La Caviste: Isabelle Gosselin talks about buying wine in France.

The French word, une cave does not mean ‘a cave.’ Instead, it means, ‘a cellar.’ And une cave à vin is a wine cellar. And since a wine merchant manages a wine cellar, the French word for a wine merchant is  un/une caviste.

In this interview, Isabelle Gosselin tells you how to buy wine from someone like her: a wine merchant. You’ll find these tips helpful the next time you are in France and need to buy a wine that fits both your budget and the dish you are going to eat!

Download to your computer or phone

To download the PDF and the recordings, click here.

Listen online

Track 2 (first track of the interview)
Susana Poveda, French radio journalist, introduces the subject and Mme Gosselin. Please tell us the difference between a caviste and a wine steward at a restaurant. How do you advise your clients when they come in and say, “I am cooking such-and-such dish, what wine should I buy?”

Track 3
Do clients sometimes come in and say, “I want to drink such-and-such wine, what type of food should I cook to accompany it?” What do I do when I’m invited to dinner and I am supposed to bring the wine but I don’t even know what the hosts are cooking?

Track 4
Let’s say that I’m cooking a certain main course but there will also be a starter and a dessert. If I buy a wine for each course, it will be expensive. What should I do? So your job is to help me find a good bottle that is within my budget, right?

Track 5
And what about champagne? Can one really drink champagne with a meal? And if I return to champagne for the dessert, which kind of desserts go with champagne?

Track 6
So you choose your wines after visiting the winemakers. Do you travel all over France?

Track 7
Are there times when you get stuck? When you just don’t know what to wine to recommend with a certain dish? (Mme Gosselin answers by telling a story about Japanese tourists who wanted wines to pair with sushi.)

Track 8
And you also sell wine that is intended to be offered as presents.

Track 9
Once per month, you host a wine tasting here in your store. Please tell us about that.

The links above give you the following recordings:

  • Original
  • Slowed-down 25%
  • Slow echoing