I feel that there is an absence of an effective, approachable, relatable voice in wine who speaks to and connects with consumers. I want to be that voice. Through my virtual wine tastings and Los Angeles wine tastings featuring Black-owned wineries, I aim to accomplish that.
Whether you collect wine, belong to wine clubs, or you know nothing about wine except that you like to drink it, I am here to improve your wine drinking experience. My goal is to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected, distinctive wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine that can be used in their everyday lives, especially when it comes to wine tasting Los Angeles.
While I love being in a room of geeky wine nerds and talkin’ shop, my true love is talking to regular, good ‘ol fashioned wine drinkers about wine. Not wine educators, not wine writers, and not industry people. The wine industry is full of people that know A LOT about wine….almost too much. Keeping the wine conversation elevated and academic at all times is exhausting. Sometimes I just want to break bread and enjoy good juice in the glass. Don’t you?
When folks interact with me or my brand, I want them to walk away thinking to themselves, “That was so easy to understand. Why has no one else been able to share that with me in such an easy-to-understand way? If I keep doing this, I’m going to learn so much and have a good time doing it. Also, I’ll impress my friends when I drop some wine knowledge!”
Early on, I realized I had a knack for breaking down wine in a simple, easy-to-understand way. I found that few in my industry had both the knowledge AND the ability to do this. No wonder consumers think wine is so complicated. We’ve made it that way! This is not brain surgery. We should all be having fun, drinking unabashedly, and enjoying what’s in our glass.
We are living in an ever-changing world which means we have to be as fluid as the wine in our glass. Whether you’re organizing an event on behalf of a client, for your company, or to celebrate a special occasion, I can create an in-person wine experience to meet all your planning needs – and work with you to ensure your guest’s safety and comfort when it comes to wine tasting Los Angeles.
Host a live-action station during a cocktail hour or open your event with an ‘icebreaker’ such Guess the $100 Wine, a Prosecco vs. Champagne Taste-Off, or a Cali Cab Throwdown. If you’re looking for something a bit more structured, consider a food and wine pairing or a sommelier-led wine tasting. And for those planning an offsite retreat or conference, you can work with me to host and organize a wine tasting excursion where you can experience wine tasting Los Angeles or anywhere else in the world.
Whether you’re hosting a private tasting for 10 of your closest friends or organizing a large corporate tasting for a fortune 500 company, a virtual wine tasting is a shared sensory experience – and a guaranteed good time for all. Wine tasting education is also prioritized in each virtually guided experience to develop your confidence and knowledge of all things wine.
The ability to taste multiple wines in a guided tasting experience mimics a visit to your favorite tasting room! Virtual wine experiences are good for:
We are all looking for ways in which we can speak and live our values in our everyday life. I am an advocate in doing my part to create space for diversity and inclusion in the wine industry, particularly for Black, BIPOC, and underrepresented communities. Bringing awareness to finding and supporting Black-owned wineries has been important to me since I first started offering wine education and tasting experiences, and I’m eager to see more people discover these amazing, diverse Black-owned wineries. My website features a database (sorted by country and region) of Black-Owned wineries near you.
The issue: wine is not a space where people feel comfortable. The language and access around wine have been kept strictly with people in the wine world, people who grew up around wine, and people who had access to wine. I want to change that and welcome all who want to come to the table. EVERYONE’S voice and opinion are important. If you enjoy wine, you’re welcome at my table anytime!
A new month awaits, which means a new batch of wines for me to share with you for my Best Bottles: January Edition. This month we’re returning to the IG Live format to present the video portion of this post. I’ll be there tonight at 6pm (Pacific), where in 30 minutes or less I share with you a grouping of wines I’m enjoying this month. If you miss the IG Live, don’t fret, all the wine details are below and you can re-watch it on my IGTV channel.
Without further ado, I bring to you my best bottles for the month of January!
Ferrari is THE Italian sparkling wine house. Fun fact, Ferrari is the bubbly of choice for wedding toasts in Italy. It’s that classic and iconic of a brand. And more recently they kicked Champagne off the podium and is now the official toast and spray of Formula 1. This is a limited edition bottle that I believe they will produce annually for the Formula 1 race. In the bottle is their traditional method brut sparkler, made of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. Ferrari sparkling wines are just so damn clean and are solid AF. Pretty much the most reliable sparkler out there IMHO.
