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Wine Women on Radio Misfits
82 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Wine Women – Kari Auringer, Silver Trident Winery
Kari Auringer, winemaker at Silver Trident Winery, reminded us why we loooooooove recording our shows in-person. It was just so much fun to visit with Kari at the Silver Trident Tasting Home in Yountville, California. It would not have been the same recorded long-distance. Getting to see reactions to the wine, share ideas, and kibbitz in the same room made all the difference! Not only is the home decorated beautifully by Trevor R. Howells, exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home décor, but you can buy all the goods in the home as well, from the drapes on the windows to the plush, leather seats you sink into while enjoying the wine. The atmosphere made it so enjoyable to relax and talk with Kari about her journey into a career in wine. A Madison, Wisconsin, native, Kari never anticipated a career in wine. She was going to be an artist! (And she did follow that career path for a while.) But then came wine… The wine bug bit during one very memorable wine and food pairing experience and Kari was hooked. (And we are the luckier for it, as her wines at Silver Trident are special.) We began by tasting her 2018 Silver Trident Apollo’s Folly, Rosé of Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast. Fruit-forward but light as can be, the rosé reflected a beautiful pink salmon color and floral aromas on the nose. Refreshing and crisp, the hosts were immediately enamored as Kari walked us through the accompanying Perfect Pairing and (wait for it…) Potato Chip Extravaganza! That’s right: This was our first ever wine and potato chip pairing experience. In fact, we don’t know of another winery offering this type of pairing (although many are familiar with pairing potato chips with all manner of sparkling wines). And these aren’t just any grocery store chips! These are curated, artisanal potato chips. Try it! Silver Trident’s name is a tribute to the owners’ long-standing affiliation with cruise ships. Bob Binder is the founder of Silver Trident Winery and the co-founder of Oceania Cruises, a luxury cruise line which has partnered on projects with the Wine Spectator, Lalique and Bon Appetit Magazine. The winery’s co-founder is Swiss-born Walter Jost, an accomplished advertising and media executive. The afternoon wore on with much laughter, story telling, and (of course) several more Silver Trident wines tasted. The 2018 Symphony No. 9, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, was lovely with aromas of pineapple and tropical fruit. It had an interesting, lovely mix of crisp acidity integrated with a certain creamy roundness. This paired beautifully with the Labneh Goat Cheese with Preserved Lemon and Herbnc canape. Then we moved into the reds: All were delicious, well-balanced, and had finishes that drifted on and on. These included the Benevolent Dictator Pinot Noir from the Russian River appellation (one of Kari’s favorite projects to work on); Playing with Fire, Napa Valley Red Blend (which appeared destined to go with a huge variety of foods), a refreshing blend of Malbec and Cabs (Sauvignon and Franc); and the Twenty-Seven Fathoms, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. You’ll have to tune in to hear the story behind the “Twenty-Seven Fathoms” naming of this rich Cabernet… When asked about what she sees as the biggest challenges going forward, Kari’s immediate response was “climate.” She isn’t the first winemaker to identify the quickly evolving climate patterns as a significant factor in the inevitable changes coming to Napa Valley and beyond. We touched on this point more than once as Kari emphasized her careful review of source vineyards throughout the state before choosing specific ones for the fruit profiles she was seeking out for different wines in the Silver Trident portfolio. Silver Trident has a vibrant wine club (The Flagship Club), which Kari told us holds THE BEST events throughout the year. And if the heavy traffic visiting the Tasting Home while we were there is any indicator, she wasn’t fibbing! (Members even get discounts on the Ralph Lauren Home décor! The wines! The décor! The potato chips! All made for a “perfect pairing”–but it was the company we kept, getting to meet Kari in person, and see the hosts in person, that made this show particularly memorable. Learn more at: https://www.silvertridentwinery.com/ The post Wine Women – Kari Auringer, Silver Trident Winery appeared first on Radio Misfits.
59 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Wine Women – Alexi Cashen, Elenteny Imports
Alexi Cashen has had her work cut out for her these past couple of years. Between the stuck container ship in the Suez Canal, the pandemic, and the effects of the tariffs on European luxury goods (including wine), it’s all wreaked havoc on the freight forwarding and global shipping industries. As co-founder of Elenteny Imports, launched in 2010 and headquartered out of New York, Alexi hasn’t backed away from a wide array of business challenges. In fact, she greets them with gusto! We were delighted to speak with Alexi to learn about her essential role in moving wine and spirits from one side of the planet to another in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. Alexi received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. And with her strong entrepreneurial drive and business development interests, she landed in wine sales in New York, eventually serving in several positions as sales manager. But it was logistics that drew her to the lesser-known back end of the alcoholic beverages industry. She thrived on helping clients navigate the complex world of importing, freight forwarding, compliance and managing the logistics of getting wine from here to there. Thus, Elenteny Imports was born, with her co-founder, freeing up her clients to do what they do best: source, introduce and sell those wines to new markets across the globe. Tune in to the show to learn about this complex side of the wine business along with hosts what makes Elenteny different from most freight consolidators and other distribution service providers. We talked at length about what skills are needed to be successful in freight forwarding and logistics. She also told us about what types of alcohol businesses can benefit from their services at Elenteny. Alexi had success stories about clients who have grown their business while working with Elenteny. But as a highly driven entrepreneur, it was no surprise to learn Alexi has a new business nearing launch, St. Hilde’s Botonica, featuring Spiked Tincture Tonics. (Watch for its launch this summer!) And she has her own podcast, filled with fascinating guests in and out of the wine business. Learn more on this episode of the Wine Women Radio Hour! Alexi Cashen Podcast: https://alexicashen.com/podcast-list The post Wine Women – Alexi Cashen, Elenteny Imports appeared first on Radio Misfits.
