Tell us a bit about yourself. Why are you a wine geek?
I’m a native South Floridian who had the pleasure of being somewhat of a New Yorker for almost a decade. It’s pretty easy to fall in love with the world of wine and restaurants when living in a place like New York, and by the time I started working at a restaurant in South Williamsburg that had an exclusively natural wine list, I was constantly studying other restaurants' wine lists and staring at bottles at my favorite shops. I love sharing stories over bottles with friends, or trying to get an understanding of why certain wines taste the way they do, or get at the historical context that explains why the winemakers chose to work with the grapes that they do. To me, wine really is a lifelong opportunity to learn and explore and travel, and I kind of feel lucky to be so obsessed with it.
Extraterrestrials just landed on earth. What wine do you pour them?
Savagnin from the Jura, probably the 2015 Buronfosse L'Hôpital.
What's your favorite scent you have ever smelled in a wine?
It’s definitely a tie between the new tire smell from the Listan Negro/Pais/Perill Noir varieities, or the movie theater coca cola slushie small from Tavel Grenache.
Any favorite music or podcasts you like to listen to while you drink wine?
I listen to a lot of NTS Radio (some of my favorite shows are Moxie, Quiet Storm, and Questing with Zakia), mostly so I don’t have to curate my own playlists because I am deeply lazy. Sometimes I’ll pick a certain genre based on what I’m drinking, like Detroit house with glou glou red or synth pop with unfiltered hazy whites.
If you could visit any wine region in the world right now what would it be any why?
Bio Bio Valley in Chile. There’s so much exciting things going on there, and I think it would be really cool to visit a wine region in the Southern Hemisphere where the seasons are opposite to how they are here. And of course, to be able to see 200 year old vines!
What do you think is the most exciting thing going in the world of wine right now?
A real commitment to accessibility and accountability in wine education, and the breaking down of older institutions to make room for a new generation of young wine enthusiasts who *actually* reflect what our greater community looks like.
What would you like to see in the future of wine?
Actual inclusivity in the wine world. Not tokenism, as in, not just putting marginalizing people in high places for representation without any power, but business owners actually putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to making sure folks feel welcomed and cared for and respected within all levels of their establishment.
What advice would you give yourself looking back to when you first started working in the wine industry?
Don’t feel discouraged when you don’t understand something, and don’t be so afraid to ask questions, especially the dumb ones.
Who are some people that inspire you in the world of wine?
Literally everyone who is a part of Industry Sessions, the virtual wine class for BIPOC that started this summer. The class has introduced me to some of the most inspirational people in the industry, from the students, to my co-facilitators, to the various speakers and winemakers who have brought their insights and experiences to share. Most especially, my dear friend Jirka Jireh, who is one of the co-founders of Industry Sessions is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, within the world and beyond it.
Anything in the works you'd like to mention or promote?
Probably the most exciting news to come out of this ridiculous year is that my friends and I are opening up a bookstore, wine bar, bakery concept in North Miami! And it's actually happening soon!!! Hoping that things stay on track, our space paradis books & bread (@paradis.bb) should be open in early 2021, and we’re really looking forward to sharing our experiences and passions with the community.
Thank you Bianca!