Audrey Doré: “Duality between Rioja-Ribera is over: Catalunya is land of great wines”
She was born in Brittany and studied Hispanic Philology. She talks to Vadevi.cat about her recent coronation as the Best Sommelier of Catalunya 2017; about wine and her responsibility at one of the best restaurants in the world, El Celler de Can Roca.
Published by Eva Vicens (Vadevi.cat)
Audrey Doré (An Oriant, Brittany, 1980) is the Best Sommelier of Catalunya 2017. The Catalan Association of Sommeliers made the announcement at Villa-Retiro Restaurant in Xerta (south Catalunya) after a long day of theoretical and practical tests. She feels grateful with the recognition and also with her current job at El Celler de Can Roca. The future? “I am not a planner person and I things are going well so far”.
Best sommelier in Catalunya. Congratulations!
Thank you! It was my first time in a wine contest, and I couldn’t imagine I would get that far. I have to admit, though, that I wasn’t happy with my performance, but I got into the final and things went pretty well by then.
What was the hardest part of the contest?
The theoretical part was very hard. When you face an exam and suddenly realize that you can only answer a couple of questions, the only you can think of is: “This is too complicated, I won’t do any further”.
But you went on. Maybe there was an easiest part that did compensate the global punctuation?
Maybe it wasn’t the easiest part, but I have to admit that I feel more comfortable at the pairing test. This is my day a day at the restaurant, I have to think fast about what is the best wine for each dish, for each meal the customer orders; I think the day a day practice has become one good ally to me in this.
Let’s look back to your trajectory: A girl from Brittany comes to Spain when she’s 18. She goes to Madrid, then to Galicia for an Erasmus, moves to Barcelona and finally establish herself in Girona. Meanwhile, she falls in love with wine and decides to turn her passion into her way of living.
Indeed. I studied Hispanic Philology and I first worked at tourist sector. Once I moved to Spain, I started working, I made myself a routine. I discovered a new climate, the sun, the light! When I was little, I could spend some months without seeing the sun! Meanwhile, I thought: “I want to spend my work time in something that I like”. And I loved wine, I do love wine, so took a basic wine course, started working at a wine bar in Barcelona –La Vinya del Senyor- and I never stopped paddling into the same direction since then. It followed Roca Moo Restaurant and then, El Celler de Can Roca, where I am now.
Indeed: Best sommelier who actually works at one of the best restaurants of the world. How come?
It was by chance. I did enjoy Roca Moo, but I felt like moving off the big city. My first idea was to go to Penedès and work there in the area of wine tourism or directly in a cellar. I actually hadn’t got any real work offer by then, when I met Josep Roca. We talked, I told him about my idea, and suddenly he said: “If you feel like leaving Barcelona, come home with me” –meaning going to work at his restaurant-. No way I could say no, so I moved there and it has been now a year and a half working together.
Working at a restaurant, with all its meanings -long working days, complicated schedules…- and you still find time to teach. How do you manage?
Yes, I teach Wine French Geography at CETT’s course of Sommelier, and I enjoy it a lot! It’s nice seeing those talented students becoming professionals in the wine industry. It happens pretty often and I am the one to think: “Look, I met him/her before all this big change happened”. It’s a very grateful job from which I also learn a lot.
Do you see yourself at Can Roca for a long time?
I feel like I want to work in the restoration industry for the moment. I love it here! If you are this kind of wine lover that I am, you can really have lot of fun, you have lots of opportunities to taste and discover infinity of worldwide wines. Moreover, it allows me to meet lot of people that I admire. In the restaurant, we can see Hollywood actors, but I would become crazy if I meet Pierre Overnoy!
It happens for you to be near wines from all over the world, but you also have a big knowledge about Catalan Wines. What do you think of the current moment of Wine industry in Catalunya?
I think Catalan wines are living a great moment, we can see a huge flowering thanks to the work that has been done in the last few years. I think, in the Spanish context, that duality between Rioja and Ribera is over, people know that Catalunya produces fabulous wines. But said so, it keeps surprising me that when I go to a bar in Barcelona and I order a glass of wine, they offer me Verdejo or Rioja. This would never happen in Logroño, for instance! But it keeps happening in Barcelona. We have a problem with this.
What’s to be done on this situation?
Wine needs to be associated with normal consumption; there is no options to get a glass of wine in many places, it’s important to have a good variety of local wines to allow consumers choose the best option for each. And one more thing: people feels respect to wine, it has become something snob! Please, leave off all prejudices and enjoy the wine, you don’t need to know a thing about it but you still can love it. Our job here is to bring it closer to everybody.
How do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
I am not a planner person and things are going well so far. I don’t know, the truth is that I don’t see myself working at a restaurant in ten years’ time. But whatever it has to come, it will be welcome.