I’ll Drink to That: Sommelier Marie Vayron of Le Bernardin

Episode 384 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently and features Marie Vayron, who grew up at Château Bourgneuf in Pomerol, owned by her family, and today is a sommelier at Le Bernardin Restaurant in Manhattan.

Marie Vayron grew up among the vineyard rows of Bordeaux’s Pomerol area in the 1980s, which she describes as a quiet, insular world where everyone knew everybody and there was a lot of anxiety about the weather. She left the family property as soon as she could, heading first to school, and then to work. But you get the sense in this interview that along the way she was searching for what she left behind, and she moves from one position to another, successful but unsatisfied. While she may have found Pomerol too small and boring as a child, as an adult living in New York she misses what she had known there. She gets closer to her family’s interest (and her own) by pursuing wine as a sommelier, and she recently took a trip to Pomerol to drink a lot of Bordeaux wine with her mother. But it isn’t all about a lost idyll. She also has enjoyed the immense amount of exposure to other cultures and (of course) other wines that working Manhattan brings. Able to describe a situation or a place in terms of its fundamental feeling, Marie is a revealing guide as she compares the changing scenery around her. The contrast between Paris sommeliers and New York ones? Marie knows the difference. The difference between childhood and adulthood? She knows the answer to that one now too.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine.