Jean-Baptiste Gourvil shares with The Yum List what life is like being the brand ambassador for Martell cognac, and Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagne houses.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am a brand ambassador for Martell cognac, and Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagne houses. I’d say that my passion drove me into this industry. I always wanted to share my love for wine and spirits and Malaysia is a perfect place to do so.
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part is definitely meeting consumers. When you work in the headquarters in Paris, you never get to meet the local customers. In Malaysia, you have a chance to exchange with them, listen to their opinions, understand what drives them to consume champagne and cognac… And of course, share a few “yam seng” with them.
What’s your favourite drink of the brands you represent?
Definitely Martell Cordon Bleu. For me, it is a unique cognac, differentiated from all other super premium cognacs by its elegance, balance and complexity. It’s very different compared to the power and structure of other luxury cognacs. I also believe it is a great representation of the “French art de Vivre” and a perfect ambassador of the French culture abroad.
The perfect day off would be…
By the pool, sipping Martell cocktails and Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2008… with friends. The most important though is to spend time and enjoy the products with friends. In French, we have a keyword for that. It is called “convivialite.” It perfectly sums up the perfect day for me.
A day in the life of a brand ambassador is…
Exciting! You get to play with your brand and are free to build up the wildest projects. I love collaborating with chefs and all other kinds of artists… And there are so many opportunities in Kuala Lumpur. I meet people with exciting projects every day. That’s the best daily reward (with the delicious food and drinks of course).
What’s something you’d like guests to know about your brands?
I think I will never insist enough about the origins of champagne and cognac. They need to be made in France in their region of origin. This is what we call in French Appellation d’Origine Controlee (A.O.C). Works for all products of the French terroir (wine, cheese…). And this is key to guarantee the quality of the products.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Martell Cordon Bleu and seafood pairs very well. My favourite is definitely Martell Cordon Bleu with fresh oysters and a dash of lemon juice. I think this is due to my childhood by the sea. Oysters bring minerality and Martell a bit of power to this simple but very pleasant pairing.
What’s your view on the beverage industry in Malaysia?
I think Malaysians are looking for more and more knowledge when it comes to wine and spirits. Traditionally in Malaysia, cognac was consumed the “yam seng way.” Now I see people are getting more and more interested in learning how cognac is made, what are the key differences between cognac and Armagnac… It is always a pleasure for me to share my knowledge and passion with locals.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We’ve got plenty of exciting things coming up soon for Martell, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët. To state the most exciting ones, we’ll be having some Martell chocolate-making workshops, Martell art latte workshop and daring pairing dinners.