In this new monthly segment, Grub will be catching up with sommeliers and winemakers to have a glass, chink them together and chat about the magical juice that brings so many of us together.
Ahead of the Bastille Day: Food, Wine and Art revolution, Grub caught up with Remi Noubel, sommelier and presenter of the Tour de France master classes held by Pepin wines and United Cellars at Customs House Circular Quay.
Remi Noubel was born in wine. He was born on this father’s vineyard in Cahors the birthplace of Malbec. You could say that he was destined to always have a career wine. The sommelier winemaker extraordinaire is in Sydney to host a bunch of master classes in collaboration and celebration of Bastille Day festival Sydney.
In talking to Remi you get the message that wine is meant to be understood in a way that lets you heighten your enjoyment. It should help you relax a bit and help you connect the dots in your head of what you’re drinking and how it tastes.
The master classes are geared towards having fun and capturing the social aspect of wine. “I think of wine as a vehicle, when we talk in France we need something to hold on to, and something to use as a warm up conversation, for us that is wine, it’s part of being French and part of being social.”
For Remi, Master classes shouldn’t be lectures, “it’s not a sommelier course” he explained to me, “I’m not there to tell people how it is, I’m here to give people the tools to understand what their tasting, it’s more of explanation.”
Remi plans to help novices understand the regional differences between wines, and therefore come to grips with the behemoth that is French wine. In France you don’t know what you are drinking, you know where you are drinking, so Remi’s master classes will be focused on the terroir (pronounced ter-war).
For the layperson, terroir is the idea of tasting the place of where the wine was made. It may seem vague, abstract and all round foreign, but Remi assures me it can be done. “In Australia it is very trendy to eat, locally produced fruit and vegetables, and everything local is cool, in France the same can be said about wine. People of the local area really want to taste wine that they have a convection to as a sense of place.” He explains:
“Through the centuries of winemaking, they have developed their own flavour, their own wine and that is what makes each are, but also you can really push it in to a very small territory that is unique from the next.” He continues.
In asking Remi what his thoughts were on the Australian wine scene, and how it stacks up against the rest of the world. He scoffed and chuckled a little. “Well it’s changing a lot, and it’s changing very quickly.”
The Australian wine scene is burgeoning with a lot more, niche, specific varietals that are changing the scene and are making wines that are of a consistent high quality. There is also increasing interest in legacy brands and vineyards, “look at the prices of Penfolds over the last 10 years. That is not from the Australian market, those prices are caused by international interest.”
You can catch Remi talking passionately about French wine in his Bastille Day master classes, as well as a huge array of other activities and on at Bastille - Food Wine & Art Revolution from today until the 17th of July. For more information head to: