MICHEL THIBAULT When I was a child, in the French Alps, my parents owned and managed hotels that also featured restaurants and bars. Part of my job, at 9-years old, was to help my Mom serve customers their coffee and wine. In those days, wine was not described by its appellation, merely by its alcohol content. Most clients would say: “Young man, serve a tall 11%, or a small glass of 12%.”
Just like the alcohol in wine – these days, more like 13.5 to 14% – my interest in these products increased. After moving to the US as a young adult, I began working in restaurants and had the duties of wine stewardship delegated to me. I relished those experiences and started to read all I could about winemaking, terroir and the art of sampling. Along the way, I discovered the pleasures of wine. From La Bella Fontana and Ma Maison in Los Angeles, to Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, and later Criolla’s in Grayton Beach, Florida, all those stopping points taught me another facet of wine appreciation.
At one point, I owned a wine shop in Louisiana and was longing to get back into retail. Wine World, a fabulous retail organization based in Destin, Florida, provided me with that opportunity. There, I was able to better understand the different styles of wine and how they associate to the people who create them and craft them. Having managed Wine World’s online wine business for many years and learning the Bordeaux futures trade, it was a natural for me to throw myself into the internet world of Fine Wine sales.
Luckily, the relationships that I have established over the years with customers and producers alike, and the confidence entrusted in me by my clients, have provided me with the impetus to be successful. My commitment is to my customers, my friends.