Time to put the sommeliers in the spotlight: Elyse Lambert

This time I'm taking you to meet a sommelier from over the Atlantic Ocean or better from Canada. Please meet Elyse Lambert.

After finishing her studies at the' Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec' in 1998 she specialized herself in wine by stuyding an extra year at the 'École Hôtelière des Laurentides' and graduating as sommelier. The most logical step after going to hotel management school is start working in a restaurant or hotel or in Elyse's case working in some of the most renowned and restaurants in Canada like the l’Eau à la Bouche, Auberge Hatley, XO restaurant of Hôtel Le St. James in Montréal or at The Ritz Carlton Montreal’s Maison Boulud.

Today Elyse is working as a Sommelier Consultant at restaurant Graziella in Old Montreal and often is guest speaker or educator at wine education seminars.

In the spare time she had over the years she obtained the title of Master sommelier in 2015 and got 5th place during the ASI Sommelier Word Championships in Argentina in 2016 making that the top 5 exist out of 3 women (5th Elyse, 4th Paz Levinson and 3rd Julie Dupouy) which is very good news!! Next to that she is also holder of Best sommelier of Canada and of the Americas... SO basically she is a very talented young lady who we'll hear of much more in the future.

What is your favorite wine region to work with?

Burgundy... not surprisingly! :-)

What does it take to be a good sommelier according to you?

Humility, curiosity, attention to detail, to be a great listener and have a true sense of hospitatity.

Is the job of a sommelier underestimated/valued?

Depending of where you are in the world, it can be. In Montreal our profession is more and more recognized and appreciated. So we are very happy with this progress it is making

When and how did you get the passion for wine?

When I took my hotel management program in 1996, I received my first wine class. It was a revelation. Since that first class, my passion for wine never stopped growing.

Who is your big example in the wine/sommelier world?

Gerard Basset without any doubt. He is the most awarded sommelier in the world

What is your approach for pairing wines(or other beverages) with dishes?

It is not always the best pairing that makes my guest the most happy. Rule number 1: Pleasure is first.

Which wine region would you recommend everybody to visit and why?

Difficult to choose one, there are so many fabulous region to visit in the world. If you are starting your journey in the wine world, Napa valley is great and very consumer friendly. If you have a little more experience, Tuscany is amazing.

For which wine would you make a big sacrifice to be able to taste?

La Romanée, the wines the speak most to the imagination of all sommeliers :-)

What is your most wonderful memory of hotel management school?

My sommellerie class.... as that changed my world and made it my profession.

A culinary or wine experience everybody should have had besides have a meal at your restaurant, shop,etc…?

My best experience ever was at French Laundry. For foody and wine lover it is paradise!

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