Her interest in wine has flowered into a passion that took her to the 2022 Mauritius’ Best Sommelier competition… Shani Ramasawmy, young talented lady sommelier at Constance Hotels & Resorts or should we say, the shining star at Constance Hotels & Resorts’ sommellerie department, tell us all about this sweet achievement.
Read on, we promise it will put you in a mellow mood 😉
A moment of pride and satisfaction that Shani and the whole spirited team at Constance Hotels & Resorts are savouring,
this is just the beginning for Shani.
Residing in Floreal, Mauritius Shani did her Bachelor's in International Hospitality Management at Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon and then her MBA in International Hotel Management at Vatel Mauritius. Her passion and desire to become a Sommelier ignited when she crossed paths with Jerome Faure & Jorald Julie; Corporate Sommelier and Assistant Corporate Sommelier at Constance Hotels & Resorts.
Under the guidance of Jerome, Shani flew to France once more to get her Diploma in Wine Management at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris. Back in Mauritius in 2020, she joined Bacchanale Ltd for a year then joined Constance Hospitality Management, back to where it all started.
“I just love the passion, the hard work and sense of belonging at Constance Cellar…” - Shani
It is said that a person cross your path in life to either learn something from you or for you to teach something to that person…Anything you would like to comment in this?
“Yes, indeed. With Jerome and Jorald I got the chance to meet various winemakers, sommeliers and more people from this industry.
Back in France, during my Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu, I had an exceptional and passionate teacher, Mr. Frank Ramage who contributed in my wine knowledge enormously. I got the chance to do an internship at Le Mandarin Oriental in Paris, with David Biraud in 2018 as well one at Vantre with Marco Pelletier and Thomas Simian.
At Bacchanale, I met Sebastien and Alexandre who taught me the business side of things.
What motivated you to be a sommelier at Constance Hotels & Resorts? How long you have been working for Constance Hotels & Resorts and your different roles if any?
“I was a trainee in 2016 & 2017 and joined officially in January 2020. I am working as a sommelier and all wine events.
What motivated me: without any doubt: Jerome & Jorald.
Jerome for his vision, his passion, his desire for Constance Cellar to thrive, his generosity and his focus on constant training for a perfect service.
Jorald for his passion, his talent as a sommelier and his career evolution at Constance Hotels & Resorts.
I love seeing him at work, his excellent service, to guests, his gesture and his way of describing wine are impressive!
Like great wines, both are superbly rich in knowledge and passion. They are the essence of Constance Cellar, if I may say.”
Name three things that you like as a sommelier
“Being an ambassador for winemakers.
The interaction with guests, sharing of knowledge, wine pairing
Training the rookie sommeliers to this amazing job.”
Your favourite wine? Vineyard?
“So many! If i have to choose one then: Chambolle-Musigny 1er cru les Amoureuses de chez Nicolas Groffier. I love the slender elegance and smoothness of this great wine.
I haven't visited all the vineyards in the world, so I would love to go to the Douro Valley or to New Zealand.
Else, for now, I would say the Loire Valley with their amazing Troglodyte Caves.”
Lady sommelier is rare, how do you feel about this?
“I feel proud, I think wine has for many years in Mauritius been a "man thing" but things are changing and we are imposing ourselves in this world. The first woman was Pascaline Chettiar, followed by Delores Malin and now me - we are very very proud. Hope more women will join this path!”
Tell us more about Mauritius’ Best Sommelier competition and your preparation for your win.
“So in the morning, we had the semifinal. We had a written paper with various questions (quite difficult I must admit), followed by calculations, vineyard knowledge, a tasting in written form as well as a presentation with world etiquettes.
After lunch, we had three practical tests: a role-play to test our knowledge on different references, a sweet wine tasting, wine pairing and a debate on “the impact of climate change on the European vineyards and possible solutions to this issue.
At 15h00 the three finalists were announced.
The final consisted of 5 workshops: An explanation of waters, correction of wine cards, sensory tasting of two wines, soil identification, commercial argumentation and identification of spirits."
Tell us about your training before attempting the competition.
“I did train a lot for this Concours. I really wanted to win :)
So every day I was training with different people. The sommeliers, bartenders, and even the trainees helped me.
I also studied a lot at home, writing tasting notes, researching as well as listening to wine podcasts and competition videos on my way to work and back home.
My trip to Loire Valley in June helped also”