Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anne Strand – The One, The Only, The Original Wino Woman

Picture Credit:

When you are looking for the prefect pairing of wine for any event, food, or situation in life for that matter, you MUST check out Anne Strand - the one, the only, the original Wino Woman first! This classy, feisty, and unique Certified Sommelier, and although Strand has always had an ongoing love affair with wine due to the vast varieties available, she wasn’t always a sommelier.
Previously Strand sported a corporate hat in the high tech world when she worked for Google and Facebook. On a personal note… as addicting and beneficial for networking that Facebook is, I can see why one would turn to wine as a much need relaxer after hours! ;-) And I would love a few tips from Strand on making Google work for me because I am lost! Lol! However, I digress... back to topic! :-)

Wino Woman writes an awesome blog for all wine lovers from the connoisseur to even the wine novice out there. It is a great spot to learn, laugh, and even have instant access to wines that Strand recommends. By all means she gives you the inside scoop on the various characteristics of different wines she encounters but she takes wine to an entire different level by pairing wines up to anything and everything in life and yes, I mean everything; from the perfect wine for the ex-boyfriend to wine that compliments the American dream. She makes learning about wines fun and entertaining. You will have a strong desire to test out her pairings purely for fun!

A bottle and glass of non-fortified Beaumes de Venise wine made in the French wine region of the southern Rhone Valley. Made predominately from Grenache.

Picture Credit: Jen HofmanHansen (Wikipedia) 

For example, we asked Strand if she had to pair a wine with Halloween Candy Corn, which wine would she pair it with. If you think about it, candy corn is to Halloween, the month of October as Cotton Candy is to fairs! So of course it was a logically choice for this time of the year. Thinking we could have stumped her with our off the wall pairing assignment, Wino Woman proved us wrong and popped the wine cork out of the park.. or winery that is! Strand educated us in her ever so knowledgeable sommelier class:
“Candy corn is a difficult match for wine because it's basically all sugar. In general, you want to be drinking a wine that has as much sugar as the food you're eating. If you don't, the wine is going to taste really bitter in comparison. So I would go with a sweet dessert wine that has some orange notes, like a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. It's a fortified Muscat wine from the Southern Rhone Valley and tastes delicious slightly chilled.” 
So what we thought would be an impossible pairing, the Wino Woman pulled it off without even breaking the slightest sweat! But doesn’t that make you want to go buy some candy corn and Muscat de Beaumes de Venise just for fun this Halloween? I know I want to!

Knowing that WinoWoman, in the name of research of course, has traveled worldwide consuming wine after wine diligently for the better of mankind, we knew she had to have some luxuries that were must haves in her life that she could turn to after all that tiring hard work. So we asked her, other then wine of course, what two other luxuries does she indulge in when the world of wine tasting and educating fellow winos wears her down. <Insert snicker here ;-) LOL!> Wino Woman told us:
“I love to stay in luxury hotels when I'm traveling. Doing so makes every trip, even a work trip, feel like a wonderful vacation. One of my favorite hotels to stay in is the Shangri-La in Beijing. I also like to pamper myself with a spa facial every now and then.” 
Now that is what I am talking about! What a wonderful life – sipping wines, travel, and spas! Could life get any better? :-) 

Picture Credit: (Visit South France

We thought, could it be possible for a wino woman of such stature to ever pick a favorite out of all the wines she has encountered throughout her life? We figured, probably not but just to test that theory we decided to limit her with the question – if you could only drink ONE wine for the rest of your life, which specific wine would it be. Lo and behold, although not thrilled with the question, she did have an answer! Strand told us:
“I hope I never find myself in this predicament because one thing I love about wine is the variety. There are so many different wines that suit different occasions and foods. Part of the fun of being a sommelier is discovering new wines and pairings. Either way, if I absolutely had to choose just one wine for the rest of my life, I would probably choose Côte-Rôtie. Côte-Rôtie is a small appellation in the Northern Rhone in France. Wine made there is mostly Syrah but sometimes has a bit of Viognier blended in. The wine has fantastic black pepper, bacon and violet aromas - it's exquisite.”
This is one wine I definitely want to try now! I mean, seriously, if the Wino Woman chose it as her one and only for life if push came to shove, it has got to be magnificent! We hope you enjoyed learning about this amazing woman with an amazingly fun job as much as we did! If you want in on Wino Woman’s secrets make sure you visit her blog at Wino Woman; connect with her on Twitter @Wino_Woman and connect on Facebook @WinoWoman. And remember the Wino Woman’s philosophy when in doubt for gift giving or drinking enjoyment – “There’s a wine for that!” :-)

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