InterviewsAn Interview with Corsican sommelier, Raphael Pierre-Bianchetti.

An Interview with Corsican sommelier, Raphael Pierre-Bianchetti.

A few centilitres of history for the pleasure seekers among you…

Corsica’s vineyards share the characteristics of their terroir. They are unique and refined. From the wide selection available, there are 3 local grape varieties that stand out and reinforce this character: Sciaccarellu, Niellucciu and Vermentino. The vineyards also cultivate the island’s history, and from their passion and craft we are able to harvest moments of great pleasure as we sample their produce. Prepare your taste buds!

The sommelier acts as your guide, delving through his memory in order to recall past sensations that can be brought forward once again in order to create a new adventure in colour, aroma and flavour, all combining in perfect unison. Wine tasting courses offer an invitation to share in these traditions. 

Hello Raphael, you are the President of the Corsican Association of Sommeliers, what advice can you give to someone who wishes to discover the wines of Corsica?

Corsica’s wines are a reflection of the island itself. They are eclectic. I would advise anyone to take a tour of the vineyards of Corsica and of the AOC wines so that they can appreciate the true subtlety and variety of our produce. There are wines to suit all tastes, from the more delicate to the most robust palette. There are dry and sweet wines, there are airy whites and more structured whites, there are Rosé Gris varieties and rosés more suited to gourmets, there are elegant reds and there are reds with more depth… 

Are the wine tasting courses suited to everyone? At what age can someone start to get involved? 

The Association des Sommeliers does not operate courses but rather organises « workshops » during shows and fairs. These workshops are open to anyone above 18 years of age, experts and novices alike. They also have different themes, such as beginners tasting sessions, sessions centred on a particular grape variety or terroir…

We are well aware that Corsica has an abundance of local produce, but can you give us an example? What wine accompanies what dish? 

The island’s gastronomy is as rich and varied as its wines. There are a multitude of possible pairings. Among these, in particular, I would pick out: 

  • A Vermentino (white) from Balagne (AOC Corse Calvi) with an entrée of fish or shellfish, or with an octopus salad.
  • A Sciaccarello Rosé (AOC Ajaccio) with a plate of charcuterie or a poultry terrine.
  • A Nielluccio Red (AOC Patrimonio) with a wild boar stew.
  • A Muscat from Cap Corse to accompany the local dish of Fiadone.

A successful pairing is one in which neither element overpowers the other, and relies on balance and harmony between the different flavours. 

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