67 minutes | May 21, 2021
Wine Women – Lisa Strid, Aridus Winery
Lisa Strid is nearing her 5th year anniversary as the winemaker at Aridus Winery in Willcox, Arizona. Although she is a Wyoming native (with no vineyards anywhere near her home), she fell in love with wine while working alongside her uncle on his small vineyard and winery in western Washington. Play the show to learn about Aridus’ estate wines, grown above 5,000 feet in elevation in southeast Arizona. We were fascinated to learn about the similarities and differences in growing conditions, harvesting and wine making in Arizona. (They get monsoon rains during harvest season!) To plant their vineyard, they had to use a jackhammer and auger, not exactly standard vineyard planting equipment here in Northern California! Lisa Strid previously worked on the Specialty Winemaking team at E&J Gallo. After nearly two years she transitioned to the role of Research Winemaker, where she focused on innovative equipment use, new technology validation trials and the exploration of process-driven changes to target different wine styles. Having an eye on desert wine growing while working at Gallo, she visited the area to find out how the quality of wines were developing in Arizona. When she saw the listing for the winemaking position at Aridus, she leaped at the opportunity. At Aridus, Lisa directs not only the production of their wines but also is responsible for the winery’s custom crush operation, where growers bring their grapes from throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and California. The renovated former apple warehouse, just outside the town of Willcox, is where she diversifies her winemaking expertise according to the variables of the desert terroir of the Southwest and beyond. Aridus produces more than a dozen wines, both white and reds. While many of their wines’ grapes have been sourced from vineyards in the area and via relationships Lisa has personally established, she is also closely involved with the winery’s 40-acre estate vineyard in Pearce, Arizona. It lies along Turkey Creek, perched at 5,200 foot elevation, which is currently planted both to white and red wine varietals. Aridus, which derives its name from the Latin word meaning dry or arid, pronounced air-i-dus, was founded by Scott and Joan Dahmer in 2012 and today the winery has two tasting rooms, one near the winery in Willcox, Arizona, and the other in old town Scottsdale, Arizona. During the show we sampled Aridus’ inaugural vintage of their white blend: 2017 Aridus Field Blend, made from Sauvignon Blanc, Malvasia Bianca and Viognier, clocking in at an astonishingly low 11% ABV (very impressive). This refreshing white blend makes an easy quaffer. It’s elegant, with crisp acidity that will maintain the wine’s structure for some time. Lots of citrus notes but also tropical aromas. Each of the hosts also received various Aridus red wines to sample, including the 2018 Graciano, which had lots of dark fruit flavors, from dark cherry, to blackberry, plum and more. Its strong acidity will ensure lengthy aging. This is a BIG wine. Misty was enjoying the Aridus 2018 Syrah, and Lisa tasted the Aridus 2018 Mourvedre. Both loved their richness and unique characteristics. These are well-structured wines, with loads of flavor to pair with a wide variety of food dishes. Listen to the show to learn about this up and coming wine region, Aridus’ elegant desert wines and Lisa Strid’s journey to leading the winemaking efforts in this newer U.S. wine region. https://www.ariduswineco.com/ Scottsdale Tasting Room | 7173 E. Main Street | Scottsdale, AZ 85251 | 520 954-2676 Willcox Tasting Room | 145 N. Railview Ave. | Willcox, AZ 85643 | 520 766-9463 The post Wine Women – Lisa Strid, Aridus Winery appeared first on Radio Misfits.
71 minutes | May 14, 2021
Wine Women – Tawnya Falkner, Le Grand Courtage
Tawnya Falkner’s wine career went from zero to 200 m.p.h. in relative short order. Educated at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and previously having co-founded two, still successfully operating firms, Strategic Development Solutions and Domus Development, Tawnya found initial success in real estate development and architecture. But her passion for food, wine and travel sent her on a journey to France after seeing a gap in the sparkling wine category related to price, palate and packaging. There she launched her dream in the wine business, Le Grand Courtâge. In just a few short years, it’s now distributed in 44 states. Le Grand Courtâge’s portfolio consists of a French Blanc de Blanc and a Brut Rosé, which have been poured on Virgin America Airlines. The wines are currently featured by Holland America Cruise Lines, MGM Resorts and T-Mobile Stadium in Las Vegas, and California Pizza Kitchen, World Market and Kimpton Hotels nationally. (Not a bad start in the wine business!) Le Grand Courtâge wines have appeared on The Today Show, Access Hollywood, Check Please! Bay Area and Fox News, as well as in Martha Stewart, People, Vogue, The Knot, Domino, Architectural Digest, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post and AOL.com. During our show while tasting these wines, we asked Tawnya about her keys to success in the wine industry. Her take? It requires a combination of art, science, strategy and relationships. Tawnya saw clear parallels between her previous career as a real estate developer with becoming a vintner: Find a niche that no one else has filled. Have a clear and decisive vision. Know your numbers! Secure key accounts before going after smaller accounts. The impressive list went on and on… Tawnya unflinchingly divulged some of her essential strategies: She learned she couldn’t get her foot in the door in some markets without a still wine in her portfolio. Hence, her Très Chic Rosé was born of necessity (and it’s delicious)! Other strategies she learned by understanding supply and demand. The world of sparkling wine can hinge upon a balance of inventory between Splits and 750ml bottles that the still wine industry doesn’t face as a demand issue. And from an audience-appeal point of view, Splits are terrific for picnics and other solo drinking events for success. Tawnya sees food and wine as the common denominator that brings people together for great conversation and laughter, epitomizing the human connection. Her vision was to create an affordable luxury which embodied the French spirit of joie de vivre (joy of life) and elevated life’s everyday moments. While life as a vintner may seem a far cry from her previous experience as a policy strategist and consultant for government agencies, corporations and nonprofit groups, it was those experiences that made navigating complex regulatory requirements, balancing financial realities, and implementing a vision that addressed market opportunity so successful in a short amount of time. Tune in to hear all about Tawnya’s Great Big Adventure in Sparkling Wine and to hear the hosts reflections on tasting these wines. We expect to see Tawnya’s wine continue to grow considerably in market share, bringing her dream of LIVE JOYOUSLY to more and more wine drinkers. Le Grand Courtâge is proudly operated by an all-female team. The brand often partners with women-owned brands and non-profit organizations that benefit women. Website Le Grand Courtage | Instagram @LeGrandCourtage and @TresChicRose The post Wine Women – Tawnya Falkner, Le Grand Courtage appeared first on Radio Misfits.
74 minutes | May 7, 2021
Wine Women – Jordan Kivelstadt
“New” was the buzz word for our show with Kivelstadt Cellars’ proprietor and “Wayward Son,” Jordan Kivelstadt. Getting back to in-person shows felt new to the hosts (as it had been more than a year since the last in-person show). Getting to enjoy Kivelstadt’s new California wines and first-ever winegarten in Sonoma was a treat. And, of course, Jordan thrives on entrepreneurial innovation of anything new for the wine business and enhancing consumer engagement. Jordan was trained as an engineer at Tufts University before moving on to management consulting for more than two years. Then, after a stint as production manager for The Donum Estate, he made wine in four countries and eventually founded his own bottle brand, Kivelstadt Cellars. As if the pace wasn’t fast enough, Jordan managed his family’s organic 10-acre Sonoma County, California vineyard; co-founded Free Flow Wines, the pioneer of premium wine on tap; and continued to serve on numerous boards of local government and non-profit organizations. We were sure he never slept! Back to the beginning: In the last 10+ years, we watched Kivelstadt grow from a mere few hundred cases to around 8,000 today. Wine Women even held an event several years ago in their old tasting room in Glen Ellen. But knowing expansion was a must, Jordan made the leap to a much larger hospitality facility last year…just in time for the pandemic to hit and shut everything down. (Ugh!) Kivelstadt Cellars, however, has a huge advantage over many, much smaller producers: their enormous garden shaded by ancient trees. It provided the needed COVID-19 social distancing space for guests. With well over a dozen wines to taste and buy, visitors and club members all can try something new with each visit. (In fact, guests can even select some non-Kivelstadt wines during special tasting experiences.) Even guests’ dogs can try something new with a wee dog menu available side-by-side with the human brunch and lunch menus. (Co-host Lisa Adams Walter was admiring the Brulee Grapefruit on the menu!) Oh, and the kids? Steer them to the wee playground in the garden to entertain themselves. There’s something for everyone here, including beer on tap and a few cocktails. Tune in to hear about the wines tasted during the show. They range from experiments, under his KC Labs label, to more “prime time” endeavors that have proven solid winners in the Kivelstadt lineup for several years. Kivelstadt’s wines are all organic; sustainability is a core tenet for all of Jordan’s endeavors. When asked what type of consumers would best like Kivelstadt wines, Jordan told a wonderful story to the hosts about a hard-to-please guest that will resonate with many a hospitality professional: It took time and gentle probing to discover the customer’s preferred flavor profile. But he did succeed and impressed him, proving the appeal of the Kivelstadt portfolio to many different wine drinkers. Ever the innovator, we had to ask the direction of Free Flow Wines, the company he co-founded more than a decade ago to bring wine into kegs. Jordan’s now stepped back to a board role with the firm, but between the rebound beginning as the pandemic recedes and the acceleration by which canned wine consumption are growing, he sees nothing but great growth ahead for this innovative company. After all, if you can dramatically reduce consumption of packaging materials (more than two cases of wine can be stored in a keg, eliminating bottle glass, capsules, labels, and cardboard casing…), and by recycling the original container (as is done with kegs) you’re moving towards net zero waste in a big way. This is a huge win for the wine industry and the planet. Where is it all headed? You’ll have to listen in to hear this entrepreneur’s predictions for the future of Kivelstadt Cellars, Free Flow Wines and the wine industry at large. Right now we’re betting on Jordan Kivelstadt taking it all in the right direction. Listen in to find out. We recommend making reservations to visit Kivelstadt Cellars’ winegarten for brunch, lunch or a wine tasting experience. Be sure to bring Fido, the kids and your friends. And be sure to follow them on social media! Kivelstadt Cellars | 707.938.7001 | 22900 Broadway, Sonoma, California | @Kivelstadtcellars Free Flow Wines | @Freeflowwines The post Wine Women – Jordan Kivelstadt appeared first on Radio Misfits.
