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The first woman to be named France’s best sommelier, Pascaline Lepeltier who recently represented France in what is considered to be the most challenging — and most prestigious — competition for sommeliers: the World’s Best Sommelier competition. A philosopher by training, Lepeltier, who exercises her art of wine pairing at New York restaurant Chambers is a symbolic figure of a wine world that is seeing women playing an increasingly important role.

The phenomenon is nothing new but it’s one that is attracting more mainstream attention. We got the low down from Jérôme Baudouin, editor of La Revue du Vin de France, whose first issue of the year presents a focus on the rise of women in the world of wine.

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