June 23, 2016


It has been an interesting and full couple of weeks. For one, I took my WSET Fortified Wine exam on Tuesday June 14th. It was a doozy (aren’t they all?). And yet again we wait 8 weeks for these results.

The day I was to attend the BubblyFest LA PopUp was Sunday June 12. I awoke at 7am as I got to bed quite early the night before. When I woke up, I had multiple alerts on my phone from news outlets reporting that 20 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando. To say this was shocking to read as soon as I opened my eyes is an understatement. It almost felt like a dream, or more accurately, a nightmare. Did that really happen? Were people butchered while out drinking and dancing? As many people thought “that could have been me”, within an hour or so, more alerts started coming and the headline was revised to state that 50 people were dead at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando. I felt disbelief upon reading this. I work in the LGBT community (as the Events & Tours Manager for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles) and LGBT people make up an important and integral fabric of the people in my life. This didn’t feel like something that happened to “them”, this felt like something that happened to “us”. How could somebody do this? How could SO many innocent lives be lost. The numbers were staggering as my head and heart had trouble processing it all that day. My heart ached for the people who lost their lives. People who were fully self-expressed, dancing, and spending an evening out with friends. It was (and still is) just too much to absorb. I am still processing through my emotions about the tragic incident in Orlando. May we all appreciate each day a bit more and learn to live our lives without those 49 lives who were taken too soon.

The afternoon of the 12th I was honored to attend the BubblyFest LA PopUp at LA Mother with a press pass. I almost did not go. I “needed” to study for my exam, but mostly I needed to mourn. I spent most of that day crying, repeatedly watching the news, reading articles, emailing with friends, etc. I felt a bit lost that day, but I knew I owed it to myself to carry on. Carry on with life and with my passions. I studied as best as I could, and I chose to attend the BubblyFest LA PopUp event. And I am glad I did. It was nice to connect with people, albeit strangers. I felt myself look people in the eye a bit stronger, smile a bit longer, and to ultimately be present. Present to life, to each other, and even to wine. Wine is something that I love. It is a living breathing thing that Mother Earth so generously gives to us. For one hour on that Sunday I let go and enjoyed wine. Really simple. I went from table to table and sipped and enjoyed wines. Some of my highlights were from: Palmina Winery, J Vineyards & WineryHagafen Cellars, and Gruet Winery.

Tasting from Mia Rosa upon arrival

I am happy to report that I have also been granted a press pass for the main event, BubblyFest by the Sea in Avila Beach, CA in October. BubblyFest is the only festival dedicated to Sparkling Wine in the United States. It is sure to be a tremendous event and I am honored to report on it. Stay tuned for posts leading up to the main event.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you are looking to Drink Better and Up Your Wine Game, check out my latest virtual wine tasting offerings, including both public and private wine tasting events. For virtual events, my tastings feature a small-format wine tasting set sent to each attendee for a shared tasting experience. What can you expect from a Virtual Vino event? Fun, approachable, interactive, and unpretentious wine education as we share smiles and wine!
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier based out of Los Angeles, California.
She has been producing events and weddings for over 10 years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and also offers her services as a wine educator, writer, and consultant to inspire people of all ages.

Brianne completed the entire curriculum with the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and traveled to London in order to receive her Diploma certificate, which is one of the most coveted and difficult wine certifications. Most recently Brianne judged at the International Wine & Spirits Competition and the International Wine Challenge in London.
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Sample Policy

As a wine blogger, I frequently accept samples for review on the blog and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions. 

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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