Wine Geek of the Week Lydia Richards

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 Lydia Richards @vinoconcierge
 
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why are you a wine geek?
I find myself talking or thinking about wine way too often; keep bringing it up in random conversations with friends and completely strangers (responsibly of course). Beyond being a wine geek, I'm basically in love and in a happy, healthy relationship with wine.
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Extraterrestrials just landed on earth. What wine do you pour them?
Blanca Cusiné from Parés Baltà winery, it is a biodynamic/organic limited production micro-cuvée cava made with Xarel·lo, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (vinified as a blanc de noir) and aged over 30 months before release. Let's show them what two powerhouse female winemakers can do and you'll see they won't attack us; if they do, we'll go out in style!
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What's your favorite scent you have ever smelled in a wine?
I'll never ever forget the first time I smelled a Barolo and those delicious smoky, tobacco/dried rose petals aromas inundated my nose. It was definitely a game-changer moment for me!
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Any favorite music or podcasts you like to listen to while you drink wine?
Absolutely! I pair music and wines all the time. Lately, I've been on a Bad Bunny vibe when drinking bubbly and Beyonce 'Black is King' album when drinking fiercely complex reds like Barbaresco and Ribeira Sacra.
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If you could visit any wine region in the world right now what would it be any why?
I'd love to be in Lanzarote right now in the Canary Islands. It's basically Mars and it would feel so far away from this mess...
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What do you think is the most exciting thing going in the world of wine right now?
I think the focus on diversity and inclusion is really exciting, important, NECESSARY and something that shouldn't be just a fad or trend. We have to continue raising our voices when dealing with racism, sexism, harassment and injustice.
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What would you like to see in the future of wine?
More diversity, more inclusion, more women, minorities and BIPOC in positions of power and influence! That's the only way we will change the current status quo and toxic environment that allows some industry leaders to use their power to abuse and harass without any accountability.
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What advice would you give yourself looking back to when you first started working in the wine industry?
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! Use your existing background, knowledge and skills, and leverage it as you are trying to enter this industry. At the end of the day, wine is a business and people are needed in multiple sides of it: sales, hospitality, marketing, etc. Do your research and don't be afraid to ask established people in the industry to be your mentor and/or give you advice (the worst they can do is say no), and take every networking opportunity you can get!
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Who are some people that inspire you in the world of wine?
I'm extremely inspired by strong, powerful ladies Shakera Jones @blackgirlsdinetoo and @Victoria_James!
 
Anything in the works you'd like to mention or promote? 
I'd love to promote the recently launched Instagram page @hispanicsinwine, created to promote equality, diversity, as well as help the new generation of Hispanic & Latinx professionals advance in the wine industry. On our Hispanics in Wine "Spotlight Series", we feature talented individuals from the community and learn about their journey in the wine industry, key advice to the next generation, what changes they want to see in the wine community and more. Representation matters and we hope that through these spotlights, we give hope and encourage people from diverse backgrounds to pursue their dream career path in the industry. We are currently working on building our network and in the future, are developing programming aimed at providing educational training and professional opportunities for advancement in the industry, both proprietary and with partner organizations. Very exciting things ahead!
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Thank you Lydia!

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