94 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Wine Women – Alison Kilmer, Wine Country 2.0
Food and wine pairings are a staple of wine country experiences and the home table. What if you felt left out of those choices? Wine Country 2.0 is all about bridging that gap. Most wineries would prefer not to turn away potential buyers and club members. As the world turns to greater sustainability and greater care of the planet, more and more people are looking for wine products and experiences that reflect that sensibility. While the majority of consumers may say there are no substitutes for animal-based cheese and charcuterie pairings with wine, they would be mistaken! Alison Kilmer, champion of Wine Country 2.0, founder and CEO of Uppercase Tea, and long-time vegan, gave the hosts an eye-opening experience of the vegan kind during the show. Not only were we thrilled to taste the delicious pairings she provided, but they were all plant-based. Vegan cheese and charcuterie have come a long, long way from basic Tofu and baloney! Alison recounted her own experience of touring wineries when she first moved to wine country a decade ago and was disappointed to find she couldn’t partake of most of the offered tasting experiences, as none had vegan options. It became her mission to help wineries discover the benefits of adding vegan experiences to their offerings. Besides the obvious benefit of reducing animal-based food dependence, vegan offerings are healthier for humans and the planet overall. They increase sustainability, reduce our carbon footprint, are more compassionate towards animal life, and are far more easily digested by the human microbiome than animal-based foods. Alison began by taking us through a food and wine tasting paired with Miyoko’s Creamery plant-based cheeses. We couldn’t stop raving about the flavors, aromatics and seamless wine pairings. Miyoko Shinner invented the category of artisan vegan cheese. Now she’s on a mission to revolutionize the entire dairy industry. Her product line includes Vegan Butter, Cultured Vegan Farmhouse Cheddar & Pepper Jack, Organic Cashew Milk Artisan Cheese Wheels (available in 8 flavors, made from cashew milk), Vegan Cream Cheese, Vegan Mozzarella, and Vegan Roadhouse Spread. Adding to their elegance is practicality: You can cook and bake with them, and they even freeze well! Some of the pairings Alison recommended are Three Sticks’ Chardonnay with Miyoko’s Herbes de Provence Cheese Wheel, Miyoko’s Aged English Smokehouse Cheese with any of the Petaluma Gap-based Pinot Noirs, and Gordenker Rose of Pinot Noir with Miyoko’s Double Cream Classic Chive Cheese. In fact, Alison lives on Moon Mountain in Sonoma and highly recommends Miyoko’s Aged Black Ash Cheese Wheel with Moon Mountain wines, including Repris’ and Gordenker’s Cabernets. The hosts tested several of these cheeses and found them incredibly aromatic and flavorful. Alison’s comment to our reactions was that plant-based cheeses often pair better than cow’s milk-based cheeses because the animal-based cheese often coats the mouth, inhibiting all wine flavors from being detected by taste buds. On the charcuterie side, we were once again blown away by the rich flavors in Renegade Foods’ portfolio of plant-based salamis: The Sweet Toscana offers notes of sweet Italian herbs and roasted red pepper. The Spicy Chorizo has lots of spices, paprika, garlic and more. (It would be fantastic on pizza!) Their Smoky Soppressata, offering Calabrian-style flavors, truly came across like it was fresh from the smoke house! As our conversation evolved, we found ourselves stacking up wedges of Miyoko’s cheeses on top of the charcuterie for even more complex flavors. Clearly the charcuterie could pair with a number of wines, from sauvingnon blancs to petite verdots. But what of vegan wines? Wine is made from grapes, so surely it is vegan! Alas, no. Not necessarily. There may be animal-based ingredients in fertilizers used during farming, and in making the wine, isinglass (from fish bladder,) gelatin, egg whites, and sea shells, may also be used. These products grab onto the impurities and make it easier to catch them in the filtering of finished wine. But there are plant-based products for this purpose on the market many wineries use… Alison recommends Barnivore.com is a great place to find out if your favorite beer, wine or spirits are solely plant-based. There’s also a Vegan Wines, a vegan wine club, and if interested, you can partake of a vegan wines-only tour through La Belle Vie Wine Tours, which also provides delightful detour to Charlie’s Acres, a local farm sanctuary in Sonoma. One other common thread between all these vegan-based products and services on the show? All are helmed by women! (Not that women have a corner on vegan businesses – just sayin’: Isn’t it interesting???) Cheers, ladies! As Miyoko says, “Milk plants, hug cows.” For an eye-opening (and mouth-watering) view of bringing vegan experiences to the world of food and wine pairing, tune in to our lively discussion and tasting. And follow Alison @winecountryvegan or @winecountry2.0 on Instagram and at Wine Country Vegan on Facebook. The post Wine Women – Alison Kilmer, Wine Country 2.0 appeared first on Radio Misfits.
58 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Wine Women – Focus on the Hosts
It’s a rare show when the hosts only have one another to talk to. (It was planned!) Often our curiosity is piqued by questions or conversation posed by the hosts to guests. But most of the time we never get to probe further to find out why a specific issue was important to that host. In this episode, the hosts finally dig a little deeper… How did Misty Roudebush Cain make the jump from working at AT&T to marketing wine? Tune in to find out! Misty told us her career path, filled with fascinating tidbits about working in a heavily male-dominated industry (telecommunications). Misty’s advice: Take a leap of faith! Get out of your comfort zone; you may find yourself in a whole, new, exciting world you didn’t know about. Lisa Adams Walter was told in high school she’d end up in Public Relations, but she paid the no attention to the fortune telling. Hear her recount time spent working at Inglenook…during the Heublein years. Like many, Lisa cited the value and importance of finding a great mentor to help her along her career path. Their stories were fascinating. (You’ll have to hear them…) Tune in to learn more about our two hosts and how they advanced their careers in the wine industry! The post Wine Women – Focus on the Hosts appeared first on Radio Misfits.
