Notable Wine

Howdy! Today’s video chat is centered around gastronomy – but not food this time – instead it’s all about the wine! I recently had the pleasure of having Sean Antoniello who is the Owner of Notable Wine. As well as an Event Host. A Wine Consultant and an Edutainer. Sean is an amazing guy who does all of these things virtually and live – and does it fabulously! Now, Sean is as passionate about wine as I am about travel so you know you can’t go wrong when you hire Notable Wines for your next event – plus watching and listening to him talk about it really will seal the deal. So, pour a glass of vino and perhaps nibble on some cheese to compliment it, sit back and read on! (And today we are presenting this video chat blog a bit differently as we are writing it pretty much in Sean’s – and my words.) Cheers!

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Company Background

{Sean} The DJ’ing: I started out as a professional DJ so thus the “Notable” part of Notable Wine. I’ve always had a passion for music and DJ’ing soon became a passion too. I really just enjoy playing music and learning more about different genres of music. But I think what really got me into the industry was when I became a wedding DJ, and I was doing events for awesome couples and people of all different ages. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was just seeing people smiling, laughing, dancing and having a great time. I would leave my parties so fulfilled and loved that I could have that effect on people’s lives!

As for the wine part: I always had a passion for wine – actually since before I was supposed to be drinking (wink, wink) and I learned from some really great people early on about some awesome regions and all that. In fact, some higher end Burgundy’s and Brunello’s were two of my main introductions to wine – so I caught a bug early on to really enjoy wine. Even through my college days I always had this sense of wanting to learn more about wine. That led me to spend about two or three years just learning about buying wines and getting certifications and things like that and then I really got into the industry, and I found a lot of fun to be had here!

The French Region Wines

{Sean} I like France because every wine region that is represented in France really shows a different style and a different variety and all of the varieties that we drink throughout the world basically come from one region or another in France. Now, we could talk about Spain and Italy with their own separate varieties as well, but looking at France you’ve got Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chablis – which is part of Burgundy but closer to Sancerre which is in the Loire Valley –Rhone Valley, Champagne region and you also have Alsace. So, you have all these different regions that have very specific varieties that do super, super well thanks to the fact that they grow perfectly in those climates and the soils in those regions. And I think what most of the wine makers, wine professionals and masters of wine or master sommeliers – the good ones are always talking about this thing called terroir which is basically a sense of place – and I really think that it’s so important to hone in on that specific concept when you’re talking about wine. You can get wine from California but if it if it doesn’t show some sort of sense of place then you’re missing the whole back story of the wine. Look – you can buy lots of different brands that tell you a story to market to you – but do they have that sense of place where the grapes actually came from?

So that’s really what I love about talking about France and French wines in general. For instance – Bordeaux and Merlot – there are six basic grapes you can grow in Bordeaux and all of those grapes grow all throughout the world, but they have this very strict law you can really only grow these grapes to call it Bordeaux and that’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petite Bordeaux and Carménère. A lot of people don’t know about Carménère, and they don’t do a ton of it – it’s always in a blend – I’ve never seen a single varietal Carménère from Bordeaux. But you will see it a lot in Chile, and again, California can do almost everything because of the unique soils and different micro-climates. So, California is a great place to study but if you really want to get deeper into the history, I always recommend the old world – France, Italy, Spain and Germany – that whole area where they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years longer than us.

Wine In Other Areas Of The World

{Chief Travel Guru} So obviously we know Europe is a great place for wine connoisseurs to go and enjoy and have all that history – but you did mention South America when you started off with Chile, so I want to chat a little bit about that because not only can you get amazing wines in Chile, but also in Argentina.

{Sean} Yes! South America is a real up and coming region. Brazil is making wine but so is Russia, India, and China – or what we call BRIC – which are the four main new regions that we have a lot to learn about. They are still not exporting a whole lot, so you don’t see a lot of them in America – but that’s why we gotta go visit these places!

