Meet Your Monger: Molly
Molly aka Wine Sales Associate aka The Wine Poet.
It’s time for another edition of Meet your Monger! We stand behind the counter, asking you to try this and that, but who are we really?? I, Kiri, pose questions to the crew here at the Cheese Shop and see what they have to say. This week: Molly aka Wine Sales Associate aka The Wine Poet.
What draws you to wine? How did you get into the wine business?
I didn’t know anything about it. I fell in love with cheese first. I first got into cheese at a small gourmet shop in downtown Boston. The food channel was on all day, so I could watch that, or I could taste cheese all the time. They gave us access to a laptop too, so I looked up cheese all day and I tasted and read about it. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun because I was learning and tasting stuff every day. Then one day I was tasting Humbolt Fog, and suddenly I was like, this isn’t the Humbolt Fog I know! It tasted completely different. It was the milk change - they had switched the goats' diet from from hay to grass, and I picked up on it, and it blew my mind. And then I was like, this is so cool and I was hooked.
When did you get interested in wine?
I didn’t know anything about wine, but people talk about wine pairings all the time like it’s this magical thing. I started cold-emailing places to work at saying I don’t know anything, but please teach me. I didn’t know Grenache was a grape, or what rosé was, I knew absolutely nothing. And Central Bottle in Cambridge was like, hey, yeah, come work for us, we’ll teach you everything. And so they did. Wine was interesting, it was so satisfying, it was just a box full of mysteries. Wine and cheese is history, it’s science, it’s culture, it’s how people perceive things, and you can never reach the end of that knowledge.
Desert island wine?
I’d say the Viña Maitia Aupa Pipeña from Chile. If you’re stuck on a desert island, I think you’d want something light and cheerful and easygoing and very chuggable because you’d be on a desert island alone, and you’d be very sad. (We laugh.)
Would you say you have more of a red wine personality or white wine personality?
White. Maybe I’m not, but I aspire to be, because white wine is very clean and graceful. Though I do think I have a crisp, tart personality, which is also like white wine.
You’re always taking classes and reading books about wine. What is one of the coolest things you’ve learned about wine?
Recently, it was that Provence [in France] used to be a red wine region. Back in the late 1800’s, all the rich people in Paris would go to Provence and spend the winter there because it was too cold in Paris, and they would drink red wine all day. But that shifted in the 1930’s when heating in houses became more prevalent. Instead, they traveled to Provence for the summer and they didn’t want heavy red wines, so they started making rosé. So it’s super recent that this changed.
So that’s why Provence is like the rosé place?
Yes! Well, one of the reasons. Perfect climate and location for rosé is another.
Is there a wine adventure you’d like to go on?
Yeah. I mean hopefully it’ll work out doing a harvest in Maine at Oyster River. So that’s going to be my United States trip. But I also want to start learning German or French, and study that for a year, and then I want to go to Alsace or Germany. Alsace is calling my name. Germany or Argentina would be amazing.
Who is your winemaker crush?
I don’t have a winemaker crush, but I do have a wine industry crush. Haley who owns Haley.Henry. Great palette, really nice, great taste in music, very friendly.
You’ve just reread A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle in preparation for the movie. What wine would you pair with the book/movie?
Definitely something sparkling. The whole book is about science, and sparkling requires so much theory and precision, but it’s still kind of magical. So I think I’d say Benoît Lahaye Champagne. It’s absolutely stunning, it’s lively, it’s mysterious, and you get awesome minerality, but you also get some raspberry tartness. It’s unexpected and this book is unexpected.