Interview With A Sommelier – Melanie Eitel

18th August 2023

Interview With A Sommelier Melanie Eitel

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 feature, I speak with a woman who has helped many people to discover the vast world of Wines and Sparkling Wines, her name is Melanie Eitel. Let’s find out a bit about her life as a Sommelier.

Tell Us About Yourself

“I was born and raised in the middle of farming country in the USA with no real connection to wine or the wine industry. It wasn’t until I met and married a Canadian from the Niagara region of Canada that I started getting interested in wine. My first recollection of a sip of wine was a Canadian Icewine from Inniskillin.

I work full time in the medical field and was looking for a side job. That’s when I found a company called Traveling Vineyard. They had classes from Master Sommelier, Eddie Osterland to teach the basics about wine and food. I was instantly obsessed with all there was to know about wine.

Now I am a Wine Educator, Certified Specialist in Wine and Sommelier. I continue to work with Traveling Vineyard (with the added bonus of being their Social Media Ambassador) and own my own company called I Bring The Wine, LLC. I still work full time in the medical field but will soon be transitioning into full time wine industry.”

What Inspired You To Become a Sommelier?

“My inspiration to become a Sommelier really came from those first couple of wine 101 classes, with a Master Sommelier. I realized I could help educate others about wine, food pairings and take the stigma off of wine to make it more enjoyable for anyone who wants to drink wine.”

During Your Time As A Sommelier, What’s The Most Surprising Thing You’ve Learnt?

“The most surprising thing I have learned so far is that although I have been studying wine consistently for the past several years, I have not really even scratched the surface of information. There’s so much to know about wine and its history. However, with all of the changes happening in the world today, there will always be more to learn!”

How Often Do You Find Yourself Recommending English Sparkling Wine?

“English Sparkling Wine is on my list! Sparkling wine is one of my favorite recommendations for any wine lover. It can pair with just about any food and any mood! With how the climate has changed and seeing all of the articles singing the praises of English Sparkling wine, I would love to offer more of those options here. But they are hard to come by in New Hampshire. We have a state law that restricts what wine is sold here. That being said, I have had the chance to sample some while visiting a wine shop in Boston and it was wonderful!”

In Your Professional Opinion, Out Of Champagne And Prosecco, Which Do You Think Does A Better Job With Complementing A Meal

“Champagne or Prosecco for a meal. That’s a trick question as I feel it depends on the meal. Prosecco would be my recommendation for pasta and salads with light dressings or white wine sauces. Baked fish or even a fire oven pizza. Champagne I feel can pair with the lightest of meals like oysters on the half shell, roasted meals with root vegetables to a heavier cream based dish. For me, it’s all about the bubbles and how they cleanse the palate between each bite to make it so that the next sample is like you’re trying it for the first time.”

What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Sommeliers?

“My advice for aspiring Sommeliers is to dive in and really immerse yourself in the programs. It is really hard work but worth it if you love wine, are passionate about it and want to share that with the world. But be warned: There is so much information to be had that the classes and mentors you are fortunate to study with will direct you in what you should focus on so you’re not caught in the unnecessary details… even if they’re interesting!”

If You Sat Down For A Quiet Dinner, What Dish And Sparkling Wine Would You Choose To Enjoy Together?

“If I were to sit down with some sparkling wine and my favorite dish it would have to be an American dish with Champagne. My go-to is a classic N/V Veuve Cliquot with American Fried Chicken. The acid, flavor and bubbles from the Champagne pair perfectly with the salt, fat and breaded flavor of the fried chicken.”

Thank you, Melanie, 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 Melanie Eitel. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.