68 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Wine Women – Amy Troutmiller, Common Fuel Consulting
Amy Troutmiller, founder and CEO of Common Fuel Consulting, is a career beverage professional with experience spanning 25 years and multiple facets of the wine industry. She began her career in hotels and restaurants, working up to operations management and senior director roles with chef Eric Ripert, Kimpton Hotels and The Ritz Carlton. She then transitioned to import and distribution, founding a mid-Atlantic regional wholesale company and acting as sole-executive for a National importer and distributor. Nowadays she works full time in her consultancy, specializes in business development for the wine trade; helping wineries, distributors and brands with everything from early-phase guidance to market expansion and revenue growth. What made this show particularly intriguing to the hosts was that Amy resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband, young son, a small fluffy dog and her wine collection. And we rarely get to have someone from the East Coast wine industry on the show. We talked with Amy about the differences between the East Coast and West Coast wine scenes. What are the attitudes towards supporting local wine businesses on each coast? How does the availability of various wines differ on each coast? How do state-by-state regulation affect what she can offer her own clients across the country? She also had a lot of insights about vintage sensitivity and how it is shifting, due in part to the pandemic and tariffs having an impact on availability, supply and demand. Early in her career, Amy was a founding member of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), a classic cocktail society dedicated to breeding, raising and releasing cocktails that are endangered or even believed to be extinct into the wild. It was fun to hear about how her time as a mixologist dovetailed with her experiences working with wine, beer and spirits. During the show, Amy shared one of her favorite wineries with us, Acorn Winery, in the Russian River Valley, while we sipped one of their wines. Their production remains small, at about 2,000 cases each year. Their wines are made from grapes they grow themselves at Alegría Vineyard in Healdsburg. Every wine is a field blend, following the ancient tradition represented in the mixed planting that is their original 129-year old vineyard. Their wines are made by co-fermenting multiple varieties. We tasted their proprietary 2016 Medley® blend during the show, made up of Syrah, Muscats, Cinsault, Zinfandel, Dolcetto, Cabernet France, Sangiovese and dozens more varieties. At fewer than 300 cases made, this was a real treat to sample, with its lush aromas and mouthfeel, offering notes of dark cherry, pomegranate, raspberry, baking spices, chocolate, plum and many other flavors, all smoothly integrated and balanced. We’ll have to visit ACORN as the pandemic recedes… Rounding out the show, we asked Amy about her ambitions and goals for Common Fuel Consulting in the future. And we loved hearing how much enjoyment she gets out of helping other businesses grow and succeed. Tune in to learn more about Amy and her many talents in the beverage and hospitality industries. Find Amy at: Common Fuel Consulting @vino on Instagram Find Acorn Winery at: Acorn Winery @ACORNwinery on Instagram The post Wine Women – Amy Troutmiller, Common Fuel Consulting appeared first on Radio Misfits.
53 minutes | Apr 9, 2021
Wine Women – Cyndee Nelson, Gracious at Gracianna Winery
Cyndee Nelson had a lengthy career in radio production, which made us feel so lucky when she consented to be our wine news reporter on WWRH when we first began as a local radio show. She put together the most polished wine news reports, all the while serving as Gracianna Winery’s Wine Club & Hospitality Manager at their “Miracle Mile” Westside Road location in Healdsburg on the Russian River. Eventually, the challenge of reporting wine news on live radio while simultaneously serving guests at Gracianna’s tasting room became a bit too much of a stretch, even for someone as talented as Cyndee. While we sorely miss her weekly contribution to the show, we’ve had it in the back of our minds to visit Gracianna ever since this show began. At long last, we found an opportunity, as the pandemic began to recede in Northern California. Gracianna Winery has been producing award-winning Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and other varieties since 2009. Being an expert storyteller, Cyndee filled us in during show about the winery’s fascinating family history, beginning with the Amador Family’s maternal grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga, for whom the winery is named, as the story began decades earlier. Born on the French side of the Basque Pyrenees, Gracianna emigrated to the United States as a young woman after World War II. The hardworking and beautiful Gracianna and her beloved husband John raised thousands of sheep in Santa Barbara County then settling in Santa Maria, California. She was a fervent believer in expressing gratitude for everything, thus providing a theme for the Amador family’s life work along the Russian River. Fast forward several decades when a small plot of land became available along Westside Road’s “Miracle Mile.” Gracianna Winery is set in the midst of natural beauty. Its family-designed estate buildings and gardens, its storied history, and its reputation for classic award-winning Russian River wines reflect their craftsman approach. Open by appointment for tastings, and having a robust and enviable wine club membership, nearly all their wine is sold directly to consumers. During the show, Cyndee provided a mini-virtual tasting event as Misty and Marcia sampled the Gracianna 2019 Suzanne’s Blend Chardonnay and their 2019 Resilience Gracianna Pinot Noir, both offering a high level of complexity. As they do not fine or filter their wines, the hosts found layers upon layers of aromatic and flavor notes to discover. And it was a bit of a race to think of the many food dishes that would accompany these wines. As their production is highly limited (often under 300 cases of each wine), we found ourselves being ever more grateful for the opportunity to taste them. They are racking up awards at high speed, having just picked up several major awards in 2020, including Sunset International Wine Competition’s Best in Show. Living up to their slogan, these are wines “for those with something to be grateful for.” Gracianna Winery | (707) 486-3771 | 6914 Westside Road, Healdsburg, CA 95448-8354 The post Wine Women – Cyndee Nelson, Gracious at Gracianna Winery appeared first on Radio Misfits.
