Sommelier Patrick Grieve Gives the Lowdown on the World of Wine

Every evening, Patrick Grieve, our sommelier, shares his expertise with the clients at Bistro 4 Saisons. He is very knowledgeable about grape growing regions around the globe and can explain the many different varietals to our customers—all the better to suggest what wine would best appeal to their palates!

Here’s the lowdown from the man himself.

Patrick Grieve

How did you become a sommelier?

I was a sales representative for 10 years during which time I travelled all over the United States. I visited 48 states and stayed in a lot of hotels and ate in lots of restaurants! I love good food… and wine.

At one point, I got fed up with being a “nomad”, so I started looking for a more stable way of life. That led me to a job as maître d’hôtel at Manoir Hovey. I had no background in the hospitality trade but alongside that job, I took courses on how to become a sommelier. I ended up staying at Manoir Hovey for 16 years, working my way up from being the Maître D to becoming the sommelier. Our wine list was 34 pages long, so, as you can imagine, I sampled many excellent wines!

How do you determine what a customer might like to drink?

First of all, it’s important to find out what they like. I can certainly suggest something but that has to be based on the customer’s preference i.e. a white, a red, a sparkling wine, a rosé and so on. Then you have to choose the right wine to match what the customer is eating. Food and wine pairing is the most important thing, and that’s what I specialize in!


How often do you change the Bistro’s wine list?

We go through our cellar supplies fairly quickly, and I get new orders every week. The majority of our wines are privately imported—vintages that can’t be found at the SAQ. I work closely with agents who introduce me to new blends and new producers, and they encourage me to taste all kinds of fine products. I choose some to add to my wine list, then introduce them to my customers.

Which wines are the most popular with the Bistro 4 Saisons clients?

Even though we offer a wide range, French and Italian wines are still the most popular. Very traditional. Classic. Always good!

What’s your opinion of Quebec wines?

We’re doing some interesting things with hybrid and native grape varietals. The Quebec whites are very good and so are the sparkling wines. It’s a pity Quebecers tend to drink sparkling wines only on special occasions when offering a toast. My own opinion is that we should drink them on any occasion!

Service de vin

Rapid-fire questions

What Quebec products do you always keep in your wine cellar?
Wines from Le Cep d’Argent vineyard, as well as ice wines and ice ciders.

What are your own favourite wines?
A white Burgundy from Meursault.

Your favourite grape variety?

Your favourite wine region?
Bordeaux and Côte du Rhône.

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