Thanks to her studies, Taiwanese student Homi Chien won a trip of a lifetime to Reims, France for a 3-day tour of the Champagne region.
How were you selected to join the champagne trip?
It was thanks to an optional Champagne Masterclass I decided to enroll in at Hotel Institute Montreux. The class was an introductory class to the bubbly drink. We learned about how it is made, about the grape variety, details about the champagne labels and much more. At the end of the class I participated in a blind champagne tasting competition and I won!
The grand prize was a 3-day package champagne tour in Reims, France!
What was your first impression of the Champagne region of France?
The view in Reims was beautiful and I felt an instant sense of tranquility there. The people were nice and friendly, the streets were clean and the buildings are magnificent.
How will you use this experience for your future career?
Since my ultimate goal in 5 years is to be the Head Sommelier in a hotel, it’s very important to absorb as much wine knowledge that I can.
Thanks to this opportunity to indulge in the world of champagne, I have a better understanding of food pairings, I know what kind of champagne I would recommend to guests according to their likes and how to engage with guests about the drink.
I also think that by sharing this experience with future colleagues I will help support their knowledge too which could improve the working environment.
What will you remember the most about your trip?
Together with 3 other students from Swiss Education Group and the very knowledgeable SHMS Wine Lecturer Mr. Bourassin, we tasted more than 20 bottles of champagne in 3 days.
I will never forget this opportunity to walk into the cellars and visit the vineyards – the very place where the producers make champagne that is famous around the world.
It felt like a movie scene, where I got to act in a movie with the famous stars themselves.
My advice to anyone interested in wine – don’t be afraid to dig more into this industry and grab any opportunity you can. It’s worth it!