86 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Wine Women – Sensory Skills with Simone FM Spinner
“The most fun I’ve had on this podcast,” stated co-host Lisa Adams Walter. At least I think that’s what I caught as we wound up our session with Simone F.M. Spinner, author of “Denver Food: A Culinary Evolution,” and Certified Wine Sommelier, who has two more books on the way. The energy was running fast and high as we finished off a delightful virtual tasting and sensory event with Simone. She is not one to do anything halfway. She’s passionate about writing, wine, food and travel. Her book on the Denver food scene doesn’t begin with the (white) migrant travelers who initially put Denver on the map, but with the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area long before them. It’s all evidence Simone does nothing half way. She caught our attention with her Denver-locals courses, The Only Thing You Need to Know About Wine is What You Like Master Class Series at U.C. Denver and the Get into the Glass educational wine series to the public through her company, Wine Rocks & Chasing Grapes, LLC. Spinner skillfully demystifies wine, making it fun through an interactive approach. Although she doesn’t offer ongoing public classes, she often appears as a guest lecturer at corporate events, conferences, team-building seminars, dinner parties, book clubs, or other gatherings. For more serious wine lovers she conducts private acquisitions and cellar appraisals. Spinner is developing a unique adventure and wine tourism program called Chasing Grapes, LLC., exploring the world of wine and taking curious oenophiles along with her, which will launch with tours exploring Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. On the show, Spinner walked the hosts through a virtual, sensory tasting class, featuring St. Supery’s 2019 Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc and its 2016 Rutherford Estate Vineyard Merlot. Each host had an array of fresh fruits, spices and mineral elements in hand to compare as a sensory experience with the wines. Simone introduced this process as part of her “brain attic” training process, explaining our experiences and observations about smelling and tasting various compounds in the wine all need to be catalogued in the appropriate memory bank (an idea she “borrowed” from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series). Without that clear memory of the wine, we’re unlikely to be able to remember what it is if we want to buy another bottle, or case. Sure enough, with each whiff of tangerine, lime zest, or currant, a new memory (about the wine tasted with it) was cemented in our “brain attic.” By the time the hosts finished this discovery process with Ms. Spinner, we were thrilled at how well it helped us remember the details of each of the wines. In fact, we were even more surprised to learn that Ms. Spinner had undergone a traumatic event a decade ago that had completely suppressed all her olfactory sensory input. (Not a good thing for a wine professional!) Simone then proceeded to retrain her sense of smell to pick up even the most basic food scents, from produce to flora and fauna. In time, it became easier to identify them without thinking. For those suffering COVID-19 related scent loss, Simone recommended that they be “intentional about retraining your sense of smell.” Like an athlete preparing for an event, she said the recognition of specific scents can be taught and learned (and relearned) with practice. While undergoing her own olfactory retraining, Simone said she often visited open air markets and produce stores (pre-COVID) to practice her scent-identification skills, stating that it can be discouraging with the most unattractive scents (such as diesel fumes) returning early after scent loss. But delicate scents, such as flowers and minerals, are often the last to be restored. To learn more, of course, listen to this fascinating podcast. And visit Simone’s website: WineRocksLLC or her LinkedIn profile The post Wine Women – Sensory Skills with Simone FM Spinner appeared first on Radio Misfits.
52 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
Wine Women – Jill Leone, Leone Wine Tours
Jill Leone loves sharing her knowledge of wine country with visitors—local and long distance. As owner of Leone Wine Tours, she revels in sharing her vast knowledge of wine country’s hidden gems with her clients. For many years now, Jill has provided personalized wine tours to clients in Napa Valley, Sonoma, Russian River Valley and even Mendocino. But she didn’t get her start in hospitality… Jill spent her early career in maintenance with United Airlines, a world of nearly all males (making for an easier transition to the nearly-all-world-of-males in the wine industry). One day, Jill attended a seminar about tourism and working as a tour guide. She was hooked and jumped into course work with ITMI getting her certification in a tour guide skills and in tour director certification. While she had originally planned to travel the world with this career, plans changed when she married and began a family in the North Bay. Her tenacity, however, was unwavering. She realized she was living in “Tourist Destination Central” in Sonoma County. She could conduct tours throughout the Bay Area instead of across the globe. This allowed her to balance family and career…most of the time. Jill leaned into learning everything about the wine industry, from grape growing and winemaking down to great hospitality services, even working as a tasting room associate. She went to work in both Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley as a bicycle wine tour guide. She then moved on to private driver services with limousine companies and eventually her own wine touring company. The hosts had a lot of questions for Jill. After all, tourism has evolved dramatically this past year. How was she keeping her clients safe during the pandemic while providing private driving services to winery tasting appointments? What are the biggest issues and changes facing visitors in 2021 now that folks are being vaccinated? You’ll have to tune in to hear Jill’s sage advice on these topics. One thing is certain: Jill Leone has her finger on the pulse of the wine industry and the hospitality services that drive it. With more than seventy-five 5-star reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor, we were all delighted and amazed to hear how invaluable her services can be to local or long-distance visitors who are looking for a memorable wine country experience. Listen in for some not-to-be-missed tips if you’re planning to visit this year. We also learned of a new initiative to recognize the contributions of women in the wine industry. Co-host Lisa Adams Walter explained the introduction of the inaugural #NationalWomeninWineDay , to be celebrated every March 25th. Anyone can nominate a woman in the industry to be recognize over the coming year at https://www.womeninwineday.com/ LeoneWineTours.com Jill@LeoneWineTours.com 707-331-8991 The post Wine Women – Jill Leone, Leone Wine Tours appeared first on Radio Misfits.
57 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Wine Women – Talley Henry, Acre & One Acre Wines
Like many in the wine industry, Talley Henry came to the business from a completely different career as an attorney with Nixon Peabody in San Francisco and with the U.S. Navy. And while she didn’t grow up in the wine business, her husband did. Mike Henry had the good fortune to be introduced to the innerworkings of the wine business at an early age. Through his father, Warner Henry, a true wine industry pioneer, advocate for small family-owned wineries, and connoisseur of fine wines, Mike learned about the finest wine regions in France as well as the burgeoning regions of California, including the Napa Valley. One of Mike’s first jobs in the mid-1980’s was in the warehouse of his father’s new wine distribution business, Vintage House, which later became The Henry Wine Group. Warner. Post grad school, Mike worked his way up the corporate ladder as an IT Executive at Time Inc. and as a producer of documentary films. Mike and Talley had a shared epiphany while savoring a glass of wine in a remote vineyard in Bordeaux that ultimately set them on a path to pursue their passion for the vine. Shortly thereafter, Mike joined his father at The Henry Wine Group where he had the opportunity to hone his skills in wine sales and brand management and to work with numerous small family-owned wineries around the world, including Acre. Years later, with the sale of The Henry Wine Group and some serendipitous timing, Mike and Talley were thrilled to take the helm at Acre and to bring their breadth of knowledge and passion for wine to the Acre mission, with a keen eye on the future and a nod to the winery’s roots. Together, the Henrys oversee the combined Acre and One Acre portfolio with Mike focusing on production, operations, and domestic distribution and Talley focusing on the direct-to-consumer experience, winery legal matters, and international export relationships. During the show, we learned a lot from Talley about her path to being a winery owner, her advice to other women considering a career in wine, her favorite food and wine pairings, and growing the Acre brand and production. They’ve racked up a number of accolades, included being name one of nine outstanding Cabernet values in Napa Valley recently, all of which made us want to hear about their wine club and virtual tasting options. Talley is a great storyteller, making the hosts’ job so easy! We so enjoyed her enthusiasm and lively conversation. Tune in to hear more… Acre and One Acre Wines The post Wine Women – Talley Henry, Acre & One Acre Wines appeared first on Radio Misfits.
