Female sommeliers in Mauritius are aiming high

Our female sommeliers at Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage are both striving to become leaders in the predominantly male world of fine wines.

Malin De Lores, assistant sommelier at Belle Mare Plage

Malin De Lores, assistant sommelier at Belle Mare Plage

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Malin De Lores, assistant sommelier at Belle Mare Plage, who attained her wine training at the Constance Hospitality Academy in Mauritius, claims her personal ambition is to become a chief sommelier.

She took a step nearer to her goal last year when she was selected as a finalist in the Best Sommelier of Mauritius 2012 and again this year as the winner of the sommelier competition at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau. In July Malin was promoted to Assistant Sommelier at Belle Mare Plage.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice, began her career in France before joining Constance. Her ambition is to win the award for Best Sommelier of Mauritius 2014.

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline Coulon, sommelier at Le Prince Maurice

Cheryline was selected to represent Le Prince Maurice this year in the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

We are very proud of both women whose passion for wine and their ability to share that passion with our guests has made them an important part of our team of sommeliers in Mauritius.

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Interview with Nadia Periasammy, sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Nadia Periasammy is a sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius. Here she tells us what drew her to working as a sommelier, and how women are finding more opportunities in this traditonally male role.

Nadia Periasammy

Nadia Periasammy

1. What made you decide to become a sommelier, and how has your career developed?

I have never been so proud of my job since I met wine. I first discovered wine when I was in South Africa for a wine package trip. I met Mr Razvan Macici, the cellar master, who takes care of his winery to improve the quality.

He made us visit and taste many different varieties of wine. I was very impressed by the diversity and fascinating job behind all this, and I decided then to develop my career in this role.

2. What does your job involve?

I’d say, good knowledge in general about wine, making our guests feel comfortable, giving advice so guests can choose the right wine, and knowing which food pairs well with which wine.

3. What qualities do you need to be a good sommelier?

  • Good palate.
  • An ability to relate to people about wine.
  • A good follow up about the service.
  • Skill of understanding the customer.

4. In your experience, does a woman bring different qualities to the role?

Table setting at Le Prince Maurice

Table setting at Le Prince Maurice

Women are stepping up and creating a new breed of sommelier with a feminine touch.

Of course, there are still some people who are reluctant to accept the advice of a female sommelier but others find the presence of a female sommelier refreshing, less forceful and more accommodating. Women truly want to delight their guest.

5. Are there more opportunities for female sommeliers these days – how are things changing?

Yes there are definitely more opportunities for female sommeliers these days. Barriers seem to be coming down as women step up into a more prominent position in the wine world. Nowadays, female sommeliers are involved in choosing a fun and creative wine list to suit the restaurant.

Things are changing, and most men are accepting of this - encouraging women to learn more about wine. Women are now becoming certified as master sommeliers, bringing something new and much appreciated.

6. What do you most love about your job?

What I love most about my job is the good atmosphere and team spirit at Le Prince Maurice – people are always there to help and advise when I need it. We have a very interesting wine list.

As we are on a small tropical island, Mauritius, we get the chance to travel all around the world through our wine list. At Constance, we have a diverse choice of wines from different countries.

7. Can you give us your top tip for a great wine to try in 2012?

  • Cru – Beaucaillou 2nd Classified
  • Growth in 1855
  • Owner – Borie Family
  • Vintage – 2001

This wine embodies the elegant, subtle mineral aromas of raspberry.