This summer, we held a competition on Instagram that really got your creative juices flowing! Our winner is Livia Olivier Fabre, who has just received her prize of six beautiful bottles. With a level 3 WSET under her belt and an interesting life-path marked by wine, Livia made for an excellent interviewee when we caught up with her this week!
Livia has already led a fascinating life. During her studies in business administration, she found herself flying off abroad, where a rather different experience awaited: a semester in a university that welcomed 200 students from 50 nationalities…onto a cruise ship! Many worlds collided and, since the trip was to last up to 15 months, Livia kept things interesting by organising wine tastings. She then studied in Boston and London before setting up an equestrian business in Prague and completing a masters in international agro-alimentary management. She joined the marketing team at Bacardi, going on to become senior brand manager for Greygoose and Patron. “I wanted to wok in wine to begin with, but the world of spirits is quite close and sometimes presents more opportunities.”
What does wine mean to you?
Wine is a great passion of mine, and I continued with my tasting sessions after the boat trip. My parents have always been interested in wine, so I had the chance to taste quite early on. I got involved with all the student wine associations and started putting my cellar together with around one or two good bottles a year. It’s a good cellar, now!
Is passion for wine something to be passed on?
An important question. People perhaps know less about wine today, so they’re regularly disappointed when they order it in a restaurant. When you’re abroad and tasting French wine, you become a kind of ambassador. I started my Instagram page to give advice and share my favourites with American friends. I also had the chance to taste local wines in New Zealand and Italy. I’d like my daughter to have similar experiences! Everything to do with terroir, work, passion and different vintages is good to pass on.
What’s your favourite wine region?
I love Burgundy, and it’s also my parents’ favourite, too – it’s thanks to them that I know it so well. It’s like Proust’s madeleine for me. The white wines from there are absolutely unmatched. Most of my wine education is based on Burgundy.
Which wines have you discovered recently?
I often order wines that you can’t find anywhere else from iDealwine, as well as non-French wines. I’m thinking of the Pinot Noir Felton Road, which is from New Zealand, Bernard Bonin’s Meursault, and Jacky Blot’s cuvées from Domaine de La Taille aux Loups.
What’s the bottle of your dreams?
La Romanée Conti is the obvious answer! Otherwise, a bottle from Domaine des Comtes Lafon. When it comes to some of the finer Burgundy domains, I’ve had the chance to taste some of the more attainable cuvées, but of course I’d like to try the best ones!
Your favourite food and wine pairing?
Cheese with white wine, such as goats’ cheese with a Côte d’Or from Bouzereau. It’s difficult to pick a perfect one, so much depends on the moment itself.
Where did you take your picture for the photo competition?
On our way to Lyon we stopped in Burgundy at Domaine Heitz-Lochardet where we were welcomed with a lovely tasting session and a walk around Chevalier-Montrachet. This is a place where the vines aren’t cultivated by parcel but by row. So there are five different rows of vines (some aren’t pruned, some have grass growing alongside and others don’t). We got to see how mature the grapes were and climb to the top of the parcel.
Did you know anything before about the bottles you won?
Most of them, yes, I’d heard about Penfolds, Vin de Constance and the Port. I had already tasted the Tuscan wine. I heard the Valbuena mentioned but I’ve never tasted it! However, the Chinese wine is completely new to me! This is the one I’m most curious about…
And what will you do with your prize?
Firstly I’m going to find out when they each might reach their peak, so as not to make any errors. From what I’ve seen, the Tuscan wine can probably wait a while, but we’ll be able to enjoy the others quite soon!
See the wines in our Autumn Wine Festival here
All of our wines can be found here