Wine And Food Pairing, Ask Sandra The Sommelier!

Hello foodies! Today, we want you to discover one of the best Sommeliers in Lebanon, Sandra. She loves meeting new people and helping them drink and enjoy themselves in an interactive and educational way. She is also fermenting a new project you will soon hear about, but first, learn more about her through this blog post!

Wine And Food Pairing, Ask Sandra The Sommelier!

Wine has always been a part of Sandra’s family ritual. Her father, a wine and spirits supplier, used to stock up cases of Haut Brion in her room in Abidjan, keeping the AC on.  Since a very early age tastings and Wine events were very common for Sandra. That drove her curiosity to discover the story behind the bottle and to explore the different profiles and tastes of many types of wine.

Sandra started her career in the Beverage Industry in 2012 with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management. As she was looking for a job, she met Nobuko, who was a lovely Japanese woman in charge of the wines for “La Petite Maison”, all around the world. Back then, Sandra was a commis sommelier in the first La Petite Maison of Beirut. Polishing glasses and making sure the cellars were in shape was part of her daily routine. On one morning, Nobuko called Sandra from Dublin and told her that she recommended her in a prestigious Wine School in South of France, in the middle of nowhere, where Nobuko graduated from as well.  Our young sommelier packed everything and left 3 days later. Today she holds several international Wine and Spirits Degrees. These victories helped her gain more knowledge and credibility. She became a Head Sommelier at 23 and is a Wine Specialist today.

Following is a picture of our beautiful Wine Specialist in action ^^ !

Sandra about Food and Wine Pairing:

According to Sandra, the element that would create the perfect Food and Wine pairing is “Balance”. In her point of view, everything in life is a matter of balance. When Food is paired with Wine, one cannot overpower the other, they have to interact positively or it may ruin the experience. In order for the perfect combination to happen, they have to meet somewhere.

As a sommelier, you always have to analyze the components in both the Wine and the Food: weights, flavor intensities, characteristics (salt, acidity, sweetness, tannin). “No wonder why some of the best Cuisine in the world happens in some of the finest wine-growing regions,” she said.

Sandra has a weakness for Vintage Champagne and oysters, a pair that she thinks is made in heaven and after which you don’t feel full but just happy. However, as a wine expert, she prefers to enjoy a bottle on its own! She doesn’t like other criteria messing with her palate and prefers to analyze the evolution of the wine in a glass and take notes. 

Our Wine Specialist while pairing Oysters and Wine:

Sandra on Lebanese Food and Wine Pairing:

Our Wine specialist taught us that in Lebanon, we have approximately 60 wineries (that number has tripled in the past 6 years). Unfortunately, people only know a few of these new wineries. Sandra also taught us that we might find treasures digging into Lebanese boutique wines. Some are organic, bio-dynamic and special. “Lebanon is one of the oldest countries in the world making wine.  Drinking Lebanese wine is drinking History!,” she said. Hence, pairing Lebanese wine with great food has to be delightful.

Sandra thinks people should give new wines an opportunity and stop sticking to just one kind or one grape just because it sounds nice.  That is one of the main reasons why she decided to stay in Lebanon and continue the process of bringing a new modern Wine Culture to the country. She works eagerly to push people to taste new appellations and different styles.  Sandra is actually very active on Instagram with @sipwithsandra where we encourage you to follow her drinking journey and notes.

To conclude:

You can book our Wine Specialist for some special events by chatting with her on her profile. Also, if you are looking for some pro tips on how to pick the best dinner party menu then you can check out our animated infographic filled with pro tips. In addition, if you want some new dinner ideas or menu inspiration for this Christmas to surprise your guest, then check out our dinner party ideas and make it a Christmas dinner like none other.