{Chief Travel Guru} Exactly! So as borders open up and we get a chance to go and have these amazing adventures, that’s all part of what I do so I will go ahead and make sure that you’ve got a curated itinerary and Sean is going to help me guide you in the wine portion of it. And that is because as much of a gastronomy person that I am, he has all of the knowledge on the wines so we’re going to team up and we’re going to create these amazing itineraries that you can literally do anywhere in the world, and they are wine specific! And not just in Europe and South America but Australia and New Zealand have amazing wines too.
{Sean} Well you were mentioning Argentina. So, most people know of Mendoza which is the big capital for Malbec – but have you heard of Salta? It’s one of the highest elevations for wine in the world and they still grow Malbec up there because of the warmth that they get – but because it’s a cooler climate the style is completely different than what you get down on the valley floor. The wines are amazing – I love wines from that region so really cool stuff.

{Chief Travel Guru} So it sounds like we need a two week trip just to Argentina just to do wine tasting! Forget about everything else let’s just do wine tasting for two weeks!

Where Can I Find These Wines Without Traveling?

{Sean} Well the challenge here in the States is with all of it being regulated differently. The best way to find really cool, fun wines is to find a really good local wine shop with a dedicated wine person that is passionate about wine like I am and who can help you find certain things. Because you can go into the big box stores and find a nice selection but to really get that elevated experience with wine I always recommend going into a smaller, more local wine shop if you can find one.

{Chief Travel Guru} What are some of the questions that people should ask to make sure that they are reaching a person who is just like you – i.e. – as passionate and knows their wines?

{Sean} I always start with the obvious questions – start with something that you’re really looking for. I mean you know if you are looking for Malbec from Salta, you gotta ask that question that you know the average wine store clerk isn’t going to know, so they can then get the manager to get you somebody who will actually have some knowledge. It may take a little digging at first but do have that specific question – the more specific you can get about a region or a variety or a style of wine I think that that would be the way I would go.

Virtual Events

{Chief Travel Guru} So let’s talk a little bit about your virtual events in terms of what can you do for people who want to have something right now and they’re like hey let’s do a wine tasting but we aren’t ready to travel yet or gather in groups – what does that look like?

{Sean} Well I’ve got a really cool one planned! I’m doing one right around Valentine’s Day where we’re going to do a sparkling wine and popcorn pairing. I always incorporate music or my wine rhymes or something in my events because I’m all about edutainment. I want you to learn something, but wine is fun, and it’s meant to be fun, so we should have fun. But I want you to walk away with just a little bit more knowledge so that you can either buy wine better or have a better appreciation for what you’re tasting the next time around. I want you to walk away really feeling something, so I thought why not pair sparkling wine with popcorn and just do something fun and light. It’s not a whole food pairing but we’ll go into the history and talk about how sparkling wine is made and the different varieties and the different regions you can get it from. There are so many different aspects of sparkling wine that you can dive pretty deep into – but it all depends on the level of edu or the level of tainment that you’re looking for – that’s what I’m all about.

{Chief Travel Guru} So in this edutainment – what if somebody wants to learn how to actually taste a wine – do you work through that? Do you go through the whole the spinning, swirling and smelling and all of that?

{Sean} Yeah, I take a lot of that stuff for granted – but the first wine rhyme I wrote was the five basic S’s of wine tasting – I give that one for free because it’s so important and it gets more intricate to learn. {Sean raps the following:}

To get the most out of your wine tasting experiences,
Use the five S’s and engage all your senses.
Swirl the wine in your glass to open with aeration,
Use your site to see its depth and coloration.
Now inhale the aromas and describe what you smell,
Take your time with this, it may impress clientele.
Next step, sip the fruit and funky flavors,
Then for satisfaction let it sit and savor.

{Chief Travel Guru} That is super awesome – I love it and I don’t want you to give away everything because I want people to experience it!

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So, what do you think? I mean – you guys, if maybe wanted to do a virtual wine tasting or something like that – a couple hours maybe on Friday night – you know we could do a wine and a book, or we can do wine and some extra food and so there’s lots of different things that we can do! All you gotta do is just reach out let me know and Sean and I will put something together. Maybe an evening of tasting some wines and traveling virtually. Or if you want to do a live event he will come to you too – as he showed us, he travels with music and wine – so all good stuff!

For more details on Notable Wine, it’s price points and more – contact your Travel Guru! Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure – we got those too!

Namaste!

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