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Embark on A Wine Adventure with Mimi Giraud

Learn more about Mimi Giraud and her unique approach to wine tasting!

A Wine Adventure in Singapore, wine tasting has become an exhilarating experience thanks to Mimi Giraud’s unique approach. With her efforts to “desacralize” wine tasting, she has made it accessible to everyone by providing the necessary knowledge and attention to make it simple, enjoyable, and a true companion.

Get more details about our Conversation!

Good morning Mimi, could you start by introducing yourself?

Good morning, My name is Mireille Giraud but everybody calls me Mimi! I am originally from France but have lived on four different continents throughout my life. I have been residing in Singapore for the past decade, after previously living in Australia, the US, France, and the UK.

Aside from my day job managing a cloud consulting firm in ASEAN, I have a number of passions. These include wine, comic books, aviation, and astronomy. As a child, I even aspired to be an astronaut! My interest in wine has grown significantly in recent years, and I hold a WSET level 3 certification, which is one of the wine professional recognitions in the industry.

Five years ago and in lieu of a midlife crisis, I decided to go back to school. I attended INSEAD in Singapore, where I had an epiphany about wine education. I dreamt of building a startup centered around gamifying the wine-tasting experience. I wanted to do something unique with wine education and help people learn how to taste wine in a fun and engaging way.

What brought you to Singapore?

Would I dare say Love? I was initially drawn to Singapore during a business trip when I had the opportunity to explore the city and experience its unique culture. During my visit, I met my future husband, who was a resident of Singapore at the time. After returning to Australia, we maintained a long-distance relationship for two years, with frequent travel between Australia and Singapore. Eventually, we decided that it was time to take the next step and move in together. I left my job in Australia and moved to Singapore, where I found new employment. Since then, Singapore has become my home, and I have grown to love the vibrant culture, friendly people, and exciting opportunities that this city-state has to offer.

How did you come to create your company?

My family and friends had been urging me to start my own wine company for some time, possibly due to my persistent discussions about using the right glasses, opening bottles correctly, attending wine fairs and my general knowledge of wine. Despite having no formal wine education or industry background, I refined the idea while at INSEAD and even created an innovative wine bar concept for my final project. I later launched the INSEAD Wine Club to test the market and organized events with various wine industry stakeholders and companies including Annette Scarfe, MW, Vintage club, Cult Wines and Riedel.

After arranging successful seminars, events and classes, like Wine 101, I finally launched my company A Wine Adventure in December 2019 during an INSEAD alumni Wine fair. Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck soon after, forcing me to pivot and adjust my business model.

I established the Women of the Wine network and began buying organic, biodynamic, and natural wines, with a preference for those made by women winemakers as I’ve always been a strong diversity and inclusion advocate. In two weeks, I was up on the market and the business map, thanks to several partnerships with this beautiful network of women.

I also restarted my classes when restrictions in Singapore became more flexible, adding fun accessories and boardgames to make them more approachable and enjoyable. I built my business from scratch, with a logo designed by a Singapore artist and featuring a fox from Le Petit Prince by Saint Exupery.

My intention was to create a welcoming atmosphere for wine tasting and entice individuals to explore it further, similar to the way the little prince tames the fox. My slogan, “Tame your wine,” embodies the essence of my company, which is to make wine accessible, dispel any mystique surrounding it, and encourage enjoyment through learning.

Where do you find your inspiration for your interactive games?

I began my wine journey with the Winefulness class. Some find the systematic approach to wine tasting tedious like my Australian classmate, who typically prefers beer. So, I devised a way to teach visual, olfactory, and gustatory analysis and why each step is essential. For example, by asking participants to peel a grape and taste each element separately, they understand how the grape contributes to the wine’s overall flavor, color, and texture. The principle is similar to a police investigation, where clues are uncovered through guidance.

The Winexplorer class, on the other hand, focused more on exploring wine history and geography in the world. And the Bubbliness is of course focused on Champagne tasting playing around the exception of this delicacy which can break all usual rules.

The pinnacle of my wine education program is the Wine Cluedo class, a murder mystery game developed with SingExperience where two bottles of wine were found next to the body of the winemaker. Originally from France, the game was adapted to the Singaporean market with an app to answer questions and the wine education done by the game master. The wines are carefully chosen to match the intrigue, and participants must analyze them to determine the culprit from among four suspects, each with an alibi and motive. The game is inclusive, allowing the use of juices instead of alcohol, making it playable for people who can’t drink alcohol.

Overall, the goal of my experience is to teach people to pay attention to the wine they are drinking.
Mimi Giraud

What are the types of wines you like to work with today?

I distribute a total of 12 countries, each of which produces organic wines through sustainable farming methods. These wines are categorized based on the desired mood they evoke.

Some of the wines are either biodynamic or nature or sulfur free, and a few are made by women. It is worth noting that the wines made by women winemakers in my distribution are particularly noteworthy. Historically, the wine industry has been male dominated, making it challenging for women to break into the field. However, over the years, more women have entered the wine industry and have made significant contributions to the craft. By featuring wines made by women, I hope to showcase their talents and inspire others to support their work.

Is there something new you would like to explore concerning wine and interactive activities? What are your next steps personally and careerwise?

In the future, I would loooove to embark on a wine adventure across Asia and even own my own vineyard. However, on a more serious note, my current focus is on developing the corporate classes and customers. Wine tasting is an excellent tool for team building, teaching people about paying attention to wine and learning the business etiquette around it. This knowledge is crucial as it provides a topic of conversation during dinners as an ice breaker or when basic subjects have been exhausted and politics or personal matters are not appropriate. It is always good to be informed about wine and to be able to taste and appreciate it as well as pairing it with food.

Furthermore, I am currently working on a new class called Wine Tinder. This game involves teams of two pairing four different wines with four different cheeses. It is a great way to foster relationships between individuals or partners through exchanging and tasting. It is another way to address a new segment of customers: In Singapore, young people are always seeking new ways to meet, and WineTinder provides a fun and engaging platform for them to do so.

Would you like to add anything else?

As I continue to learn about wine, I am reminded that the more I know, the more I realize how much I have yet to learn. This humbling experience inspires me to keep growing and exploring this beautiful world that I am so passionate about. What brings me the greatest joy is being able to share my knowledge and love of wine with others, and to ignite that same passion within them.

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