Every Friday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far. This Week we took a bubbly chat with Canadian Champagne lover Cynthia Coutu. Merci Cynthia !
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Cynthia Coutu is Canadian and has been living in Paris for 30 years. She obtained a degree in Fine Arts (Photography) in Canada, then came to France to do a Masters in Art History at the Sorbonne. Her love of wine and cheese kept her in France.
After working at the Canadian Embassy in France and the OECD for 20 years managing their digital communications, she hung up her international civil servant hat and pursued her passion. She studied wine at L’Académie du Vin and L’École du Vin in Paris. She then specialised in champagne – the king of wines and the wine of kings! She founded Delectabulles in 2017 (https://www.delectabulles.com).
She hosts champagne workshops in Paris, judges wine contests, manages a champagne networking club for women, and loves taking people to visit her favourite producers in Champagne. She only uses champagnes made by women, and only takes guests to visit champagne houses where women play an important role. It is her small way of supporting women in the male-dominated wine industry.
She has been mentioned in Le Monde, New York Times and Paris Match. She was also voted “Best Wine Tasting in Paris” by Expatriates Magazine, “Best Wine Experience in Paris” by Travel and Hospitality Awards, and “Wine Expert of the Year” by Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards. She is currently researching the role of women in the history of Champagne for a book project.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘My mother is a bubbly badass that I love to bits. She was a widow at 25 and had two small girls to look after. She rolled up her sleeves and got on with it. For her, I would choose a rosé de saignée. One that has lots of depth and generous aromas and flavours. “Perle de Saignée” made by Sandrine at Veuve Olivier et Fils in Trélou-sur-Marne, the village where phylloxera was first discovered in Champagne, would do the trick. Sandrine is also like my “champagne mother”. She took me under her wing and taught me so much about champagne – especially the stuff you don’t learn about in books. And her grandmother, Liliane, was also a widow who rolled up her sleeves and got on with it.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
‘I would hunt down a vintage of the year we met. I would want it to be an intense and complex cuvée. “La Grande Année” from Bollinger fits the bill. It is intense because of the high percentage of Pinot Noir and complex because it is vinified in barrels and aged under cork. And the name of the cuvée would probably accurately describe our first year together.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘I have been my own boss for the last 5 years and savouring every moment. Any bottle made by a woman would be appropriate to celebrate all the bubbly badasses out there, including myself, but I would pick one from Les Fa’bulleuses, an association of 7 female vigneronnes in Champagne.‘
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
“Le Temps pour Elle” (in English: Time for Her) made by Christine at Piot-Sévillano in Vincelles. It is a limited edition cuvée of only 640 bottles, 100% Meunier from a perpetual reserve started in 2011. It is unique (aren’t we all like snowflakes?), and the name of the cuvée is a reminder of the importance of taking care of myself.‘
Which would You treat a dream guest, and why, and who’s is Your dream guest?
‘I am torn between Queen Elizabeth II and Leonardo da Vinci. Both would have so many fascinating stories to tell. I would chose a champagne that had a royal warrant. I bet “Grande Cuvée” from Krug would pair well with all the stories since it is made from more than 120 wines from more than 10 different years.
What piece of music would you listen to drinking wine in question 5 ? ]
‘I would not listen to music. I would not want to be distracted from the conversation!’