March 26, 2017

Do You Speak Wine? Here's an Exclusive WICE Event to Learn How!

This spring, WICE offers members a bouquet of wines! Paris wine expert Hélène Goble will help spare you those awkward moments puzzling over wine lists, and help you choose favorite wines at any budget with confidence.

Hélène’s small and personalized company, “Do You Speak Wine?” operates by word of mouth, but you can join an exclusive WICE wine tasting at her elegant Paris apartment on 27 April. Along with her class on a Lalande de Pomerol (Bordeaux) wine, she will be sharing dinner, and plenty of special tips on French savoir-faire.

Helène grew up with grapes, on a Bordeaux vineyard run by her aristocratic parents. After a stint working in the Paris wine trade, she took up training at London’s prestigious Wine and Spirit Education Trust. She later marketed
aroma boxes called Le Nez du Vin, which help people assign descriptions to wine aromas. Ever since, she has been mixing business with pleasure.

Totally unpretentious, she nevertheless insists there’s no excuse for drinking bad wine. “Non! Even a first quality wine at five euros can be well balanced and drinkable!”

“You don’t need to know the 297 Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée in France! You must try to know which grapes and varieties you like. It might be Chardonnay or Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Merlot. Then you need to know yourself, if you like your wine acidic, tannic, supple, old or young. This is just a matter of having confidence about your taste. Sometimes, people need to just stop, and concentrate on what they smell, because about 70% of taste is olfactory. There is no right or wrong! I just want to demystify this for people. “

The first thing to demystify was the difference between a “horizontal” and “vertical” wine tasting. Helène’s next event for WICE is vertical, because it focuses on wines of different years from one Château. Horizontal tastings offer wines of the same vintage but from several vineyards.

She finds endless possibilities for wine events for her clients, who are mainly eager-to-learn expatriates. One group later in the year will bundle into her car to go truffle-hunting at a château, where her tour will pass from the dark cellars to the sunlit ranks of vines in the fields.

Hélène can advise expats on how to enjoy wine without attracting shocked stares. Here in France, it’s a no no for a woman to serve herself more wine when her glass is empty. A man must do it, old-fashioned though it may be. Says Helène, “It is much ruder to leave a woman with an empty glass than for her to serve herself. But I tend to make a joke of it, and say, “’La marée est basse,’ or, ‘the tide is low.’ That usually works!”

Posted by Elizabeth Bouché

Helène Goble can be reached at:

Register for the next wine tasting and dinner with Helène Goble:
Vertical Wine Tasting of Bordeaux Lalande de Pomerol Chateau, 27 April 2017, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, private apartment, metro Boissière.

Other wine events coming up:
LA211 Tasting Evening of the South West Region
21 Apr 2017 8:00 PM • Private tasting room, 75005 Paris: Metro Jussieu & Cardinal Lemoine
LY115 Art of the Apéro Dinatoire
11 May 2017 7:30 PM • Private apartment, 75016 Paris: metro Boissière
LY191 Tastes from the Loire
19 May 2017 8:00 PM • Private tasting room, 75005 Paris: Metro Jussieu & Cardinal Lemoine
LU015 Champagne Region Visit
01 Jun 2017 8:00 AM • Reims: full details provided on registration
LU161 A Taste of Italy
16 Jun 2017 8:00 PM • Private tasting room, 75005 Paris: Metro Jussieu & Cardinal Lemoine

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