tastes in order to be able to respond to their gustatory pleasure as required.”
If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?
“For a dinner deserving of an association of light and delicate bubbles, I will suggest a scallop tartare with lime zest and sesame, accompanied by Champagne from the House Pertois-Moriset”
Thank you, Marie, for sharing your words, knowledge and experiences with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!
Images belong to Marie Hoppan. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.
Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.