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!

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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

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