This week’s blogger in the spotlight is the last wine blogger we’re highlighting this year and I cannot think of anyone better to bring the wine blogger in the spotlight full circle than with another one of my Twitter finds whose style and reach is simply energetic from the get-go. I speak of none other than the wine darling of Des Moines, Iowa (and Twitter) Cellarmistress. Very much like her contemporary The Iowa Wino whom I interviewed back in August, the Cellarmistress brings the joy of the grape to the Midwest through her writing about her love affair with the California wine country. This love affair is all things passionate, warm, exciting and if you take a moment a great learning experience as well. The Cellarmistress embraces her travels to California, and chronicles them in a way that quite frankly has you on the next plane outta here! Her stories include the winemakers she had befriended and of course her bottle journeys. Cellarmistress only posts a few times a month and when she does it’s definitely worth the read. I present to you all this week’s blogger in the spotlight Cellarmistress.
South Florida Food and Wine: How did you start wine blogging/writing?
Cellarmistress: I started blogging in 2008, using Facebook’s Wine Beagles as my format. I’ve managed to post hundreds of short wine reviews as I sample my way through many wines. Doing this naturally progressed to me starting my own blog, Cellarmistress’ Cellar Talk.
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you do anything else other than blog/write about wine?
Cellarmistress: In addition to blogging, I hold a full-time job in the advertising industry.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about blogging/writing?
Cellarmistress: Perhaps the most challenging thing for me is the fact that I live in Iowa and my subjects are in California, Washington and Oregon. Through trips to the coast and phone calls, I’ve managed but eventually I will relocate.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the greatest opportunity that has come from blogging/writing for you?
Cellarmistress: Hands down I’ve made some wonderful friendships with winemakers and winery owners out west through my blogging. They’ve embraced my unpretentious attitude towards wine and my desire and passion to write about them! I want to know all there is to know about winemaking in California so I’ve immersed myself. I feel it sets me apart from other writers.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your most memorable blogging/writing moment?
Cellarmistress: So far my most memorable blogging moment was when I won the WBCorBust contest earlier this year. As I walked into the courtyard of the Willows Lodge in Woodinville, WA and saw all the winemakers and winery owners waiting to pour for me, I knew I had made it! It was surreal!
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal and wine be?
Cellarmistress: Everyone who knows me, knows I’m Italian through and through! My last meal would be an authentic Margherita pizza from Napoli and a Sonoma County fruit-bomb of a Zinfandel!
South Florida Food and Wine: What super-action-hero would you like to be and why?
Cellarmistress: I’d be Superman–so I could fly anywhere at a moment’s notice!
South Florida Food and Wine: Do you have any wacky cooking habits?
Cellarmistress: No–I was never inclined to be a chef. I leave that up to other people!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best wine advice you have to share?
Cellarmistress: Everyone’s palate is different. Never be a snob about wine. There is so much wonderful wine to be shared at any price point. So take it and share it with good friends. Wine makes the world go round!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one obsessive kitchen habit?
Cellarmistress: I rarely cook but when I do everything has to be perfect–I fuss over ingredients and quality and I don’t skimp.
South Florida Food and Wine: If you could choose to be any wine, what would it be?
Cellarmistress: I would be a rich, dark and mysterious Bordeaux blend from Napa Valley. To me those are secretive and it takes discovery to find them out. Kind of like me…
South Florida Food and Wine: If looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?
Cellarmistress: Some great cheeses, ingredients for salad, an artichoke, orange juice, coffee creamer, a half-empty bottle of white wine, all kinds of good condiments, butter.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the one “staple” wine you always have in your “cellar”?
Cellarmistress: Sauvignon Blanc. All styles.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your beverage of choice?
Cellarmistress: That’s a silly question: wine.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite comfort food?
Cellarmistress: My favorite comfort food is homemade cream of mushroom soup–so rich and satisfying!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your culinary claim to fame?
Cellarmistress: I have yet to discover my culinary claim to fame but I’ve got many cookbooks to start trying!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is in your kitchen junk drawer?
Cellarmistress: All kinds of gadgets and tools I may eventually use…Some day!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the best culinary gift you ever received?
Cellarmistress: I received some great cookbooks, such as Michael Chiarello’s Napa Stories and John Sarich’s Chef In The Vineyard. Great books!
South Florida Food and Wine: What kitchen chore do you dislike the most?
Cellarmistress: My least favorite chore is steaming and cleaning my crystal stemware. A tedious job but someone’s gotta do it!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and where?
Cellarmistress: I had escargot and Columbia River sturgeon this past summer in Seattle. Very rich and appetizing!
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most extravagant food or beverage item or culinary tool you spent money on?
Cellarmistress: Several years ago I purchased a Napa Valley Cabernet right off the Wine Spectator’s top 10 wines of the year list. Cost a bundle, I opened it too early and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. But I learned from it…
South Florida Food and Wine: Where was the best meal with a bottle of wine you ever had?
Cellarmistress: Recently I had an intimate lunch with friends and ordered a lamb burger to go with a ten year old Monte Rosso Zinfandel. It was amazing!
South Florida Food and Wine: If you could share a bottle of wine with anyone who would it be and why?
Cellarmistress: I would like to sit down and have a meal with Napa Valley winemaker, Heidi Barrett. I’d like to share one of her most famous bottles and have her explain to me how she does it all!
Read the Cellarmistress’ Cellar Talk and follow her on Twitter
To read previous bloggers in the spotlight click here