“It’s not really work, it’s pleasure,” says Fabrice Sommier, General Manager at Georges Blanc Parc and Spa. He talks about being a sommelier, a role he fills for guests with immense dedication.
The Georges Blanc property is home to one of the most extensive restaurant cellars anywhere, a treasure trove sheltering more than 135,000 bottles, wines from around the world and every region in France. Each one is hand-selected and personally tasted by Sommier’s staff.
We asked Fabrice Sommier for ways to bring the spirit of Georges Blanc into your home:
- For poultry or white meat in sauce, Sommier recommends Mâcon Villages 2016 from Domaine d’Azenay.
- Having a cocktail party? Go with Sommier’s suggestion of pairing artisanal charcuterie with Gamay-based Cru Beaujolais.
- Breathe new life into a classic combination with Sommier’s idea of serving cheese with white wines from the Loire Valley, such as Reuilly or Quincy.
- For a cocktail pairing, serve an 18-month Comté cheese with a Provençal pink gin from Terre de Mistral.
For those dining at Georges Blanc’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, Fabrice Sommier’s favorite signature dishes are “exceptional pairings with exceptional wine”:
- Bresse chicken with crème de Bresse is a superb match for the complexity and freshness of 1999 Chambertin from Philippe Charlopin.
- Lobster Savagnin is even better with a rich and round Bourgogne blanc, such as the 2009 Corton-Charlemagne from Faiveley.
- Grenouilles (frog legs) and truffles will be enhanced by the power and structure of the 2010 Hermitage blanc by Jean Louis Chave.
- For a special moment, a romantic evening, or a chic dinner with friends or family, Sommier advises selecting wines you have already tried and particularly enjoyed. Do not make things complicated, says Sommier, by appealing to the opinions and tastes of others. “Above all, be yourself.”
Sommier offers one final point of fool-proof inspiration: “For a romantic rendezvous,” he says, “whatever the tastes of the person you want to impress, Champagne generally does the trick.”