Wine Geek of the Week Maryam Ahmed
Where I ask my favorite wine geeks shitty questions!
I am a Napa based NY native. I’ve been in the food and wine industry effectively my whole career (except that one time I was a mascot for a local triple A baseball team #buddythebee!). I’m a wine geek because of the connection it brings: to people, to experience, to places. I love that wine is a vessel for much, much more.
Extraterrestrials just landed on earth. What wine do you pour them?
I feel like if ET landed, Steve Wells at Time and Direction wines in Walla Walla would know exactly what to do.
What's your favorite scent you have ever smelled in a wine?
Any favorite music or podcasts you like to listen to while you drink wine?
Depends. Are we in a Funk mood? Soul? R&B? I like pairing mood + music + wine. Shout out to the Graft playlists that Femi + Miles create. Also (it’s cheating because I make them) but Black Wine Professionals has some solid playlists!
If you could visit any wine region in the world right now what would it be and why?
I am suddenly overwhelmed by choices. I’m a fan of white wines with silky texture but I also love regions that produce a variety of styles, so I’m going to head to the Jura.
What do you think is the most exciting thing going in the world of wine right now?
That brands have to walk the talk when it comes to their promises. Consumer questions have expanded from tasting notes to asking about social responsibility and sustainable practices. While the work we do as industry members is vital, consumers move the needle. More questions, more accountability.
What would you like to see in the future of wine?
Continued pursuit of sustainable practices. Our livelihoods rely on the land and the people who farm it. It’s not just a hope, it’s a necessity.
What advice would you give yourself looking back to when you first started working in the wine industry?
Trust your gut. I didn’t follow a straight path even though I’ve remained in the industry, and I had people question me when I chose to go right when they would have chosen to go left. I’m glad I continue to follow the direction I feel most called toward.
Who are some people that inspire you in the world of wine?
Julia Coney - she’s never going to let me rest on my laurels.
Maiah Johnson - she is on fire! Love to see it.
Hai Tran - we’ve never met in person, but he’s made an impact on me over the past year and a half. He has encouraged me and pushed me. Thanks, Hai!
Yannick Benjamin - A go getter with a pure hospitality heart.
Dottie Gaiter - a kind, literary marvel looking out for all of us.
Daren Clark - talk about pursuit of passion. Bonus points for being a great friend.
There are so many more and I'm constantly inspired by what people are doing, both in front of and behind the scenes
Anything in the works you'd like to mention or promote?
Thank you Maryam!