Meet the Educator: Guillaume Reynaud
Wine and spirit educator Guillaume Reynaud has taught oenology to French sommeliers for 10 years and runs his own training centre under the aegis of Cave de Tain. With a focus on trainings dedicated to wine and spirit business, Guillaume has built a strong partnership with local famous restaurants and a chocolatier, developing wine tourism since 2009 through TerraRhona in the northern Rhone Valley with Terres de Syrah.
Based in France, we’re delighted to welcome Guillaume onboard as an Approved Course Provider. We caught up with him to learn more about what brought him to the role, what makes him tick and what his world of whisky looks like, quickfire style.
Working in the whisky industry has always been one of my aims in life. That passion for whisky began at the university when I started to study Scotland history and literature to graduate a Master in English Studies. I then carried on studies on wine and spirits production and trade. I gave then many lectures and organised many whisky tastings with my students for the Sommelier program in France. Once I knew I could have the opportunity of working with the EWA, I didn’t hesitate long to pass the exams to become educator.
Teaching is great for many reasons. On a personal scale, it is mandatory to remain up to date with the evolution of the production, the consumption, the vision of the products, the way we taste it and present it… a lifetime is not long enough to know wine and spirits.
Then, teaching means meeting with people with whom we share a common subject or even passion. Moreover, we spend a great time studying, speaking, sharing, and tasting products we are strongly interested in. We enrich each other from our own activities and experiences.
It is wonderful is when, at the end of the day or the training, people tell us they really enjoyed and that we have been useful and lively! Finally, following what our trainees or student are becoming after the trainings or courses is amazing.
Having the opportunity to represent the EWA as Educator is a kind of hit target. Studying the Diploma in Single Malt whisky was an amazing period. I think that the EWA may be considered as the most legitimate Academy to give whisky courses and the courses (online and in-person) are just amazing. It is lively, extremely rich, and diverse.
In terms of advice someone wanting to get into the whisky industry, I’d say trust yourself and go on. Read, taste, meet with people, travel, if anything goes wrong you will then learn from it and be able to avoid it later.
Whisky wisdom: quick fire questions
First whisky you ever tasted?
Maybe Glenfiddich 12.
Best whisky you have ever tasted?
A single cask from Clynelish distillery (1996) from an independent bottling company.
Favourite distillery to visit?
I have a great souvenir from Oban. I would love to visit Ardbeg, but never been in Islay (yet).
Favourite non-whisky drink?
Favourite whisky and food pairing?
A Speyside or Highlands Scotch Whisky aged in Sherry cask paired with a terrine topped with redcurrant. This is an autumnal pairing, and the berries echo the Sherry influence. Whisky from the isle of Islay paired with chocolate (softens the smoky flavours), but also with seafood or with blue cheese. Another pairing I enjoyed was raspberry panna cotta with a Sherry influenced whisky. Here again it is never ending!
What person, dead or alive, would you most like to share a dram with?
That’s a really difficult question! These days I speak a lot about Thomas Jefferson. That would be with him.