5 Feb, 2024

The Sommelier students of the ‘Lycée Hôtelier de Tain l’Hermitage’ hotel and catering school

The wines of Saint-Péray strike just the right balance between fine, elegant substance, freshness and a delicate bitterness on the finish, which, more than on tasting, make them lovely gastronomic wines.

A sommelier trainee from Tain l'Hermitage, 14 of us arrive every year from all over France to share these two years of unique training. These two years are intense, rich and exciting, allowing us to the world through the wines and restaurants in which we work.

The school's proximity to the vineyards of the northern Rhone Valley is an opportunity for all of us. We spend time there, both during and outside class... We have a real fondness for these wines, and we're sure to take them with us, in our future professional lives! For us, Saint Péray, in a few words, is a very beautiful appellation in the northern Rhône Valley that we've been lucky enough to work with throughout our training.

It starts with our winemaking internships, where some of us are right in the heart of the vineyard, harvesting at the foot of Château de Crussol.
Château de Crussol, where roussanne and marsanne are grown. In our courses and in our meetings with winemakers, we've come to understand that it's the very specific terroir of Saint Péray, on a soil limestone and granite, which gives the wines their freshness and smoothness.

What we particularly like in Saint-Péray wines, whether still or sparkling, are aromas of white fruit, pear, granny smith apple, acacia flower or hints of honey...
Sometimes even gunflint or chalk. They strike just the right balance between fine, elegant body, freshness freshness and a delicate bitterness on the finish that, more than in tasting, make them lovely gastronomic wines.
They awaken the taste buds at the start of a meal, as an aperitif, but can also be enjoyed throughout the meal!

Our role as future sommeliers is to set the scene and imagine them at table: for example, with a few Bouzigues oysters Bouzigues oysters or crispy parmesan baguettines. Anchoïades or tapenades, trout tartar with lime papillote of whiting with oranges, grilled sea bream with fennel, ballotines of quail with grapes, aged picodon or creamy Saint Marcellin, rhubarb tart or apricot pavlova... The playground is incredible with
these wines!

A souvenir from Saint Péray à table: During a meal with food and wine, the whole class was impressed by a fine starter artichoke hearts stuffed with ricotta, topped with Parma ham chips and a hint of balsamic.
balsamic. The pairing with the Saint Péray of the year, offered at the time, was just incredible!