Monday, July 4, 2016

LeDomduVin | Portrait


Dominique Noël | LeDomduVin | Portrait
with ©LeDomduVin Logo 2012 

My name is Dominique Noël, a.k.a. LeDomduVin. I'm a French-American, well-traveled and well seasoned Sommelier, Wine Buyer, Wine Quality Control Director (Wine Inspection / Authentication) and Market Analyst, with 27 years of experience in the wine trade on 3 continents, working in really exciting markets such as Bordeaux, Paris, London, New York and currently Hong Kong. 

Born in Bordeaux (in a really bad vintage.... 1973...😊) and grandson a winemaker from the Côtes de Bourg, I grew up partly within the heart of Bordeaux and partly in a small village surrounded by vineyards called "Comps" in the Côtes de Bourg. 

I spent a lot of time with my grandfather during my youth, at his farm house where he had all sort of animals and was growing all sorts of vegetables and fruits (read a bit more about my grandfather here and here). 

I enjoyed very much watching him, and even assist him sometimes, at every stages of the wine making process, whether when he was tending the vines or taking care of the vinification and aging process of the wines in the cellar. Basically I grew up into wine with him, it has always been part of my life directly or indirectly.   

My grandfather (and my family in general) drank wine pretty much everyday with each meal, even  with breakfast, yet he woke up very early everyday and his breakfast were quite substantial. In France, more especially when you are born in such an illustrious wine producing region like Bordeaux, drinking wine is an indissociable part of the local traditions, culture, mentality and ways of life. 

How kids get acquainted with wine in France by ©LeDomduVin 2018

I had my first taste of wine at his house when I was about 6 years old... I did not like it... yet by the age of 10-12 years old, my grandfather officially started my wine education by adding droplets of wine to my glass of water. My passion for wine gradually and naturally grew with the increasing amount of droplets... 😊   

During my youth, each year, I was helping with the manual harvest of the grapes at different local small wineries (with my grandfather, or in the vineyards of his sister in the Côtes de Blaye, and/or at some neighbors or friends of my grandfather). My hideout was a huge wooden vat in one of the cellar at my mother's house, located a few parcels of vineyards away from my grandfather's house. 

I officially started my wine career in 1992, right after finishing the army, while working as a head waiter assisting the Sommelier in various restaurants and events in several towns in France. In 1994, I came back to Bordeaux and worked in a Relais & Chateaux, where I was also working as Head Waiter and Sommelier. 

Sommelier Promotion of 1997 - Catering and Hotel Management School of Talence (Bordeaux)
Article from and courtesy of the French newspaper "Sud-Ouest" - June 1997 (close up)

1996-1997, I went back to the Catering and Hotel Management School of Talence (Bordeaux), to follow the "Mention Complémentaire de Sommellerie" and graduated as a certified Sommelier in June 1997. I'm the one at bottom of the picture above... 😊 ... I was 24 years old

Right after, in July 1997, I started a long journey which brought me around the world to this day... I moved to London (UK), where I worked as a Sommelier and Head Sommelier / Wine Buyer for several restaurants until 2002. 

In 2002, I moved to New York (USA), where I worked as a Wine Director, Wine Buyer, Store Manager, Wine Writer for 2 prominent wine retail stores, until 2011. 

In 2011, I moved to Hong Kong, where I still am currently, I first worked as Head Sommelier and even Restaurant Manager; then, a few months later, early 2012, I took the difficult decision to stop my carreer and retired from the restaurant world for good this time. 

I put my own company together, logically called "LeDomduVin", providing Wine Consultant / Wine Specialist services like Wine marketing, Promotion, Events and Wine Education. Yet, I needed a more financially stable job to sustain my little family, so I stopped the consulting, and accepted a job that had nothing to do with my previous lives as a Sommelier for Restaurants and Wine Director for wine retails, I became a Wine Quality Control Director / Market Analyst for a big corporate company. 

It was nearly 7 years ago. And since then I had the chance to prepare, open, taste and serve countless times (and drink occasionally) some of the most prestigious, illustrious and expensive wines in the world, predominantly from Bordeaux and Burgundy. I'm surely one of the luckiest Sommelier in the world, which the chance and opportunity to taste these wines on regular basis. 

I love wine and I love my job. 

Santé! Cheers!

Dominique Noël a.k.a. LeDomduVin   

#ledomduvin @ledomduvin #portrait #sommelier #winebuyer #abitofmylife 

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