Posts tagged with "wine enthusiasts"

Sandra's Wine Life

QxA Sandra Guibord

How Sandra Guibord Pivoted to Success During the Pandemic& Sandra’s Wine Life’s Valentine’s Day Wine Recommendations

What was your career like pre-pandemic?

For the past 20 years, I have been a wine educator as CEO & Founder of Sandra’s Wine Life. The in-person education aspect of my business involved leading wine seminars for large corporates, entertaining large groups of high-net-worth clientele for private banks, accounting firms, technology firms, and non-profits.

What changed about your business when the pandemic hit?

In Spring, 2020 when all my in-person presentations were canceled, I knew I had to transition to virtual events. All of my corporate clients now needed an intimate connection platform with which to reach their customers. I create Sandra’s Wine Life’s Virtual Wine Seminars to entertain small groups of advisers and their select clients.

What inspired you to make this change rather than just take a few months off?

On a Zoom call with my ski friends, we were commiserating over cocktails about our beloved ski season being cut short from the pandemic. Zoom was new to me, but it was such an easy platform to use and I realized how easy it could be to connect with people all over the world. Right away I knew that it was the path I needed to take to jumpstart my company.

How is business going?

The wine seminars have been an extreme success. I am conducting presentations at least three nights a week all year long – and I’ve had some re-bookings already from clients I just gave seminars for in September as their clients have been very responsive. Seeing the great excitement generated from these seminars is incredibly rewarding.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

My service is more valuable than I realize.

When I started Sandra’s Wine Life, I viewed my service as simply entertainment. I have grown to realize that my services are quite valuable as a business generation tool for my clients, particularly in these pandemic times. My virtual seminars are an opportunity for agents to reach out and effectively connect to their clients. I create an environment that is relaxed and enjoyable to set the mood and facilitate open conversation. This might seem a small thing, but as there is so much to be distracted by about in these times, having the ability to keep people upbeat and in the moment right now is a skill that has proved very valuable, and it’s also very enjoyable for me to be able to provide.

People are not always nice.

Unfortunately, I have seen behavior at wine conferences and other industry events that can be reminiscent of a high school cafeteria. As an attractive woman who is friendly and approachable, people will make assumptions that I don’t take my business seriously and that I’m not as committed to my craft or qualified. I ignore their behavior and simply do what I do to move my business and initiatives forward. In my accomplishments, I prove them wrong.

Don’t be shy about developing your network.

If you never ask or reach out to those in your network, you could be missing out on enormous opportunities. For example, Thomas Preti Catering has separately been providing food to match my wine pairings to some of my clients for as long as 10 years. Just a few months ago I first approached him with an idea about the two of us teaming up to provide food and wine pairings together for exciting virtual events such as Wine & Opera with International Opera Performers, Wine & Cinema tastings. Immediately he was on board. Now I kick myself for being shy about reaching out years ago!

Your perspective and brand tone can change dramatically as your life changes. Lean into it.

When I first started Sandra’s Wine Life, I was a single woman in New York City, and as such I focused on the demographic that I was a part of. As life evolved, adding children, increased obligations and more Corporate services, the focus of my company also evolved to incorporate my perspective on how wine fits into life and its moods and situations, broadened to home entertainment, business dinners, family holidays, International travel and large-scale corporate entertaining.

Be patient and stay the course.

Over the last 20 years, I have had to go to great lengths to keep my business alive. I have had to be creative, carve out time that didn’t exist, continue selling my services, collaborate with others, and learn a number of new skills on the fly — and with great enthusiasm! I did this all while raising children, dedicating myself to growing my former husband’s business and without having any encouragement or support. My business was always my voice and I needed to keep it alive and growing slowly so when the time came that I could fly. The time finally came, and when it did, I was truly ready. Now I’m flying and loving every minute!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day – and Galentine’s Day. How should our readers celebrate?

