It all starts with that first taste

Ask a Wine Advisor: Laura Kamel

Personalities  /  Mar 1  /  BY Pauline Beaupré

Ask a Wine Advisor: Laura Kamel

by Pauline Beaupré

Laura grew up in France vacationing in vineyards with her wine-loving family. In a previous life as a lawyer in the wine sector, she traveled to the vineyards of Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Argentina, Chile and Lebanon. Hearing winemakers' stories firsthand and tasting their wines made her want to share that experience by taking others on a journey through wine education.

You started your career as a lawyer in the wine sector. Did the job get you into wine or did you already know you wanted to specialize?

Before my law studies, I was already passionate about wine. I knew I wanted to specialize in wine during my first year of law school.

What made you decide to transition to a wine advisor role?

I really wanted to be in contact more with the product in my daily work and feel closer to it. Working as a lawyer was an amazing experience, but at some point I realized I was missing something, which was sharing my passion.

What’s your advice to someone who’s thinking about changing careers for professional pursuits in wine?

If you have an opportunity, go for it. Otherwise, you should create the opportunity and start learning with our experiences on VIVANT.

You have traveled to many well-known wine regions and others with less appeal on the international market. What’s your most memorable discovery and why?

For me, discovering a wine region is wonderful, but also the person behind the wines. I will always remember Mendoza in Argentina. I had a glass of incredible Malbec with the winemaker of one of the most impressive estates in the region while he shared some of the best-kept secrets of making wine at more than 1000 meters in altitude. It was my most memorable wine moment.

How did you learn about sustainable wine? And what did you think at the time?

I discovered sustainable wine in the Jura region of France, the cradle of biodynamic viticulture and natural wines and where I live half the year. Winemakers there have strong convictions about biodynamics and have used these sustainable wine methods for more than 40 years. They are very persuasive when they share their stories, and I have learned so much from them.

If you could change one thing about the evolution of the wine world right now, what would it be?

I would like to make it more accessible for everyone in the world. Wine can be really intimidating, but it absolutely shouldn’t be. Wine is for everyone (of drinking age, of course). That’s what we try to do at VIVANT. Demystify the world of wine and bring it back to what it’s all about: enjoying.

If you had to choose a wine that best represents you, what would it be and why?

A Ploussard, a Jura grape variety. It’s a bit shy at first, but after a few minutes it shows a strong character and well-defined profile.

What’s your go-to wine for a Friday night?

For a perfect Friday night, friends come to my house after I cook the whole day and spend the entire week planning the wine. The wine list would look something like: 

  • Crémant for aperitif and small talk
  • Chenin Blanc for the starter as conversation gets deeper
  • Trousseau from the Jura with the main course and energetic debate
  • For dessert, a refreshing beer with dancing to 80s music

Are you Curious by Nature?

Definitely, and not only about wine! But my favorite vacations and weekends will always be discovering wine regions and meeting winemakers.

Follow Laura on her profile page to see her favorite wines and to save your spot in an upcoming Live Experience with her.

Pauline Beaupré

Pauline Beaupré


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