My love affair with wine didn’t begin at first sight, but rather as a slow romance. When I first started drinking it, I’d have a glass here or there, but never really had a sense of the complexities of what went into making it, let alone pairing it. The wine world seemed like a secret society that I hadn’t gained entry into, with its own language that I couldn’t comprehend. Truth be told, it felt exclusive and unapproachable.
Cut to 2011, when I attended my first wine tastings at vineyards in Napa and Sonoma, and finally — slowly — started to speak the language that had eluded me for so long. I grew to appreciate the way that wine positively enhanced a meal and brought like-minded people together in conversation and laughter, and my love for pairings started to blossom.
In 2017, I made the decision to upgrade this romance from a vacation fling to a real, full-time relationship: After spending 15 years working in marketing between two Minneapolis Fortune 100 retailers and with big-name entertainers such as Justin Timberlake, Shakira, and Taylor Swift, I decided to say “cheers” to the 9-5 life and left the corporate world to spend a year learning about the wines of the world.
I’ve traveled to nine of the world’s most notable wine regions, sipping and sampling my way around the globe. The more I learned about how wine could enhance an experience — like pairing young Chiantis with a variety of pizzas on a volcano in Italy — the more passionate I became about the art of finding the perfect pairing. I love how the perfect bottle of wine can bring forth the flavors of a meal and completely change the ambiance of an experience.
Through Pairs Well With…, it’s my goal to help others deepen their own relationships with wine, and prove that it isn’t actually as mysterious or unapproachable as it may initially seem. Consider this site as your own personal “Wine 101,” where you can learn the language of wine through recipes, tips and pairings… and have a lot of fun while doing it.