Born and raised in Champagne, Veuve Clicquot winemaker Gaëlle Goossens is a bona fide inspiration. She holds degrees in biochemistry and oenology, cares about making the industry a better place for women, and is capable of brilliantly discussing all over an order of escargots.
Goossens is quickly becoming a new face of the brand, and she’s risen to the top of her game rapidly and humbly, navigating her way through a notoriously male-dominated field with grace and determination.
Here, we explore Goossens’ effervescent psyche in another round of Lucky Sevens. Santé!
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1. What’s the bottle that made you fall in love with wine?
Growing up in Champagne, France, I would spend a lot of time in the vineyard learning about winegrowing from my grandmother. I have always been passionate about the wine industry and, while I wouldn’t say there is one specific bottle that made me fall in love with wine, I do remember the first time I tasted a base wine that goes into Champagne. I was stunned and amused at the same time. I thought, “How can we make a Champagne from those wines … there is an entire world between the both.” Blending and aging transforms our wine — it’s truly an art!
2. FMK three varieties: Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay.
Veuve Clicquot is historically a Pinot Noir-heavy house, so I would choose to marry Pinot Noir. Our wines also often incorporate the Chardonnay grape, so with that in mind I would kill the Cabernet and do the dance with Chardonnay.
3. You’re on death row. What’s your last-supper wine?
La Grande Dame 1990 but only in jeroboam … a bigger bottle is always better, and this one is stunning! Plus, the size will buy me some more time.
4. You can only drink one wine for the rest of your life. What is it?
My favorite is the Veuve Clicquot Vintage Blanc. I love Vintage 2008 for its structure and the fact that it really pairs well with anything — sushi, fried chicken, you name it. We have a new Vintage 2012 coming out this year that we are all incredibly excited about as well.
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
This is a very hard question! My husband owns a popular Champagne and wine bar in Reims called “Le Clos.” It’s such a relaxed environment, perfect for wine lovers and conveniently close to our home. I help him build the wine list, so I would be able to drink what I like while spending time with friends and family.
6. What’s the best and worst wine on your rack (or in your fridge) right now?
Best: I have a Petrus 2015, my son’s birth year. It’s his. He is only 3 but I help him develop his nose every single day to be sure he will be able to appreciate it one day! He does not have the permission to open it before he is of legal drinking age … at least.
Worst: I’ve had a spare bottle of rosé lost in my rack for few years now … a bottle brought by a friend on a happy day. The label must have disappeared in the ice bucket that night, too. Now it’s coppery with sediment. I really should get rid of it but I don’t like throwing wine away! Especially one like this that has a special memory.
7. If you could no longer drink wine, what would be your beverage of choice?
I would say craft beer or sparkling water. A crisp beer can be so refreshing, and sparkling water makes my list because I would still want that taste of bubbly!