Since March 1, 2021, Belgian top sommeliers Benoît Couderé and Dries Corneillie have joined forces and set up a new wine business, under the resounding name 'Santé'. In recent years, Benoît and Dries had their own wine business as a secondary profession (Vins de Benoît and D.VINUM respectively) and are now joining forces to form a larger and more professional whole.
By bringing their wine shops together, both wine lords stand for better service, an optimal price/quality ratio and a maximum range of wines from their own import.
Santé Wines is a dynamic and innovative wine trade that dares to leave the classic paths. The top priority in selecting the wines is the search for authentic products that are balanced and typical of their grape and region. Boundless respect for people and nature are of prime importance. Many wines are certified organic, because Santé Wines attaches great importance to sustainability. That is why Dries and Benoît are constantly looking for winegrowers who pay attention to this.
When it comes to wine, Benoît and Dries are not up to scratch, Benoît worked as a chef sommelier in top establishments such as Le Bistrot d'Eygalières** and De Karmeliet*** and became Best Sommelier of Belgium in 2015. In recent years, Benoît has worked in the management of a large retail group, gaining immense experience in the wine trade.
Dries worked, among other things, as head sommelier in Hertog Jan*** and now still in De Jonkman**. Dries became 2 nd Best Sommelier of Belgium last year and won the Ruinart Trophy.
Benoît: “Dries and I have worked for years at the highest level of Belgian gastronomy and know better than anyone how the wine world works. When we put together our years of experience, we arrive at more than 35 years of unique experience in the wine business. By doing wine import and trade ourselves , we are closer to both the producer and our end customer!”
Experience and advice
Thanks to the many years of experience of Dries & Benoît, providing targeted and correct advice comes first. Also via the online webshop santewines.be the starting point is 'to present the correct wine to the customer in the simplest possible way'. In addition to simply 'choosing and buying', we also respond to discovering and experiencing wine. The wine subscriptions provide monthly - delivered at home - surprises for everyone's budget. For example, you already have 2 bottles of wine for less than 30 euros, delivered at home, with information from the sommeliers, appropriate in the season and with the dishes of that season.
There is also a complete 'Food & Wine' section on the site, where visitors are presented with the right wine based on their dish.
As contemporary sommeliers in heart and soul, these crisp wine merchants put their rich experience at the service of modern consumers and fellow sommeliers.
That is why they empathize with the modern wine lover. Accents such as vegan, organic, healthy, short chain, locally produced and CO2 free are also very topical in the wine world. Dries and Benoît translated these social accents into their portfolio. Dries: ”Our own preference is unimportant, the preference of our customers is our concern and deserves our total attention. We take this strength from our sommelier world with us in Santé Wines.” As a result, the gentlemen also want to assist restaurateurs in compiling their wine list and the link to their menu, but also stock management and the right price setting. With this service package, Dries and Benoît occupy a unique position on the large wine trade market.
Doing business in a crisis
The two gentlemen often got the comment whether it was a good idea to start right now, during a crisis. “Starting a new company in an uncertain period does entail some risks.”, is often said
Dries: “Due to the crisis, all restaurants are closed and I had an empty agenda since mid-October and I was no longer able to perform my full-time job as a sommelier. Such a sudden emptiness provides oxygen in the head and that gave our plans an immense acceleration. We have made positive use of the free time imposed by the crisis and are therefore more prepared for today than we ever envisioned. Of course we hope that the catering sector can get back to work soon!"
Santé Wines wants to organize various events in the future so that wine lovers can come and taste and discover their wines. It is not yet possible to say when this will be concrete due to the uncertain situation due to COVID19.
Santé Wines will not have a physical store for the time being. The online webshop will be started with home delivery from 12 bottles or EUR 100.