Wine Geek of the Week Allison Slute

Welcome to the Wine Geek of the Week
Where I ask my favorite wine geeks shitty questions!
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This week's guest is Allison Slute @cabfrancchronicles
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why are you a wine geek?
I got bit by the wine bug early in my teens while in France on a student exchange. I got my first job in the biz in 2007, and within a few weeks I was hooked, and never looked back. Wine is this amazing confluence of art, science, geography, history, culture, language, and business. Whenever I open a bottle of wine, my curiosity knows no bounds. I love discovering all the little details that came together to get that wine into the bottle and onto my table. It's incredible, and humbling.

Extraterrestrials just landed on earth. What wine do you pour them?
Cabernet Franc! It's a founder grape! What we think of as a Bordeaux blend wouldn't exist without it. Cab Franc is the parent of both Cabernet Sauvignon AND Merlot.

What's your favorite scent you have ever smelled in a wine?
Violets... or purple flowers in general, like lavender and lilacs. I love when those floral perfumes are delicately woven through a Cab Franc.

Any favorite music or podcasts you like to listen to while you drink wine?
I've been binging hard on The National and Matt Berninger's new solo album of late. But my musical tastes are pretty diverse, totally depends on my mood, the weather and of course the wine in my glass!

If you could visit any wine region in the world right now what would it be any why?
Right now, I'd love to spend a month or more in the Loire Valley doing a deep dive into the Cab Francs of Chinon, Bourgueil, St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Saumur-Champigny and Saumur.

What do you think is the most exciting thing going in the world of wine right now?
Diversity. We are in one of the most exciting times in wine's modern history. Diversity in voices that communicate about wine from all angles and at all levels. Diversity in choice - no other time in history have we had SO many amazing wines available at our fingertips from all corners of the world. It's pretty incredible to be a wine lover today.

What would you like to see in the future of wine?
Greater inclusion. While we have more diversity than ever, I still think there is still too much cliquey-ness and that old boys club mentality. We need to draw more people in, not push them out. We're losing people to White Claw, and that's just sad. People need to feel like wine appreciation and enjoyment isn't like climbing Mount Everest. It's our job as professionals to hold their hand and make them feel comfortable and encouraged about their wine choices.

What advice would you give yourself looking back to when you first started working in the wine industry?
Never stop learning and tasting. After receiving my sommelier accreditation in 2008, I took a hiatus from formal education. Studying regions through the lens viticulture and winemaking can be hugely critical in understanding why a wine tastes the way it does. And taking some notes, even brief ones, when opening a bottle of wine to enjoy, can do wonders for your memory and palate. I've started doing this more now in the last few years and I regret I didn't keep up with that habit earlier.

Who are some people that inspire you in the world of wine?
All the women who are busting down barriers, shaking things up in this industry and taking down the patriarchy. I admire all of the women who have come forward and continue to do so to share their stories about sexual harassment in the wine industry as well. I hope this starts us on a path of change in how our industry looks at and handles these issues in the future.

Anything in the works you'd like to mention or promote? 
@cabfrancchronicles is my passion project. A full website will come in 2021, but for now, people can do a deep dive into Cabernet Franc, it's winemakers and terroirs on my IG feed.

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