The sommelière’s darling child

Published on July 6 2018

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Ever since she opened Soif – Wine Bar, people have been asking Véronique Rivest why she chose Gatineau as the location for her world-class establishment. The answer is simple: “Because it’s home.”

The sommelière’s big, beautiful baby

What does a typical day in the life of this professional sommelière look like? “There’s no such thing. There’s no routine!” she laughs. On a Wednesday morning I would have expected to be quiet, Véronique welcomes me to Soif – Wine Bar, the “headquarters” of all her activities. The place may be closed to the public at this hour, but everything is already running at top speed.

“Soif is my big baby! It’s worse than a child in terms of the attention it demands and the love it inspires!” Besides managing the business, Véronique continues to travel around the world to provide training, sit on juries and host events. After two months’ absence, she experiences “the bad mom guilt trip,” even though she’s blessed to be able to count on employees who have proven themselves as excellent babysitters.


Work– (and wine–) life balance

It’s all well and good to go globetrotting for the love of wine, but Véronique recognizes the importance of unpacking her bags and relaxing in her Outaouais countryside. With the exception of a seven-year stay abroad, the Hull native has spent her whole life in the region. “The days are long, but at least I get to go home every night.”

When she placed second at the world’s best sommelier competition in Tokyo in 2013, Véronique was keen to acknowledge the unconditional support of the local community. It was the associations, media and institutions of the Outaouais that allowed the sommelière to improve her skills over 15 years.

For her, Soif – Wine Bar is a way to give back to the community. When people leave the place with smiles on their faces, laughing and chatting, Véronique considers her evening a success. Her success rate is quite high, so go ahead and enjoy!

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