For the past 14 years, Missy has loved treating her clients to some of the best wines in the world. Her favorite wines come from Burgundy, France. In fact, she loves them so much, her daughter’s middle name is Meursault! One of her most memorable and educational moments was touring vineyards with Stephane Derenoncourt followed by a wine tasting of his 1995 Chateau Pavie Macquin Saint Emilion Grand Cru…”It was magical!” Missy understands that each persons’ palate is as diverse as their wine cellar and prides herself on making excellent, personalized recommendations. She loves how wine is an adventure in a bottle and creates that experience for her clients by sharing the story of the vineyard and taking them on a virtual vacation with every conversation. She’s the hostess with the mostest and can often be found entertaining in her kitchen with a Champagne flute in hand!
Based out of New York City, Dara loves to entertain, and always with the best wines that she can get. After a first taste of a Brunello di Montalcino, she was hooked and ever since has been chasing one vintage after another. When pressed about her personal favorite, she says “there are so many wonderful stories in my life that involve wine that it’s hard to nail down just one”. On one special occasion, she helped a client to create a custom blended barrel, and once finished, the wine was poured for over 100 guests who raved at its depth and complexity. “He told me in a proud voice that his wine was absolutely the hit of the party, he was so happy!” She regularly shares pairing suggestions and tips with her clients, and thinks the perfect meal should be complimented by the perfect wine. A special client of hers has even become the neighborhood sommelier with his extensive cellar and knowledge gained through his relationship with Dara. “He’s the leading wine guy out of all his friends!”
Dubbed the Wine Angel by her fondest clients, Linda has been helping her clients source the best wines for over 10 years. She loves a great champagne and thinks that Burgundy is the “last stop before heaven!” Her family has made a tradition of drinking the Salmastro Super Tuscan during the holidays, and she smiles remembering that first meal they shared together and all the best times they have spent together since. Linda believes that wine is there to enhance our lives, to bring us pleasure, and to bond us together – “It’s God’s gift to us”. A fond memory is when she was able to help a client source some very high caliber wines for an elaborate Hollywood dinner party that included famous celebrities. Her client said the wines had stolen the show and the guests had been amazed at the detail to attention that was taken by the winemaker. Her love of wine isn’t all that she has in common with her clients, her passion for travel and exploration is shared by many as well and they often exchange stories, recipes, and travel tips. A native of Virginia, Linda loves outdoor sports – especially hiking, horseback riding, and golf.
After 13 years in the wine business, Alyssa has nearly seen it all. When asked she’ll tell you that “wine is a part of life…you can relax, relate, and release with a great glass of wine”. She strives to develop real relationships with her clients. This gives her the ability to understand their palates and then to recommend wines that will best suite their tastes. Laughing as she recalls a client’s story about falling asleep on the porch after too much Malbec, her treasure chest of stories all demonstrate the personal nature of her relationship with her clients. She has even been invited to weddings and charity events where she has shared her passion and expertise with everyone. Recently she has been enjoying the great diversity of her favorite varietal, Cab Franc, and some unique Amarones, a style she hopes to help get a little more time in the sun.
If you ask her what she enjoys most about wine, Stephanie will tell you that, “in the end, all the hard work that went into every cork we get to pop brings us a little celebration, new memories, a touch of romance, and an experience that won’t soon be forgotten”. After nearly 5 years in the wine industry, she still feels the same excitement that she felt when she first began. She tells of the passion displayed by the winemakers during a casual stroll through a Sonoma vineyard early in her career, and how that passion echoed in every bottle. For her, it is this passion that she desires to share with her clients. Remembering her experience drinking a 1976 German Trockenbeerenauslese as being “nothing short of magical”, she absolutely adores Pinot Noir, and of course all things Burgundy, but for her it’s the wine’s story that keeps her coming back. “I love the story behind the bottle, the history, and all the people involved just to make a single bottle of wine”.
Very much like a song that reminds you of a time in your life, wine does that for Gaye. At 16 years old she had her first sip of Chassagne Montrachet and fell in love. From that moment on she has sought out only the best of the best when it comes to wine! Based out of Los Angeles, Gaye has been working in the wine industry for 16 years. She loves interacting with people and says, “I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my day then to talk about my favorite things, wine and food with really interesting people.” She prides herself on the amazing client relationships she has built over the years and loves when they call asking for advice on which wines to pour guests. One of her most memorable wine moments was a dinner with Stephane Derenoncourt, where he used several different wines to demonstrate their subtle differences. Of this memory she says, “It was then that I truly understood the art and passion that goes into making quality wine by a master winemaker.”
With two decades in wine, Bryan has tasted some of the best vintages of recent history. His experience is priceless when it comes to finding the rare and unique wines that his clients absolutely adore. A story he loves to tell is how he tasted his first real Bordeaux Grand Cru: “I was working for a wine shop and had to deliver some cases to a home in a really nice neighborhood in Los Angeles. None other than Danny Devito opens the door and as a tip he cracks open one of the wooden crates and hands me a bottle of 1979 Chateau Margaux. Of course I drank it and fell immediately in love”. When a close friend was going to propose at his favorite Italian eatery, Bryan was able to get him 3 different wines to pair perfectly with their meal. Oh, and she said YES! Watching a wine develop after it’s opened is a particular delight for Bryan, “I love how a change and evolve, and can leave an imprint on your palate that lasts forever”.