  • Impress your date with romantic chocolates alongside Champagne.
  • Treat your best girlfriends to pizza and Pinot Noir.
  • Send Mom a bottle of her favorite Chardonnay.
  • Cook a romantic spicy seafood pasta dinner for two with a luxurious Brunello.
  • For that “new” special person in your life, a picnic with Prosecco and cheese is friendly and thoughtful – and pandemic friendly.
  • If you’re in a restaurant and in doubt, White Burgundy or Pinot Noir are great food-friendly choices that are smart to order.

What are your top wines for celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?

I will be sharing plenty of wine tips similar to these and much more in my forthcoming book, titled ‘Wine Identity’, due out this Spring. Look for more news on this shortly! In the meantime, you can check out my Instagram at @sandraswinelife each Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET for my weekly #WineWednesday recommendations, where I’ll share details about my favorite wines of the week and practical tips on how to enjoy them.

Rita Azar illustrates wine article for 360 MAGAZINE

ADAMVS Winery

With so many wineries now offering virtual tastings as a way to connect consumers with their favorite winery, ADAMVS winery in Napa Valley is now offering more than just a virtual tasting. ADAMVS has created a wine country harvest offering, connecting consumers with CA’s wine country at a time when most cannot visit during this spectacular season.

Consumers can choose from a variety of ADAMVS’ library wines which can be sent to their home in a hand-crafted wooden box along with a selection of handmade seasonal harvest-inspired items from ADAMVS’ 80-acre Howell Mountain property.

Items include: 2020 ADAMVS Cabernet Sauvignon jam, orchard fig jam; apple butter; mulled spice mix; dried oregano; ADAMVS herb salt; lavender shortbread and a few other seasonally-inspired harvest specialty items. Also included are seasonal recipe pairings from the Estate’s culinary director.

To enhance the offering further, recipients can schedule a private, virtual tasting with ADAMVS’s Owner, Denise Adams. Denise encourages guests to also invite others to the virtual tasting, to connect for a reunion over fine wine.

Red Wine, 360 MAGAZINE

Sandra’s Wine Life × Thomas Preti Events to Savor

Sandra Guibord, CEO and Founder of  Sandra’s Wine Life,  today announced the formal launch of her already successful partnership with Thomas Preti Events to Savor.

The wine educator and top New York caterer have pivoted their businesses, traditionally in-person wine education courses and large-scale in-person events respectively, to provide services virtually, shipping their wine and culinary creations to virtual event participants located throughout the United States for meetings, holiday parties, as well as Sandra Wine Life’s Wine Seminars.

Both companies have experienced tremendous success with this new model, working independently and together. Since the onset of the pandemic when physical events were put on hold, Sandra’s Wine Life has held four virtual events per week at minimum and experienced a growth rate of 100%.

 “Our new normal has empowered me to shift my business, previously in-person wine education seminars for top financial institutions, legal firms and non-profits, into a virtual format,” said Sandra Guibord.

“Through this experience, Sandra’s Wine Life has gained new clients and enthusiasts. I have not lost one client during the pandemic – in fact, I have grown my business 100%,” Guibord continued. “This additional partnership with New York’s top caterer, Thomas Preti, is a testament to the opportunities that can be created through collaboration during this unique moment in history.”

“Sandra and I have worked together, supporting the same clientele, yet separately, for nearly 10 years with tremendous success. I’m thrilled to now add our company’s catering expertise – traditionally shared in New York City’s most prestigious event venues – virtually through our new ‘Preti, Set, Go!’ offering,” added Thomas Preti, Founder of Thomas Preti Events to Savor.

“Although events are now primarily virtual, we continue to be able to provide cuisine that is just as beautifully presented and flavorful as for live, in-person events,” continued Preti. “The additional success that we’ve experienced teaming up with Sandra’s Wine Life has been incredible, with dozens of new events added, as well as the ability to now provide a full-service food and wine offering for virtual events.”

Sandra’s Wine Life Virtual Wine Seminars offer an array of custom and pre-packaged wine courses for beginners to wine connoisseurs. Thomas Preti Events’ ‘Preti, Set, Go!’ culinary offering is available to pair with Sandra Guibord’s wine selections for any of the virtual wine seminars. 

