Meet These Indian Women Sommeliers
- JWB Post
- August 17, 2015
We women are such connoisseurs of shattering stereotypes! And that is, well, majorly owing to the fact that we are surrounded by a LOT of them. A LOT.
Take for example the professions which people think women are not suited for, sommelier being one of them.
Now, besides being a nice and fancy word, sommelier is a term for a person who is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food pairing. And apparently, when you hear this term, you instantly develop an image of a suited-booted oldie male with a corkscrew in his hands.
Well, let that image fly a kite! For today I am telling you about a couple of FEmale sommeliers.
Say hi to Karishma Grover, a winemaker and sommelier armored with a Bachelors Degree in Viticulture and Enology from University of California, Davis. She also happens to be the first well-qualified female winemaker of India and is at the helm of the International awards winning company Grover Zampa.
Karishma admits to the fact that earlier, there was quite some stigma associated when the words: ‘women’ and ‘drinking’ came together. But now, the situation has changed pretty much, and for the better. She also opines on how the industry is peculiarly seen to be male oriented, “I have read research about this that goes either way. So I am going to say that I don’t think that being a female/male is going to make things different. Like all things, this is a skill that requires practice and hard work to master, so it really matters if you are dedicated to this or not.”
Hang on, before you firm your impressions about our fancy term ‘sommelier’ for I have another dimension to offer, and another female in this field too!
Now this one’s a tea-sommelier. Radhika Batra, the owner of a tea boutique in Mumbai which goes by the name Radhika’s Tea and Whatnots! She sources a wide variety of tea leaves from plantations all over the world.
Radhika, luckily, never faced the “being-a-girl” problem, and she goes on to proudly proclaim that her family has been her greatest strength in her journey of starting from a tiny boutique store to having her brand present in 32 stores across India. She also points out that, being a tea sommelier is more about how much time and effort one puts into understanding the nuances of the leaf, and women by default have strong sensory abilities.
Well, all I gotta say is ‘don’t underestimate the power of chai, people’!
If you’re a Jaipur-based female sommelier, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, for we would love to cover your story!
PS: What’s with the pronunciation!? So-me-leah? Sau-mi-liar? Som-i-liye? Never mind! I’ve a tangled tongue now and our blogger-in-chief is telling me to get over with the Somler-Pomler thing. #KThanksBye