A passion for the finer things in life, notably Champagnes and Cognac, has brought Oumy Diaw to New York, where she is ambassador-at-large for the prestigious houses of Champagne Gosset and Cognac Frapin. The daughter of a prominent Senegalese physician, Oumy's first taste of fine wine came about as a young child, during visits to her maternal grandfather's home in Bordeaux. In later years, equipped with a degree in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Paris and an International Business Degree from the INSEEC business school, Oumy served her wine apprenticeship in the gourmet food and fine wines department of Galeries Lafayette, the leading French department store. Progress was swift and within 18 months she was designated a sommelier with the exclusive responsibility of selling Champagne. Soon after, Oumy was recruited by a boutique Champagne house, a prelude to her present appointment with Champagne Gosset and Cognac Frapin, which she joined in early 2004. In her role representing Gosset and Frapin, Oumy conducts numerous seminars and tastings and works closely with many of the country's foremost restaurateurs, sommeliers and fine wine stores.
Q & A for Oumy Diaw
Q: What's your favorite cheese?
A: Cheese from the seaside country.
Q: What's your favorite cheese-pairing?
A: Cheese and wine (Riesling, gewurtz, some nice red Bordeaux...).
Q: What's your favorite champagne type?
A: Very food wine-driven champagnes like Gosset which are full-bodied and perfectly balanced.
Q: What's your favorite non-champagne beverage?
A: Water :), Normandie Apple and pear cider.
Q: What's your favorite champagne-food pairing?
A: I love the idea of cheese with champagne. Very fancy like and healthy too. It's also unusual.
Q: How did you get involved in this business?
A: It wasn't planned at all. I met my first boss and mentor while shopping in a gourmet shop in Paris where he worked. And he hired that way.
Q: Any unusual ways that you like to enjoy champagne or cheese?
A: Champagne remains an ultimate in luxury for me. I like them poured in a Bordeaux or burgundy glassware, or I decant certain vintages and tete de cuvee. Spectacular. Cheese? I am working on it with Artisanal :)