Seminar topics include a primer about wine and pairing called ‘All About Wine Tasting & Discussion,’ frequently hosted alongside a top wine industry expert. More topics include, ‘Wine & Cinema Tasting,’ including the preview of the film, ‘Wine Calling’ which captures the story of France’s natural winemaking movement, as well as ‘Wine & Opera’ which presents relevant wines and conversation alongside a ‘live’ virtual performance by International opera singers, Charles Castronovo and Ekaterina Siurina, from Berlin, Germany. 

With two decades of wine expertise and knowledge, Sandra Guibord offers wine tips and thought leadership for selecting and drinking wine that fits into everyone’s lifestyle. Sandra’s Wine Life celebrates selecting and enjoying wines for entertaining, gift giving, romance, parties and life’s many other occasions that call for a fabulous glass of wine.

About Sandra Guibord, Sandra’s Wine Life 

Sandra Guibord, CEO and Founder of Sandra’s Wine Life has over two decades of experience the media and entertainment business. A former Wilhelmina model and actress, including soap operas, network television series, films and corporate spokesperson roles, Sandra is now a preeminent guide within the wine and spirits community. She assists top corporations, legal firms, and nonprofits with entertaining their top clientele and senior executives.

Utilizing her hands-on learnings gained through vineyard internships and travel to wine regions worldwide, Sandra Guibord has made the often vexing world of wine enjoyable through her fun, festive and informative approach that has been well received by wine enthusiasts from novices to connoisseurs. She offers from practical wine advice for casual events (virtual and in-person), business dinners, romantic dates, and building custom wine collections. Sandra will be unveiling her first book, titled ‘Wine Identity’ in early 2021.

Learn more about Sandra’s Wine Life and Sandra Guibord’s event offerings at www.sandraswinelife.com.

About Thomas Preti Events To Savor

Since 1987, Thomas Preti Events to Savor has seamlessly orchestrated thousands of events at New York’s most prestigious venues. Our team has earned a reputation for delivering an unmatched culinary experience and first-class service by tailoring the needs of each event to enhance its unique image and style.

You’re not just choosing a menu. You’re choosing an experience. People who know caterers choose Thomas Preti for the events that matter. When we promise grilled grouper, that’s precisely what we serve. Grilled perfectly. Served impeccably. We’ve been delighting our clients and their guests for over 30 years. We’ve seen fads come and go. We don’t follow fads. We focus on what really matters. Real food, prepared in surprising and delicious ways. Preti is famous for delivering what we promise, flawlessly.

In 2020, we launched Preti, Set, Go!, a modern evolution of the classic Thomas Preti experience, individually packaged & delivered to you!

California Wines New Blog

Good wine, good food, and sustainability; Discover California unites all three topics in a tasty new blog. Food and wine sustain us best when produced with care and shared with friends.

Patio perfect: Time to take it outdoors. Dust off the patio furniture, fire up the grill, and uncork a juicy Zinfandel. Whether you’re celebrating Dad on Father’s Day, or just enjoying a warm evening al fresco, your backyard barbecue could probably use a refresh. Grilled pork shoulder chops and a nectarine slaw are definitely not the same old grilling.

Which Zin? Zinfandel is like that dinner party guest whom you can seat next to anyone—the extrovert who makes everyone feel comfortable and fits into any group. As Zin fans know, California wineries make this variety in a vast spectrum of styles, from fresh and lively to dark and brooding. So, what’s best for grilled pork? Red wine.

The choice is yours; It’s not easy, when you’re racing down a supermarket aisle, to be thoughtful about the wine you buy. Sustainable? Organic? Biodynamic? Do you even have time for that? When you’re tempted to grab-and-go in the wine aisle, remember that your choices matter. A little knowledge can help you quickly select a California wine that is made responsibly.

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Lost Draw Cellars Creates Rosé Hand Sanitizer

Lost Draw Cellars recently distilled a Texas Rosé batch to create hand sanitizer for winery patrons. The Rosé hand sanitizer is now being given away to winery visitors and included in wine club shipments as a gesture of the winery’s ongoing support of the wellbeing of its wine club members. Bottles are adorned with the message “Made From Rosé To Keep the Germs Away.” 

