A few moments with Moët & Chandon’s winemaker Amine Ghanem

Oh, how we envy Amine Ghanem. As Winemaker of Moët & Chandon, he must surely have one of the finest jobs in the world. However, tasting over 800 wines each harvest is no easy feat. Amine oversees quality and consistency to produce a signature style sought after around the world. Steeped in history, elegance and unmistakable savoir-faire, Moët & Chandon has been sharing the magic of Champagne for over a quarter of a millennium.

Amine recently joined us for a Champagne breakfast at Ellerman House, allowing us the opportunity for a few quick questions:

What should everyone try with Champagne at least once before they die? Everyone seeks a unique experience but for me, my ultimate champagne combination is truffle risotto and a perfectly chilled glass of Moët & Chandon Impérial.

What is your personal favourite tasting memory of all time? My first glass of Moët & Chandon of course! I first tasted Moët & Chandon in Lebanon – I could not arrive in France without tasting the world’s most loved champagne.

What is an absolute Champagne no-no in your books? I would avoid very spicy food because it overpowers the structure and complexity of most champagnes. But champagne is incredibly versatile and you can enjoy it with an array of worldwide cuisines and flavours.

What is your expert tip when it comes to serving Champagne? It must be perfectly chilled – ideally place it in an ice bucket (half ice, half water) 30 minutes before serving.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role? To make the most loved champagne in the world is already a challenge! It means maintaining a consistently high standard of quality to ensure we offer our consumers a luxury experience every time they open a bottle of Moët & Chandon.

What is your greatest achievement so far? My two children of course! But professionally, being a part of the Moët & Chandon winemaking team. It’s a privilege and an honour to be a part of 270 years of history and to assist in continuing this incredible story.

What/who inspires you? Sharing the magic of champagne with the world and the excitement of seeing how South Africans celebrate and share Moët & Chandon celebratory moments. Past and present Moët & Chandon winemakers inspire me daily in my work.

What stood out for you on your trip to the Cape/South Africa? The warm hospitality and the beauty and diversity of nature here. And the view from the Ellerman House balcony of course!

What South African wine will you be packing in your suitcase? I am looking forward to tasting a variety of Pinotages as this varietal expression is unique to South Africa.

What (else) should one visit Champagne for? The incredible history of the region. UNESCO World Heritage Committee took the decision to include the “Champagne hillsides, houses and cellars” on its World Heritage list.

On second thought, does anyone really need reason further than champagne?

*header image by Tamlin Wightman | Relais & Châteaux.