Monday, November 26

Profile: Olivier Magny

Parisian Olivier Magny is part of a new generation in the world of wine. Frequently presented as ‘the Jamie Oliver of wine', Olivier possesses a strong conviction that the world of wine should be laid back, not stuffy and pretentious. Guided with that spirit and with a strong ambition to break the mold, he founded O Chateau in 2004.

In his career as a sommelier Olivier has worked at Le Cellier Saint-Paul in Paris and the four-star Le Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in the South of France where he worked hand in hand with France's youngest Two-Star Michelin Chef, Edouard Loubet. In addition to running his business O Chateau, Olivier is a visiting sommelier at Hotel de Crillon in Paris (tough job).

I will be in Paris this summer and plan to attend one of Olivier courses. However, if you can't make it to Paris you can enjoy the next best thing Wine Rendezvous - enjoy!

How did you get your start in wine?
I was not supposed to work in wine originally. My mother is a doctor. My father is a doctor. After college, I decided I couldn't have a real job, a serious one anyway. I wanted a job that would make me happy, that would bring poetry, excitement and fun to my life. Wine represented all this to me.

So after studying business (or rugby should I say), I decided to focus my study on wine and to turn my passion into my profession!

What do you love most about your work?
This might sound awfully pretentious, but I’ll take that chance: I think we bring a tiny moment of happiness to people. Many of our clients come to us not knowing what to expect, fearing another dull and boring wine tasting. But quickly, they actually end up laughing, learning, meeting and interacting with great people from all over the world, and of course tasting great wines.

When people leave at the end of the tasting I can feel they are sincere when they thank us for what we do. This is priceless and makes me want to keep going in what I do.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
That my ultimate dream in life is to be a hip hop dancer?!

What is your fondest wine memory?
A glass of Port 1882 offered to me by an old man who had collected Port for his whole life. Moment of pure emotion.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Vacation is a word that has been almost out of my vocabulary since I started my company three years ago.

I’ve become a weekend person. When I go away, what I’m looking for is beautiful scenery, good wine, good food, and pleasant company. On top of being a food and wine junkie, I’m also very sun-dependent! My dream country is probably Argentina. I enjoy the beauty of the country and of the people as well as the simple richness of their food and wine.

What is your favorite luxury in life?

What are your favorite varietals?
It’s all very changing – depending on the season, the weather, the food I’m having.

But right now I have a double crush. Riesling for the whites, it's delicate, beautiful, floral, under rated. Syrah for the reds. Mostly the Syrah from the Northern Rhône - enchanting, fruity and sensual. Just can’t get enough of them!!

Profile by Ronda Carman


Anonymous said...

What a cutie! I'd love to take one of his classes!

{this is glamorous} said...

What a fun profile! Love the "hip hop dancer" bit and he's definitely a kindred spirit--when I'm away, all I need are, "beautiful scenery, good wine, good food, and pleasant company."

Anonymous said...

Just returned from the Cote d'Azur - loved "Roxy"wine bar in Monaco and I thought -we need one of these in our town, a spot to go to, for a great glass of wine and a few nibbles, fun music too!

franki durbin said...

Hopefully soon there will be enough of his fans who see him as he is so he can step out of the "jamie oliver" comparison. Oliver is very inventive and has really brought something unique to the wine market. Interesting to hear he should have been a doctor!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Wonderful informative interview!

perfect bound said...

Love this quote, " I wanted a job that would make me happy, that would bring poetry, excitement and fun to my life." Words to toast to!

Anonymous said...

I had the great pleasure of attending one of Olivier's wine tastings when I was in Paris last January. He is full of joie de vivre and so knowledgable. I have been to a gazillion wine tastings and Olivier's was definitely one of the best ever!