sommelier interview

Courtesy Four Seasons Hotel

When the original Georges Vhotel was built in 1928, builders utilized stone from the old quarry  used to build the Arc de Triomphe.  Located 46′ below the ground of Le Cinq Restaurant, the wine cellar is a sight to be seen!

Monsieur Eric Beaumard, restaurant director of the Georges V, oversaw the spectacular creation of the Georges V wine cellar in 1997 during renovations at the hotel.

Wine for dinner comes from one of approximately 46,000 bottles kept in the cellar. If the occasion calls for a bottle of the finest Champagne – and why not, this is Paris, France!

Sommelier Monsieur Thierry Hamon, who has been at the Georges V since 1999, will pull a perfectly chilled bottle from a separate cellar that contains more than 100 varieties of Champagne.

If you are one of the lucky few invited to enjoy a tour of the wine cellar, you may also get the opportunity to sample some of the delicious wines as you listen to a brief history of the cellar itself.

Today, Monsieur Hamon is the master of pairing the cuisine of Le Cinq with the perfect bottle of wine and he has been kind enough to share about some of his background and experiences at Le Cinq.

Q  When did you have your first glass of wine?

I was 15 when I had the first glass of wine I ever tasted, properly.

Q  Do you remember the name of it?

Saint Emillion Grand Cru 1990.

Q  When did you decide that you wanted to be a sommelier?

Through hotel school (he graduated from Lycee Hotelier of Dinard, Franch) and seeing all the different parts,  it was the winery that  interested me the most.

Q  What is the oldest wine you have ever opened?

Lile de Madar 1795*.

Q  What makes a great wine in your opinion?

Wine that is balanced and has its own identity but also reflects its territory.

Q  How do you keep up with knowledge about new wines?

Through doing a lot of tastings, keeping connections with winemakers and vineyards and constantly going over to visit them.

Q  What is the most interesting aspect of your job that you could you share with us?

(To) advise people in such a way as to find the right wine paring with the food for more pleasure and new discoveries.

I was curious about the taste of the Lile de Madar 1795. For me, it was difficult to comprehend the history behind a wine bottled that long ago. When asked, Monsieur Hamon described it as “an eternity taste, with fig and cacao aroma. It was a sweet wine, but with a very dark color because it was very old.”

 

NOTES

Did you know that in 1953, to celebrate the newly elected president of the United States, the Manager of the Georges V presented President Eisenhower with a bottle of cognac that was 152 years old from the private cellar of Napoleon Bonaparte!

– The Gourmet Review

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