Paula Kornell is one of the original wine industry pioneers in the Napa Valley, with her family’s historic “champagne” house. Yes, anyone used to be able to use the word “Champagne” which is not the case now, as it is a protected place name. Hanns Kornell Champagne Cellars was among one of the first Méthode Champenoise producers in California, while Paula Kornell Sparkling Wine is her own brand. This wine is a vintage sparkling, meaning all the grapes (Pinot Noir only) come from a single vintage, 2018. This wine is bone dry at 4g/L of residual sugar. The wine spends close to two years on the lees, which adds a delicate yeastiness, complexity, and depth to the wine. A gorgeous female-made wine.
Qupé means poppy in the language of the Chumach, the indigenous people of the Central Coast and Channel Islands. Poppy, as you may know, is the state flower of California. This Chardonnay is sourced primarily from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in the cool Santa Maria Valley of northern Santa Barbara County. A quick note on estate vineyards versus sourced fruit. One is not inherently better than the other. Yes, you can say that if grapes are grown on the same property as where the wine is made, there is a good chance that the vineyard and winemaking teams are working together to make the best wine possible. The came can be true with sourced grapes. For example with this wine, Bien Nacido has custom farmed these grapes to Qupe’s specifications. Collaborative long-term relationships can be made between growers and wineries, so this is not a “one is better than the other”.
BeauJo as the cool kids call it! Where are we? We are in southern Burgundy in France in the sub-region of Beaujolais. The grape here is Gamay. Louis Jadot was founded in 1859 and has been a Bourgogne staple since then. On the label you’ve got the Bacchus head, the Roman God of wine. This is a brand/label you will see regularly. They produce super value priced wines like this one and SUPER premium wines that are a fortune. This is a good ‘ol standard BeauJo. Not the cheapy BeauJo Nouveau that tastes like grape juice with alcohol, and not the higher quality BeauJo Village level. This wine serves up red fruit (strawberry, cherry, raspberry) and a healthy dose of pepper (not the stronger fresh cracked kind; the finer black pepper almost powder). And don’t forget notes of cinnamon, or red hots to be more specific.
What I love about the wine is the name – The House. This wine was crafted to be “the house” wine. A wine to be enjoyed at any time, on its own or with food. And that’s exactly what I got when I tried this wine. It’s so good, it’s almost too good. A wine to solve all your wine problems. A varietally correct Pinot that reminds me of why I love Pinot. Serves me crunchy red fruit with a touch of spice. A true crowd pleaser.
From everything I’ve heard, the 250-acre Saracina ranch sounds like a lovely place to visit. In addition to sustainably farmed wine, they also make olive oil and honey. They were founded by the Fetzer family in 2001. And it’s still family owned….just a different family ☺ with the Taub Family. This is a true red blend, comprised of 50% Grenache and 50% field blend (Grenache, Carignan, and French Colombard). A field blend is where grapes are planted together in the one vineyard, harvested together, and generally and co-fermented in the winery (co-fermented means they are literally fermented together). What I love about this wine is that it has a really good acid structure. Acidity in wine is what makes you salivate and gives you a palate cleansing sensation. All these things contribute to the wine being deemed “food friendly” and would make this Old World style wine a great addition to your dinner table.
If Clif with one “f” looks familiar, it’s because this is the same Clif Family who own the Clif Bars brand. The Climber is a Bordeaux style red wine blend made from grapes grown on the western side of the Oak Knoll AVA. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petite Verdot, 6% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc). As a wine person and someone who constantly strives to try the new, the exciting, and the different, admittedly I sometimes forget about good old Bordeaux blends. This is a fantastic, quality wine that I thoroughly enjoyed. Classic notes of black fruit (blk cherries), blueberries, and cedar closet. This wine does not shy away from its use of oak, though neutral (with 18 mos aging). And the dried herbs <chefs kiss>. It’s the bunches of herbs you buy with the intent of using them all, and they dry up on your kitchen counter. That’s what this wine smells like.
“Amancaya” is the name of an elusive flower found at high altitudes in the Andes. Legend has it that if you are able to locate this flower and use it to propose to your loved one, they will say yes. This wine comes from Bodegas CARO, which is a joint partnership with Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) in Bordeaux and the Catena family in Argentina. As an Argentine, I love my Malbec. As I say, in Argentina we drink so much Malbec, that it practically comes out of the faucet. If I had to describe it, I’d describe it as a Malbec “Plus”. So much Malbec out there is at the same quality level, and it’s all solidly good. This one is a step above with a deep core and darker aromas and flavors than your typical Malbec. This likely comes from the 30% Cabernet Sauvignon blended in.