Maia Gosselin, wine educator with pizzazz

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 8:30am

Maia Gosselin is an expert when it comes to wine.

Owner of the business, Sip Wine Education, Gosselin has over 15 years’ experience in the alcoholic beverage industry as an independent editor, writer, bartender, educator and consultant. She describes herself as “an educator and consultant who teaches people about wine.”

Calling herself a “Mass-Mainer,” Gosselin, who has family in Camden and Saco, divides her time between her home on the North Shore in Swampscott, a fourth generation family summer home in South Bristol, and her boyfriend Doug Chisolm’s home in Nobleboro.

Gosselin is managing editor for Massachusetts Beverage Business, a magazine that features beer, wine and spirits. She does a significant amount of her work in the Midcoast Maine area, and she’s a regular guest on the Channel 6 program, “207.”

The wine educator doesn't just pour wines for people to sample. She shares a wealth of knowledge about every wine she offers sips of.

She recently hosted a tasting at the Carriage House in East Boothbay, featuring seven different sparkling wines and Champagnes from around the world. Tasting notes were provided, along with a comprehensive crash course about each of the wines.

An accomplished public speaker, Gosselin makes learning about wines fun, easy, and less intimidating. Thanks to her training and experience with wines, Gosselin can put names to all those subtle little nuances in wines that others struggle to sense.

She describes differences between wines from different countries and particular regions, and the concept of terroir – the environment, soil, topography and climate in which grapes are grown – that helps determine the taste of the wine.

Gosselin got her start in the wine education business after getting together with some friends whose kids were attending pre-school with hers. “A bunch of mothers planned a fundraiser and we all drank quite a bit of wine during the process. I noticed the more I talked, the more they listened, so I threw out the idea to have a ‘no book book club.’” She’d bring the wine and glasses, and they’d bring cash. “It was super fun … no real business plan at the time but it quickly grew, as word of mouth spread. I have a knack for approachable education.”

A bartender for around 10 years, Gosselin started taking classes and attending conferences. “I have mentors who are some of the best in the world in their fields,” she said.

Six months later, she formed an LLC, but she stresses that she doesn’t sell alcohol. She also makes it clear she’s not trying to be a technical, formal teacher. “I want to get people comfortable with wine, open up the world to them, asking questions, trying new things.”

Sip Wine Education offers wine education to both small businesses and restaurants. Gosselin will teach managers and owners about wines, help to establish a wine list, and train bartenders and servers.

When Anya and Dick Reid started their business at The Thistle Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Gosselin was enlisted to educate them about wines. “Essentially they took over the restaurant with a huge wine list, that was overwhelming, and they wanted to change it up,” Gosselin said. “We cut it down in size, re-formatted, tasted with all the wine reps, sort of re-conceptualized things, and once the list was in play, I trained the staff.”

Anya said she and Dick were limited in their knowledge about wines when they started. “We knew The Thistle was previously known for having an extensive selection of great wines and we needed help ensuring that we present a well-rounded list to our guests.

“Maia was instrumental in helping us develop our current wine list, and educating us and our staff about wine in a really fun, easy-to-understand way. I now feel very confident about talking about wine and guiding our guests to a bottle that will suit their individual tastes and selecting wine that pairs well with our food.”

On Feb. 1, Gosselin was heading to Portland to shoot a special Valentine's Day segment of “207.” She stopped by Beelicious in Wiscasset to pick up two Mammy's Bakery cupcakes specially made for her and the segment, by Mammy’s owner Jessica Deshiro.

The segment will feature a lineup of six different wines, and wrap up with the comment that “Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without something delicious to eat with your wine.” It will air on Monday, Feb. 12.

Gosselin’s aim, as stated on the Sip Wine Education website, is to “demystify the world of wine by making it fun and accessible, one Sip at a time.”

“At the end of the day, wine should be fun,” she said. “Never stressful.”

Call 617-669-6934 or email for more information.