60 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
Wine Women – Lisa Saunders
Lisa Saunders is not only a stellar wine salesperson, but she also has loads of insights to the current (and future) wine market. (Tune in to hear them.) Our guest on today’s show not only shares her name with co-host Lisa Adams Walter*, but she also worked a stint with co-host Misty Rodebush Cain at Foley Family Wines several years ago. Lisa is a long-time wine sales executive, having served in various sales capacities at Hahn Family Wines, Signorello Estate, Mt. Beautiful Wines, and Charles Krug. She recently began a new position at Boich Family Cellar and had a fascinating story to tell us about her interviewing process. (Teaser!) We heard a lot about what this past year has been like for wine sales professionals, as so many sales tools were forced to change during the pandemic. Business travel vanished for Lisa, as it did for so many, forcing her to adapt to new sales paradigms. What’s known as “ride alongs” or “work withs” became virtual appointments with potential sales accounts. Unlike many in sales, Lisa has a major advantage, in that she combines her passion for wine with her passion for acting. (She is the only guest on our show who’s shared the stage with Rita Moreno, Jill Eikenberry and Victoria Tennant in the Vagina Monologues!) Successful sales results, in large part, come from the salesperson’s ability to present the wine in the best light. Acting training can provide immeasurable confidence in making those presentations. Listen in to hear Lisa’s story of demonstrating her direct-to-trade (DTT) sales skills, incorporating her acting skills and training, as part of her interview process at Boich. Those skills were combined with a key element she emphasized during the show: her network of friends and colleagues. Once tasked with putting together a faux trade tasting for her would-be new employer, Lisa experienced the classic actor’s nightmare: what wines should she present in this tasting? (Note: the actor’s nightmare is forgetting lines. That translates to “blanking out” on wines to present for a wine salesperson.) She turned to her friends and advisors for ideas on the wines to present. And what were Lisa and the hosts enjoying in their glasses during the show? Lisa Saunders shared that she was drinking her “house white,” made by friend and Napa winemaker Anna Monticelli, the Cavallo Di Battaglia – Abruzzo. Lisa Adams Walter was in the mood for bubbles! She picked up the Piper-Heidsieck, Sauvage Rose Champagne, from BeBubbly Napa ahead of the show to enjoy. Misty switched it up to enjoy the St. Supery 2017 Rutherford Estate Cabernet Franc, which she cited for its peppery-ness and integrated tannins. And Marcia Macomber was sipping the Mathis Rosé de Grenache, a favorite for its refreshing, crisp, strawberry, raspberry and cherry fruitiness. Tune in to hear more of this lively conversation. * Both Lisas were born “Lisa Adams.” The post Wine Women – Lisa Saunders appeared first on Radio Misfits.
56 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
Wine Women – Chelsea Bellows
Chelsea Bellows was not going to have a career as a soccer player–by her own choice. It’s not that she wasn’t a great player. (She was.) But she followed the voice within that said it wasn’t her path and she changed directions to the world of hospitality in restaurants. That newfound area quickly led to an exploration of wine. And the rest, as they say, is history. That leaves a lot of holes, so we should fill them in! As she was getting her business degree in college, she had this inkling that wine was in her career forecast. But where? How? Turns out that Alpha Omega Winery (AO) was just getting underway when Chelsea joined the team. The world of wine was pretty new to her, so she soaked it up like a sponge. During her ten years with AO, the winery’s sales grew in double digits for the entire time. (This was just as the recession hit hard.) She served as National Sales Manager as well as VP Operations. She even got her MBA while working at AO. During this time the company grew from two to more than 100 employees. But having served in nearly every role in the company, she felt the urge to move on to a new adventure. Tune in to hear Chelsea discuss the challenges of selling wine during the pandemic. Is it the perfect time to pivot, reaching out to consumers instead of waiting for them to show up in your tasting room? What about social media, is there finally a measurable ROI (return on investment) to utilizing this marketing medium? You’ll have to listen in to find out… Chelsea Bellows established Bellows Wine Consulting to assist start up and ongoing wine brands to find, and fine tune, their vision. Her core services include assisting wine producers to create a plan of their proper placement in the market and develop the accompanying strategy and operational systems to take them there. There was lots of deep discussion during the show about current wine news, as well as what wine bottles the hosts currently had open. (Lisa was enjoying Pope Valley Winery’s Rose of Sangiovese as well as Hill Family Estate’s Rose of Pinot Noir. Misty, of course, said she was sticking to her St. Supery seasonal Cabernet Sauvignons since it’s still winter. And Marcia was enjoying the always-fabulous Mathis Rosé de Grenache.) The other great lesson of the show? None of us have enough bandwidth…literally! The pandemic means there are many more family members consuming the internet highway making it tough to catch everything during the show. Oh, my! Listen in to hear how Chelsea Bellows grew her wine-based businesses over the past decade and what she sees ahead… The post Wine Women – Chelsea Bellows appeared first on Radio Misfits.
68 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
Wine Women – Drink with Friends
Friends make the best company when enjoying a nice bottle of wine. Trouble is these days sharing that bottle often has to be done on Zoom! Nevertheless, the hosts and their guests had a fun time on this show getting to know one another, what motivates them to buy a wine, and how or if the pandemic has affected their wine choices. After we checked in with our co-hosts, Misty Roudebush Cain (busy with planning St. Supery’s spring marketing programs), Lisa Adams Walter (writing numerous articles for local publications as well as myriad winery clients), and Marcia Macomber (designing websites for five new clients simultaneously), we turned to our wonderful guests. Jasmine Pomeroy has been an emergency dispatcher in San Francisco for fifteen years and recently moved to an acre of property in the North Bay. She vowed during the show to change her previously black thumb into a green thumb in order to generate some of her own produce beginning this spring. While she doesn’t work in the wine industry, she shared her thoughts on what attracts her to a new wine. (You’ll have to listen to find out!) Lynda Paulson is practically a guest host, with numerous turns at the mic on several past shows. As Chief Trainer and Coach at Success Strategies, Lynda has been coaching winery owners, winemakers, chefs and tasting room staff for decades on improving their communication and sales skills. Her tips for what makes a great speaker? They’re energetic, i.e. passionate about their subject matter, and they make the audience want to invest more time with them. Easier said than done, you might say? Lynda’s approach is honed from decades of training CEOs, politicians and executives on how to deliver their message clearly. The co-hosts discussed current wine news, including the speculation about Tennessee legislators potentially turning direct-to-consumer shipping on its head again: the upcoming WineFuture 2021 conference; the Women’s Beverage Alcohol Symposium on Feb. 24th; and the new wine, food and travel series (along with the wine tasting series’ new season) releasing on SommTV.com. What were we drinking? Of course, we remained socially distant, all drinking different wines in our own homes. Lisa raved about the Priest Ranch rose in a can (!) she was loving for its elegance and a package design to match. (See links below.) Jasmine followed suit with West+Wilder’s Sparkling White Wine in a can. When asked what she looks for, Jasmine said something “unique” that might have some personal association to her. Conveniently, she noted that her sparkling white indicated “jasmine” in its tasting notes, and she’s not about to pass that up! Lynda was savoring the Three Rivers Svelte Bordeaux, made by Holly Turner as part of her “head turner” wine series for Three Rivers Winery in the Columbia Valley. Lynda liked it for the elegant and beautiful bottle design initially. But she described the wine to us as “intriguing” and having a long finish. This led to a long discussion about the vocabulary of wine tasting, a specialty of Lynda’s, who prefers the romance language of wine. Misty said the dead of winter drives her to enjoy the many flavor and aroma notes of excellent cabernet sauvignons, particularly with warm, savory dishes. The St. Supery Rutherford Estate Cabernet definitely fills that bill! Lastly, Marcia was enjoying a no-longer-available Bedrock Chuy Chardonnay. For fans of Bedrock wines, many are aware that they are sourced from heritage vineyards, often planted in small plots decades ago to vines that will only last another year or two due to their low yield production before being replanted to younger vines. As frequently happens when friends gather around a bottle of wine, the topics of discussion varied widely, from the use of Biochar in the soil to wine label design and copy writing. More importantly, what are the elements that move you to look more closely at a front label, then back label and (maybe) reading the back label copy? You’ll have to listen to learn what made a different to the hosts and guests. Cheers! WINES Lisa was drinking 2019 Priest Ranch Rose in a can Misty was drinking St. Supery’s Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Jasmine was drinking West + Wilder’s Sparkling White Wine in a can Lynda was drinking 2017 Three Rivers Svelte Bordeaux, Columbia Valley Marcia was drinking the 2017 Bedrock Chuy Chardonnay, Moon Mountain District The post Wine Women – Drink with Friends appeared first on Radio Misfits.