It was the rich dark fruit and black pepper found in a glass of Australian Shiraz that first captivated Cathrow – “it sent me spinning”. Her fire for trying all the unique styles of the world’s wine hasn’t waned over her 18 years in the business, in fact, she’ll tell you that it’s only enhanced it. “I am true believer that every style has its place but near and dear to my heart are Red Burgundies”. It was during a flight of five Red Burgundies paired with unique bites that Cathrow was able to detect the subtle nuances accentuated by the pairings. She says it was at that moment that “I finally got…and it’s been true love for me and Burgundy since then”. She went on to earn the distinction of Sommelier with the Court of Masters. Most of Cathrow’s clients have been working with her for years and they’ve shared all their stories with each other. Cathrow recalls that once a client called her to perform an intervention on his fiancée who would only drink White Zinfandel. Years later, the wife is now the family wine expert and thanks Cathrow for expanding her palate.
Passionate about all things wine, Katherine’s over 10 years of experience has helped to fill a lot of cellars. During a special dinner with friends, the owner of a small Italian restaurant pulled wines from his personal cellar to share with Katherine’s group. After a glass of perfectly-aged Cabernet, she says “in that moment I understood why people love wine so passionately.” She might have started with Cab but her real love is the subtleties to be found in a bottle of Pinot Noir from Burgundy. “The attention required to produce a landmark Pinot is the same attention required to detect all the complexities it can express”. Six years ago, she was accompanied by a client to a special dinner with Stephane Derenoncourt. Years later, she reminisces about how that evening would forever change both her and her client’s understanding of the magic that each bottle holds inside it. Her favorite part about wine is that it captures the moment and creates memories. “It forces you to be still for a moment to appreciate the beauty in your glass”.
When she’s not wandering around the globe looking for hidden gems in forgotten cellars, Sandra is sharing her wealth of experience and devotion to all things wine. An admitted lover of Old World wines, she recently went Barolo tasting on a family trip to her favorite region of Italy, where she had the opportunity to interact with the local winemakers and to learn about their traditions and their passion for their craft. It is the ability for wine to “bring us together, to create new memories, and to give us the sense of a particular place, culture, and people” that keeps Sandra’s attention. An especially dear memory for her is how moved a client was during the drive up to the Stagecoach vineyard for a barrel blending session. She recalls the client’s tears of joy as she marveled at the beauty of the landscape that could be seen from above the fog-line atop Moon Mountain. The client asked, “Who gets to do this? This is so incredible and we are so lucky to be here with you, this is truly magnificent”. Most of her clients have become her friends, as well as fellow wine aficionados.
From rafting down a river in the Grand Tetons to fine dining with exquisite wines, Michael is always seeking out unique experiences. A lover of bold Italian reds, he feels that food pairing is often the best way to highlight a wine. “I love to eat delicious food, and pairing it with a great wine is a way to make a perfect meal”. He finds particularly intriguing the way certain wines can enhance foods in specific ways. Sharing his enthusiasm for unique experiences drives Michael to help his clients try new things. A special story for him is one about how a client was able to get a rare case of White Burgundy for his father. The client expressed how inspired the father was by the wine, being a life-long lover of wine, but having never before experienced a wine of that caliber. “It was a very moving experience for them both, and I was happy to have been able to be a part of it”.
Nicola’s interest in wine began during her journey abroad while living in Spain. Reflecting on her time in Madrid, she fondly retells stories about evenings there with new friends, great food, and incredible wines. The combination of those things was, she recalls, like a fairy-tale that she was living in. “For me, wine is a vehicle to enjoy old memories and to collect new ones”. It’s those stories that drive her zeal for wine—whether discussing the region, the varietal, or the terroir, for Nicola “every wine has a unique story to tell”. She uses her enthusiasm to ignite the passion in her clients, helping them to try new things, to seek out unique styles and varietals, and to share their stories and passion with others as well.
Kira enjoys life one glass at a time and loves to share her passion for wine with her clients. Growing up in the vineyards of Temecula, California, some of her earliest memories are watching her parents taste the wines growing right in their backyard. As soon as she was old enough, she joined a wine club and immediately fell in love with bold California cabernets. After drinking the 2014 Sorada she said “I have never experienced a wine with so much depth and character…my palate is almost overwhelmed. It’s truly incredible.” Kira has spent a lot of time wandering the globe looking for the best wines to be found. After traveling to 36 countries and sampling the best each region has to offer, she has developed a soft spot for delicious Australian Shiraz. “I lived in Australia for a year and got to experience the passion for wine that is in Australia.” When you ask her what drives her enthusiasm for wine she says that she loves wine because it has so much personality, it’s so diverse, and there is always something new and exciting to keep you on your toes!”