Lost Draw Cellars’ Rosé Hand Sanitizer is available along with to-go purchases of Texas wine at Lost Draw Cellars location in Fredericksburg, Texas at:

Lost Draw Cellars
113 East Park Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Or online at lostdrawcellars.com.

FESTIVAL NAPA VALLEY

When Festival Napa Valley, California Wine Country’s flagship music festival, made the decision to postpone its 15th Anniversary Season to 2021, its artists refused to be silenced. Led by two alumni of the Festival’s Blackburn Music Academy – conductor Zach Salsburg-Frank and violinist Sienna Peck – 126 past and present Festival Napa Valley musicians joined forces to create an extraordinary virtual performance of the famous “Va, pensiero” chorus from the opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi.

“Although we will not have a summer season this year, our pioneering spirit is alive and well and we are creating innovative ways to continue to bring music to our audiences,” said Richard Walker, President & CEO of Festival Napa Valley.

The innovations include the Festival Napa Valley Remote Ensemble, made up of: instrumentalists and singers from 26 states, 8 countries, and 5 continents representing two dozen orchestras, ensembles, opera companies and music conservatories such as the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and many more.
“Va, pensiero was a perfect choice of music, a moving hymn that has served as a rallying song of hope and resilience for people around the world,” said Charles Letourneau, the Festival’s Vice President and Director of Artistic Planning. 

Each musician recorded their part on a smartphone while following the virtual conductor. The group was synchronized into one glorious collective performance. It was dedicated to the essential workers whose heroic efforts safeguard the health and safety of our communities. The performance can be seen on Festival Napa Valley’s YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/jHV9wLvNYxA

Added Letourneau: “Our technical engineer Wei Wang created a visually and musically stunning virtual performance that proves digital art can be as moving as a live performance in these extraordinary times.”

Festival Napa Valley’s 15th Anniversary Season will take place July 16-25, 2021.

About Festival Napa Valley:

Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, Festival Napa Valley offers programs that enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region and make the arts accessible to all. The Festival presents world-class performances staged in iconic Napa Valley venues and inspiring educational programs offered at Napa County public schools year-round. It is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit organization governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants, chefs and vintners participate each year. 

CAMERON HUGHES WINE

‘Clean and crisp curated wines at your door in days’ – 360 MAGAZINE

San Francisco-based Cameron Hughes Wine has been a leader in the “direct to consumer” business model, making it super simple to order excellent wine right to your door, and for a great value. With economic uncertainty on the horizon, these are the best deals for price-conscious folks who still want to enjoy high-quality wines, with the added benefit of safety and convenience.
 
Cameron operates as a wine trader or “négociant” rather than a producer, which means he doesn’t own vineyards or a winery – his focus is solely on sourcing the best wines and negotiating the best price. He looks in every cellar and barrel room, and peeks behind every door that says “Employees Only.” Sometimes he buys wine still in the barrel, and other times he buys “shiners” (wine already in a bottle with no label). 
 
Deals are made discreetly and typically protected by an agreement to keep the source winery undisclosed to protect their brand. The result? Cameron is able to offer $100+ Napa Cabernets for a third of the price, or a $60 bottle of Pinot for under $20.

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WINE DONATED TO FRONTLINE WORKERS

An Initiative to Donate Bottles of Wine and Messages of Encouragement to Frontline Workers.

Signor Vineyards and their employees are sending personal notes of encouragement and a bottle of wine to family and loved ones who serve as frontline and essential workers.
 
-Signor Vineyards is a boutique family vineyard nestled in the Texas Hill Country that features world-class charcuterie and wine, French country gardens, and farmhouse shopping at Joanna’s Market. 

-Due to COVID-19 Signor Vineyards is closed for tastings but wine can be purchased through their drive-thru and online. 
 
 
Signor Vineyards and their employees have launched the Bottles for the Frontline campaign. Bottles for the Frontline is an initiative to share some liquid relief and words of encouragement to workers who are a part of the front line and relief efforts in fighting COVID-19. 