68 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
Wine Women – Valentine’s Day Celebration
We’re kicking off a new year (Hello, 2021!) with an unusual show: First, due to the pandemic we know the restaurant and hospitality industries have been hit particularly hard. We’re dedicating the beginning of this podcast to them with a love letter to the wine and spirits community. More specifically, our first guest just appeared on St. Supery’s live virtual tasting as part of the #InJoy at Home Warm Winter Nights weekly series. Poet Silvi Alcivar’s work has been featured in the Huffington Post, 7×7 San Francisco, Daily Candy, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TEDx. Her poem is shared below, and you can learn more at ThePoetryStore. She creates her tomes on her loyal red Royal typewriter, on demand. Looking for a beautiful piece to reflect your thoughts and feelings for a loved one? Be sure to peruse her poetry… On the show, hear Silvi recite the poem or watch her read it in this video: a love letter to the hardest hit for the restaurant and hospitality industry someday we’ll return to dining in doors, not giving second thought to being seated at community tables, the bustle of brunch a sunday ritual, small talk with strangers the amuse bouche we’ve been hungering for, so too the cacaphony of wine glasses clinking, old friends laughing, meals marking important life occasions or just another evening, another afternoon, the sommelier recognizing lovebirds returning for an anniversary, the children escaping to the lawn, the chef calling out ready plates, the wait staff unmasked and smiling, months of being flexible in pandemic changes paying off, the passion for work never named, just pivoted, and continuing to serve up ingenuity and adaptation while we give deep gratitude for keeping this community nourished and fed with integrity, grit, and plates full of hardworking love. silvi 2.14.21 Silvi just launched a new art installation called “Break Open” in San Francisco’s Secession Art & Design. For this show, Silvi created 100 small pieces, each with a poem carefully placed inside a tiny glass bottle. Each poem begins with “in case of” and ends with “break open” to reveal the second part of the work. (The element that is typed on the scroll in the bottle is also revealed on the back of the piece so you don’t have to open the bottle unless you want to.) You can schedule a visit the gallery or view all of the pieces online. Second, our next guest is Adrienne Stillman, a one-time co-host of this show a couple of years back. She is the co-founder, editor-in-chief, and event director of Dipsology, a curated guide and community for cocktail enthusiasts. She also oversees strategy and marketing for wine, spirits, and hospitality clients, and is a certified sommelier. She is the author of “Where Bartenders Drink” (Phaidon). A native New Yorker, she lives in Napa Valley, California. Adrienne chose 2 cocktails from her new book, “Spirited: Cocktails from Around the World (610 Recipes, 6 Continents, 60 Countries, 500 Years),” for us to make during the show in celebration of Valentine’s Day. The new cocktail guide has already received praise, with The New York Times calling it, “A lavish, gift-worthy stunner.” And Epicurious stating, “This book might suffice as the only cocktail book a drinker needs.” Nicole Trilivas’ review of the book in Forbes provides many details on what you’ll find inside the covers. Listen to the show to hear Adrienne’s stories behind these cocktails. We were utterly fascinated to learn their backstories. (And they were so delicious and easy-to-make for us newbies! Recipes below.) Equipment: Pint glass, one part of a shaking tin or mason jar for stirring your cocktail Strainer (a cocktail strainer that fits on your shaker, or something like a small tea strainer, to strain out the ice; a big spoon can also work) Bar spoon or chopstick for mixing Jigger or measuring spoons Vegetable peeler and paring knife, for cutting garnish Ice cubes for stirring (regular ice cubes from your freezer are fine, you don’t need large ones) Glassware: 1 rocks glass and 1 stemmed glass (coupe, Martini, wine) Milano-Torino: 1.5 oz (2 tbs + 1.5 tsp) Campari 1.5 oz (2 tbs + 1.5 tsp) sweet vermouth Orange wheel garnish Combine ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and stir 10 seconds. Garnish with a half orange wheel. Some variations we tried: For a sparkling cocktail, use only 1 oz / 2 tbs each Campari and sweet vermouth and top with Prosecco for a Negroni Sbagliato. Or use the original measurements, mix in a highball glass and top with club soda to make the Americano. To amp it up, use 1 oz (2tbs) each Campari, sweet vermouth and gin, bourbon or aged rum to make a Negroni, Boulevardier or Kingston Negroni respectively. Garnish with an orange twist instead of a half wheel. Hanky Panky 1.5 oz (2 tbs + 1.5 tsp) gin 1.5 oz (2 tbs + 1.5 tsp) sweet vermouth ½ tsp Fernet Branca (increase to 1 tsp for a more bitter drink) Orange twist garnish Put a few ice cubes and cold water into your glass (ideally something with a stem, but a rocks glass is ok too). Combine all ingredients in your mixing glass, add ice and stir gently for 25-30 seconds. Dump the ice water out of the chilled glass and strain in your cocktail. Using a vegetable peeler, cut a long swath of orange peel and squeeze over the drink to express the oils. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass and drop it in. Happy Valentine’s Day! The post Wine Women – Valentine’s Day Celebration appeared first on Radio Misfits.
57 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
Wine Women – Rachel Van Til & Laura Pauli, Pt2
Would men have the same courage women have shown (coming forward and speaking about sexual harassment) if they believed their jobs and careers might be ended by going public? That is one of the lingering questions the hosts and guests discuss in part 2 of our conversation with Rachel Van Til and Laura Pauli. For decades, women have “kept mum” about bad behavior on the part of male colleagues, boss and business owners. In Hollywood, it took the outing of Harvey Weinstein’s behavior to gain momentum for the #MeToo movement. Is the wine industry ready for the same? Will women have to continue for umpteenth more years with hostile work environments, such as those that led to the New York Times’ explosive expose, “The Wine World’s Most Elite Circle Has a Sexual Harassment Problem,” by Julia Moskin, published on October 29th. In her detailed story, not one, not two, but 21 women reported to the Times being sexually harassed, manipulated or assaulted by male master sommeliers. In this show, hear from Laura Pauli, Chef and Sommelier here in San Francisco with Cucina Testa Rosa, and Rachel Van Til, Wine Club Manager and Lead Sommelier at The Clubs at Houston Oaks in Houston, Texas, on their recommendations for a safe and productive work environment and what they’d like to see change in the industry. [EP60] The post Wine Women – Rachel Van Til & Laura Pauli, Pt2 appeared first on Radio Misfits.
