Everyone can be a taster
On the 15th of March in the tasting room of the Academy of Sommelier Mozart Wine House a master class of Bordeaux wines had place. The event was organized by East European Sommeliers and Experts Association together with Perfect company, Moscow. A representative of a French house Sichel, Pavel Gubanov told the auditorium about different activities of the company and presented comparative tasting of 10 samples of wine.
Mozart Wine House: Pavel, or should I say Paul? you make a presentation of a French company, French wines and Bordeaux region as if you were a Frenchman. How do you feel yourself in France?
Pavel Gubanov: I studied in Europe, live in France for a long, but mostly I speak Russian by phone or in e-mails with customers. For sure life in Bordeaux influences me, I can say something without understand, that the word is unusual for my interlocutor as it is a French one (smiling), or, many people think that I am posh, but I don’t. Saying that oysters are like litmus for me to appreciate a wine, I mean it, as in our region oysters cost 4 Euro per a dozen, it is not delicatessen, just a good appetizer. It is impossible to stay intact when you live abroad.
MWH: Pavel, we’ve got now a chance to hear an objective opinion. How would you evaluate Bordeaux as a place to live and to grow vine?
PG: Actually, it’s a very pleasant place for life with warm winters and mild summers, delicious food and good wine, But, if people, who are now explore the planet of Earth to plant vine, even in such exotic places like china or Thailand, would have come to Bordeaux, they would refuse cultivating vine there. We have fertile soil, a lot of sunshine, and unpredictable weather! Everyone there keeps in his car an umbrella, a pullover, raincoat and shorts, as you never know what is waiting for you in the afternoon. So, vine-growing in Bordeaux is a real art, especially taking in consideration, that irrigation is prohibited. That is the reason to have the best Research Institutes of ampelography in the region. We study everything till molecules. For example, Sauvignon Blanc for us is an open book with all its smallest details. You know well its characteristic aroma — «pi-pi de chat» — this is a molecule with its structure and formula, which is in the basis of another aroma — the one of grapefruit, but too concentrated to be distinguished by an average nose.
MWH: Is your nose an average one?
PG: I am a professional taster and I can state that everyone can become a taster, it’s a question of experience and training. As for really talented sensors — these are perfumers. How we taste? For a really individual result of tasting there should be an isolated room with no sound, odor, perfect light and no people. In reality dozens of wine are placed at a table and dozens of tasters go and put notes: ether, pepper, citrus etc. It doesn’t matter orange or tangerine... Once a real perfumer saw my notes and classified them as «an example of bad tasting notes» just because I call the aroma of mandarin an orange one. It depends...
MWH: Well, Pavel, to summarize your presentation, how could you describe the wine-making region of Bordeaux?
PG: I’d say that in Bordeaux the progress is made by a necessity to struggle bad natural conditions for vine-growing and wine-making, not by a desire to innovate. Bordeaux is strong with its traditions, so any scientific novelty in the sector is just a solution for a problem put by Nature.
MWH: Thank you, Pavel, for this information and your good mood!