Joanie Metivier’s career started with a passion for wine, one that soon became rather irrational. Now a sommelier, wine writer and the first women to acquire her Whisky Ambassador title in Quebec, Joanie accumulated the accreditations including Certified CMS, WSET level 3 with distinction and ISG all while managing her personal blog dedicated to wine education and discoveries, becoming one of the biggest wine influencers in Canada. Her sommelier position at the Cellier du Roi and its complex and well diversified wine list has been rewarded by the Wine Spectator for two consecutive years. She may be the youngest Wine writer in Quebec, but her adventures and knowledge are rich and esteemed.
My first job ever was… so much fun. I was a clerk in an ice cream stand. It was thrilling to see all the little kids happy faces but even funnier to try every possible combinations. What can I say, I’ve always been curious.
I chose my career path because… I wanted to. After trying out various different fields, I would always come back at the end of the day to enjoy a glass of wine and it was fascinating. I wanted my career to be based around something I would never be tired of.
My proudest accomplishment is… the passionate wine lovers and wine experts community that I’ve built, especially around Winetourismmag.com. Joining so many people together towards a shared passion is truly rewarding.
My boldest move to date was… I completely forced my way to my sommelier position. Le Cellier du Roi restaurant was my first, and only, choice but there was no sommelier position at all. Neither did they even consider having one. I used my contacts, reached out and eventually proved them they couldn’t live without me, or at least, didn’t want to.
I surprise people when I tell them… literally anything that I’ve done! As a 27 year-old female, it feels like people expect very little of me. I’ll admit, I enjoy seeing their surprised faces.
“Just kick the door! Take actions, and don’t ever worry about your image or what people will think of you.”
My best advice to people starting their career is… It may sound like a common answer, yet I cannot stress this enough: just kick the door! Take actions, and don’t ever worry about your image or what people will think of you. There will always be individuals trying to get in your way, maybe even people that you once admired, but don’t let them impress you. To quote the very inspiring Casey Neistat: “The haters, the doubters are all drinking champagne in the top deck of the Titanic and we are the freaking Iceberg!”
My best advice from a mentor was… My first mentor bestowed a great care and importance to small things and small details in life. He also showed me to take coffee seriously. Not because it’s something that you need in your life, but because it’s something you enjoy.
I would tell my 20-year old self… to believe in my capacities and to stop doubting. Very soon you’ll be dealing with so much stuff you won’t have the time to overthink that much.
My biggest setback was… As I wine journalist, I was surprised by the dying “paper” media industry. Finding contracts, at least paying ones, was almost impossible.
I overcame it by… I strongly believe nothing can save this industry at this point. I’ve turned around and concentrated my efforts for online magazines and I even started my own, Wine Tourism Mag, with the help of precious and overly talented collaborators.
If I had an extra hour in the day, I would… spend it with my kids.
The last book I read was… No big surprises here, it was wine related: Chroniques de la Vigne by Fred Bernard
I stay inspired by… I have the huge chance and honour to meet the greatest and most inspiring members of the wine industry throughout the world: winemakers, famous estate directors, acclaimed sommeliers and driven brand ambassadors. Their passion and their vision is the most inspiring thing in the world.
The future excites me because… I have absolutely no Idea what lies before me. It will be a surprise, I hope a good one. I know there’s a very fast progression which fills me with hope and pride.
My next step is… I’ve been working for a long time on a book project: HOW TO PASS YOUR SOMMELIER EXAM. It’s dedicated to anyone interested about wine, on different levels to give them the boost of knowledge and confidence they may need. It’s almost done now!