50 minutes | Dec 11, 2020
Wine Women – Rachel van Til & Laura Pauli pt1
“Do they even know their behavior is wholly unacceptable, unprofessional, and often threatening?” This topic became the underlying theme to our lengthy discussion with sommeliers Laura Pauli and Rachel Van Til on this week’s show, a two-parter that will conclude next week. It’s a reference to the hostile work environment (for women) that led to the New York Times’ explosive expose, “The Wine World’s Most Elite Circle Has a Sexual Harassment Problem,” by Julia Moskin, published on October 29th. In her detailed story, not one, not two, but 21 women reported to the Times being sexually harassed, manipulated or assaulted by male master sommeliers. As the hosts read the story several weeks ago, we were struck by its similarity to the equally explosive allegations leveled at Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein just two years earlier by some of Hollywood’s most high profile actresses. In this episode, we depart from our usually fun and upbeat topics to tackle this serious, ongoing problem. Why do some men in the wine industry demand sexual favors from women in the industry in exchange for advancement in some form? Why have women put up with it for so long? Our guests, each of whom have dealt with inappropriate behavior from male colleagues (as have all the hosts), recount these experiences as well as offer insights on what measures could be taken to reduce the bad behavior and ensure more minorities, women and persons of color, have equal opportunities to their white, male counterparts.’ In this show, hear how Laura Pauli, Chef and Sommelier here in San Francisco with Cucina Testa Rosa, considered a business trip with a male colleague that would have provided valuable networking introductions and connection, only to learn later the colleague’s offer wasn’t on the up ‘n’ up. This was one of several experiences Chef Pauli felt she had been manipulated by male colleagues to do things that were not necessarily “work related.” Rachel Van Til is the Wine Club Manager and Lead Sommelier at The Clubs at Houston Oaks in Houston, Texas. She is one of the 21 women sommeliers whose story was told in the Times’ story as well as in other publications that began following up on the allegations. Tune in to learn about higher education opportunities in the wine industry; the steps being taken by the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS-A) to prevent future sexual misconduct allegations; and whether or not these women believe it’s even possible for the CMS-A to recover from these abuses. After all, if men and other persons in powerful positions aren’t even aware their behavior is unacceptable within the industry, how will they even know they much change? [EP59] The post Wine Women – Rachel van Til & Laura Pauli pt1 appeared first on Radio Misfits.
62 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Wine Women – Nicole Marchesi, Far Niente Winery
Nicole Marchesi began studying towards a major in biology as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis. But after being assigned to write an article about the Department of Viticulture and Enology for the school newspaper, The Aggie, her interest was sparked to pursue a career in wine. She quickly changed majors and went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis in 2003. [EP58] After graduation, she honed her winemaking skills in Sonoma and New Zealand before joining Far Niente in 2005 as its enologist. She was promoted soon thereafter to assistant winemaker, and in 2009, she became only the fourth winemaker in the over 30-year history of the winery. During her tenure, Nicole has gained a deep understanding of Far Niente’s estate vineyards, working with the sites and individual blocks to bring forth the discrete character of each. Ultimately, she strives to create wines of elegance and depth that capture both place and vintage, while staying true to the Far Niente house style. We loved hearing Nicole’s stories during the show about how she got into wine and about Far Niente’s fascinating history. While sipping the stunning Far Niente 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, we learned Far Niente was founded in Oakville, California, in 1885 by John Benson, a forty-niner of the California gold rush and uncle of the famous American impressionist painter, Winslow Homer. It prospered until the onset of Prohibition in 1919. The gates closed, but the magic never truly disappeared from the property. Sixty years later, Gil Nickel bought and restored the winery and neighboring vineyard. This three-year-long labor of love put the label back on the map — and on the National Register of Historic Places. He preserved the Far Niente name — an Italian phrase which romantically translated means ‘without a care.’ Nickel hoped to recapture a bygone era when life was indeed without a care. The historic wine caves also go back to the late 1800s. A stone archway was constructed in the winery cellar in 1885, with plans to create extensive wine caves. With the onset of Prohibition, these wine caves never came to fruition. The cold rock sat neglected for 60 years until 1980, after the completion of the winery building restoration. Many believed that wine caves existed beyond the rock wall since European winemakers aged their wines in those types of naturally cool environments. So, Gil Nickel hired an engineer to find out. After a daring dynamite blast, they learned that no caves existed. But undaunted and true to his vision that “the best bottle of wine has yet to be made,” Gil pursued the first cave for Far Niente. The Far Niente Napa Valley wine caves would become the first to be constructed in North America since the turn of the century, spawning a new industry in California wine country. Over the next 20 years, the winery conducted four more expansions of the caves, bringing the total area to 40,000 square feet. The stunning beauty of the caves, which hold the winery’s treasure trove of Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay vintages gently aging in 100% French oak, is a testament to the excellence and never-ending attention to detail that Far Niente brings to its magnificent wines and winery. Tune in to learn more about Nicole Marchesi, Far Niente and her favorite food and wine pairing dish. The post Wine Women – Nicole Marchesi, Far Niente Winery appeared first on Radio Misfits.
54 minutes | Nov 20, 2020
Wine Women – Gianna Kelly, Galerie Wines
Gianna Kelly grew up in Sonoma County, where she was introduced to wine at an early age—sitting on her father’s knee as he made wine list selections for their family restaurant. We had much fun talking with Gianna and learning about her winemaking for Galerie Wines, Portraits of Place, in Napa Valley. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Chemistry, then initially pursued a career in research that started at the IBM Almaden Research Center. She quickly found that polymers weren’t as alluring as vineyards, and she redirected her chemistry skills to the wine industry as a chemist for Enologix in her hometown of Sonoma. A post as enologist for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars followed, where she fell in love with Bordeaux varieties and honed her winemaking skills by working with Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. More recently, Gianna served as assistant winemaker for St. Francis Winery, working with a wide variety of vineyard sources. In 2018, Gianna joined the team at Cardinale as an assistant winemaker, and in 2019 she became head winemaker for Galerie wines, known for distinctive Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc wines from Napa Valley and Knights Valley. “Making Galerie wines gives me the chance to unite my passion for Bordeaux varieties with my curiosity for the way different vineyard sites express their own unique personalities,” says Gianna. “I enjoy the challenge of developing each small vineyard lot in the cellar and then choosing from a satisfying number of options when it comes time to blend. This helps me create balanced wines that showcase the delightful distinctions between two exceptional wine regions.” Gianna is no stranger to balance; in addition to nurturing Galerie wines, she’s also raising three small children at home in Sonoma. She loves cooking and entertaining, and her favorite wines combine high quality with an approachability that’s easy to share with others. During the show we tasted Galerie’s beautiful 2018 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Naissance. This flagship wine layers the citrus and mineral notes of the Loire Valley with the peach and tropical fruit characteristics of Napa Valley. The hosts and Gianna were thinking of savory apple dishes to pair with this lovely wine during the show. Yum! It was also fascinating to learn about the brand’s label development, which is animated on their website. Each label in the Galerie collection exhibits a different section of a luminous grapevine watercolor by Malia Pettit, highlighting the individuality of each wine as well as their shared parentage. Using her breath to render the vine’s branches, the artist blew the paint to move it across the page. She punctuated the delicate vine shoots with individual droplets of paint that spattered naturally with their own momentum. This elegant incorporation of physical and human intention captures the essence of Galerie—each label a distinctive expression of nature and the artist’s technique. Learn more at https://www.galeriewines.com/ The post Wine Women – Gianna Kelly, Galerie Wines appeared first on Radio Misfits.
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