Everything you ever wanted to know about being a professional wine taster
News flash: You don’t even get to actually drink the wine on most days
What’s a millennial without an existential crisis? Thanks to pop culture, the pipe dream of landing your dream job and getting that damn corner office has changed to landing a job, quitting it to find your true purpose even as you travel around the world. And well, Marie-Christine Osselin, Wine Quality Manager at Moët & Chandon, can be held responsible for contributing to the latter.
As a professional wine taster for a luxury champagne house, Marie-Christine’s job however is just another reason for her to do more of what she loves. In case you’ve been watching way too many reruns of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and would like to strike out on your own, here’s what she wants you to know about the only job in the world that pays you to taste wine at exotic locales.
It’s not all champagne and roses
“Champagne is seen as a status symbol around the world, but for me, it is a demanding job and one that requires precision. The journey is absolutely worthwhile though, as you slowly learn to recognise complex wines with potent flavours and discover all that champagne can be.”
It’s always good to start early
“I got started as soon as I graduated and worked as a Wine Quality Assistant for a year, and later as a Wine Quality Manager. The job basically requires you to work closely with the cellar masters and the workers to create ideal conditions for the produce. After a decade of studying red wine in the south of France, I joined the Moët & Chandon family. And here we are today!”
You won’t actually be drinking wine all day
“A significant portion of the job involves preliminary tastings, but we generally just take a sip and spit. The goal for each tasting is to successfully feel the aroma and complexity of the wine.”
But your passport will be plastered with ink from cover-to-cover
“Apart from working in the vineyards, I also travel a lot around the world to test our goods in the real world markets. Just this year, I’ve been from United States of America to Malaysia to Europe. I go wherever the market wants me to.”
Oh, and getting tipsy on the job is frowned upon
“I hate to break that fantasy, but we aren’t just drinking wine all day. Wine tasting is a challenging job and we need to be in complete command of our senses to explore and experiment with our offering before it hits the shelves.”