‘The perfect cheese and wine tasting. Geoffrey is fun, passionate and knowledgeable – the ideal host for the event.’ – Kay Dolan
One week before Covid struck, Geoffrey Nivard launched his own cheese and wine-tasting business. ‘Not the best timing,’ he recalls ruefully. However, undaunted, Geoffrey kept afloat by organising virtual tastings and delivering weekly cheese selections on his bicycle.
Today, after that very challenging start, Tasting with Nivard is flourishing, with Geoffrey in demand for both private and corporate tasting events at which he introduces and shares his passion for French cheeses and wines that are mostly unknown in the UK.
Geoffrey was born in the Loire into a family with strong food connections – his grandparents owned a charcuterie and his parents a restaurant. Initially, however, he came to London to study Architecture. ‘After a month, I knew it wasn’t for me,’ he says. ‘Then, by chance, I saw an ad for Androuet, the best French fromagerie. I learned so much there and, subsequently, I joined the cheesemonger, Paxton and Whitfield, where I managed accounts for the Royal Household, the Ritz and Claridges.’
Geoffrey offers his clients three event options. ‘I will host the tasting in their own home, at the office or, alternatively, people can attend one of the regular evenings I put on at restaurants and wine bars around London (details on the website). I can cater for any occasion, from birthday and hen parties to corporate meetings, and up to 100 guests.
‘I bring the cheese and wine with me and I pass on some of the “inside” knowledge that I’ve acquired, such as how to pair cheese and wine, and make sure that everyone is included and has a fun time.’
Geoffrey sells all his specialist products online – he keeps 60-70 cheeses with 15 changing every two months – and delivers to the door. ‘This year I’ll be offering festive hampers and gift vouchers,’ he adds. ‘And, I’m also taking bookings to join me on a Farm Trip to France to meet the makers in person and, of course, taste their wares.’
Tasting with Nivard