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Champagne consultant Earning a living from drinking Champagne, travelling the world visiting vineyards and attending wine events sure does seem like a job that is too outlandish to even contemplate, but much to everyone else’s extreme jealousy, there are people who have carved out a special niche in Champagne consulting. Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon reportedly exclaimed, ‘Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!’ during his first taste of Champagne back in 1693 and the world has continued tasting the stars at weddings, engagements and birthdays – and for flamboyant English writer and entertainer Noel Coward, breakfast – ever since. A sparkling wine produced only from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France, Champagne was a premium alcoholic drink associated with royalty and luxury thanks to a hefty price tag and a history of clever marketing targeted at the ruling classes. These days, Champagne is associated less with the elite and more with celebrations, with bottles of champers being cracked open to toast weddings, smashed over the hulls of new ships, sprayed over winners on the podium of racing events and used to lubricate lips at gallery openings and awards nights. Combining technical knowledge with wine industry know-how and a dash of showmanship, Champagne consultants live a life full of career variety. From teaching Champagne appreciation courses to judging at international wine events; writing editorials for newspapers, websites and magazines; consulting for Champagne makers (of which there are more than a hundred in France); speaking at wine appreciation events and advising restaurants, bars, hotels and airlines on what bubbles should feature on their menus, Champagne consulting covers a lot of ground. As such, if you want to make it as a Champagne consultant you need to be a

pretty special person. Investing many years in tasting Champagne to develop a palate, travelling regularly to the Champagne region in France, forming relationships with winemakers and reading up on the history of Champagne may sound like a gloriously fun folly to be involved in, but in the world of Champagne it takes years to rise to the top and become known and regarded as an expert. French language skills, while not essential, will help you greatly, as will the ability to market yourself and network with everyone from wine experts to the lifestyle media. Without possessing a sincere, true love for Champagne this career would be sheer hell, as consultants live and breathe their work – constantly tasting, writing and talking about Champagne. For anyone with a taste for the good life, this is truly a dream job. Being paid to taste Champagne, have influence over the wine industry, work with everyone from restaurateurs to the world’s greatest winemakers, and have access to some of the rarest (and tastiest) tipples in the world rates as a ‘pinch me’ career move worth celebrating. So, santé!

The lowdown

Education or qualifications: None. Experience required: Wellrounded knowledge of the Champagne industry, usually gathered during years of tasting, learning, reading and attending wine events and shows. Training: Most Champagne experts are self-taught, or learn by apprenticing with senior winemakers or Champagne experts. Restrictions: Must be able to drink alcohol, have fully functioning taste buds and a good sense of smell.

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I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

I can get paid for that?  

NOTE: This e-gallery is for press purposes only. No images or other copyrighted materials seen here may be reproduced. Contact patrick@smi...

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