The Signor team have sent bottles and taken to social media to share personal notes to their loved ones. Bottles from the family vineyard are being distributed to brave men and women throughout the country. Among them are a COVID ICU Nurse at the University of Chicago, Store manager at Texas grocery store chain, HEB, Surgical RN, and many others. 

“We understand how much our frontline workers are sacrificing and putting at risk for our community. Many are working through such stressful situations and do not have the comfort of hugging their children and being around their family. We thought this small gesture could help instill a little hope and relaxation in this time.” – Will Coker, General Manager 

Typically, Springtime brings the Bluebonnets and thousands of visitors from across the country to Fredericksburg, Texas. 

Like many vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, Signor Vineyards has closed their tasting room doors until further notice and have switched to drive-thru and online sales. This has been a change of pace for the vineyard, which has become a destination where friends and family come from all over to congregate.

“A big part of what we do is bring people together. And even though we cannot do that at this time, we can carry on the feeling of joy and fellowship that comes when you open a bottle. We know that our frontline workers deserve much more than but it’s the least we can do.” Clay Signor, Owner/ Proprietor 

In the spirit of giving back, Signor Vineyards is taking nominations for frontline workers. People can nominate and share stories of the heroes in their lives by commenting on their Facebook or Instagram post. Signor Vineyards is also encouraging other wineries and vineyards to join their cause and share their photos using #bottles4frontline. 

Signor Vineyards is located at 362 Livesay Lane, Fredericksburg, TX. Visit www.signorvineyards.com or follow them on facebook or Instagram @signorvineyards. 

 

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Visit Panama City Beach × UNwinD

Visit Panama City Beach has announced that the show will go on for their premier springtime event, UNwineD. Held on March 20-21, the fifth annual event will feature craft beer, wine and spirits from around the world in addition to mouth-watering creations from some of the area’s leading chefs. The Gulf of Mexico serves as the backdrop for this stylish garden party and live concert, which showcases Panama City Beach’s contagious passion for the people, places and cuisine that make the city worth celebrating.

The weekend’s festivities open on Friday night with a celebratory soiree. Ladies and gents arrive from all over the country outfitted in their finest fashions to the elegant affair. Held under the festival’s signature white tent, this exclusive, curated experience for 200 food and wine aficionados will feature Chef Kelsey Barnard Clark, the most recent winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Born and raised a “Gulf Southerner” from nearby Dothan, Alabama, Kelsey got her start in the food industry as a middle school student with a baking obsession and catered her first wedding at age 15 before attending the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York. Today, Kelsey runs her restaurant and catering company KBC, creating dishes inspired by southern classics with her French techniques sprinkled throughout. She will be joined by mixologists from the region who will delight the crowd with their specialty cocktails, as well as other local chefs who will be showcasing their signature items in inventive ways.

UNwineD’s Grand Afternoon Tasting takes place on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. and features more than 40 purveyors sampling craft beer, spirits and wines from North America, South America and Europe. Guests will have the opportunity to discover new brands and meet regional brewers and wine vendors. Throughout the day, Panama City Beach restaurants will be offering tasty bites ranging from Southern classics to fresh seafood caught locally. In between noshes, guests can browse local shops and boutiques at the Art and Vendor Row or stop by a southern themed tent brimming with home décor, cookbooks and more. UNwineD culminates with an evening Picnic in the Park & Concert at the Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater from 5-7 p.m. This year’s headliner, American alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie, will take the stage following opening entertainment from Joywave. Panama City Beach’s UNwineD festival is not-to-be-missed, especially with Death Cab for Cutie on the mic.

Panama City Beach continues to closely monitor updates from federal, state and local officials regarding COVID-19. The festival is taking precautionary measures at this time, including providing more hand-sanitizing and hand-washing stations.

While in Panama City Beach, visitors can experience endless dining options, arts offerings and a myriad of water sports and outdoor activities, including chartered fishing excursions, airboat adventures, dolphin cruises, exploring secluded Shell Island or camping, hiking or biking in St. Andrew’s State Park. With 320 days of sunshine annually, this resort town is a destination that suits families, retirees, couples and adventurers of all ages and is located within driving distance to major southern metropolitan areas.