My life has been a culinary journey that not even I could have imagined. Back in the days of waiting tables at some of Philly’s finest restaurants, like all waitstaff, you imagine a life after this stopover. In my almost forty year career in the wine and spirit world, I would meet some of the greatest winemakers, master distillers, chefs, farmers, and food producers. Traveling around the world attending trade tours, seminars, and tastings provided first hand knowledge and material to weave stories that I love to share. My career ranged from Brand Ambassador, Wine Importer, Sales & Marketing rep and manager for some of the most prestigious companies in the industry. In my quest to continue after retirement, being the resident sommelier and bartender at LaCucina at the Market and sharing my knowledge and experiences with clients through Gaia Events. We also have purchased an apartment in a small village named Paciano in Umbria, Italy. In the heart of Italy where they produce olive oil, sunflower oil, and wine opens up opportunities to tour the country side continuing to learn first hand from local farmers and growers.
I chose the name Gaia, a Greek deity, the ancestral mother of all life, who represented a nurturing, and intelligent cosmic force who oversees life on earth. When you come down to the heart and soul of wine & spirits they are products of naturally grown fruits, grains, spices, and water. Over the course of my career, I have seen so many changes in production and marketing. Modern technology has two sides, one that benefits and one that diminishes. To put it another way, you have traditional ways to make wines and spirits and you have manufactured products manipulated by science.
As the chapter leader for over a decade of the Philly chapter of Slow Food, we provided events that were educational, informative, entertaining, and celebratory. From our seminars at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College to our dinners at World Café Live, we entertained from the perspective of the professional. Gaia Events allows me to bring my past experiences, knowledge, and fascinating stories to my audience.
My travels have taken me to vineyards, wineries, distilleries and also farms and food productions facilities. My tastings come with an added perspective having viewed the behind the scenes of wine-making and distilling. Understanding the whole process from the vineyard to the winery to the marketing and labeling is key to making the right decisions when choosing. We all have go-to choices and my goal is to try to broaden your horizons by showing you lesser known regions and varietals that offer you value and authenticity, defining "wines of a place".
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