Meet Your Monger: Susan


Meet Your Monger: Susan, El Numero Uno Wine Director

Welcome to Meet Your Monger! We stand behind the counter/on the floor, 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: Susan aka El Numero Uno Wine Director. 
How did you become interested in wine? Have you always been into wine?
I haven’t always been into wine. Contrary to popular opinion.

Were you a two buck chuck girl?
Not exactly. I think I always had it around being part of an Italian family. But I never appreciated it until I started learning about the natural side of wine because, honestly, I had a lot of allergic reactions to wine itself, so as soon as I started drinking natural wine, I started to feel a lot better. And wine has layers – I peeled off one layer to the natural wine world and that just led me to another thing about wine and another thing and that just started the journey. I took a natural wine course led by Lauren Friel who was the wine director at Oleana at the time. So I took that course with her and I thought, “Why don’t I just go a little bit further and take these other courses?” Then I started taking BU courses to learn more, and I got the bug, as they call it. The Wine Flu. I quit my office job and went back into the restaurant business, fast forward and I found my first buying position here at the shop.
Soft cheese or hard cheese?
Lately, hard. 

Red wine or white wine?
*Susan looks at me with fear in her eyes*

I know this is reeeeallly tough!
It’s like choosing between your children! Can I say sparkling?

Sparkling reds right now. RIGHT NOW.
One of your favorite movies is Little Women. What wine would you pair with that movie?
Oh oh oh I would pair it with Barbaresco from the Nebbiolo grape. It is NOT because people say Barbaresco is one of the more “feminine” of the Piedmont wines in Italy. A lot of times you hear Barolo as being masculine and Barbaresco as being feminine and I hate that because Barbaresco has a lighter, loftier feel, but women aren’t necessarily like that. I would pair Barbaresco because Nebbiolo as a grape can be symbolic of Jo Marsh because of the strength of the grape and the wine itself. It's also tannic and a little bit acrid, like Jo. But she is a romantic, too, and Barbaresco is super floral in the nose. Let's put to shame that characterization as Barbaresco being more “feminine,” and just say it's a bad ass woman of a wine. 
If this were the Wine High School yearbook, which wine that we have right now would win best dressed?
Best Dressed would go to Chateau Flotis Cuvée Jeanne - 100% Negrette grape, biodynamic, from the southwest of France in the appellation of Fronton. On the labels there are the beautiful watercolors of birds and flowers, and the wine is called Cuvée Jeanne because Jeanne is the artist of the labels on the wine. Every bottle is different, every watercolor is its own. Very elegant and flirty and pretty.
Is there a wine adventure you’d like to go on?
Well I just went on one to Italy, which was beautiful. But New World, I’d say Texas. They have some good wine I can’t get here yet. And Old World I’d say…there are so many…Croatia!
Who is your winemaker crush?
Klause Sparer from Cantina Bolzano. I just met him a few weeks ago in the Alto Adige in Italy, and I have a huge crush on him. He’s a total silver fox.
We talk a lot about Harry Potter around here. What wine that we have would you personify as The Boy Who Lived?
I would compare Potter to Rogue Vine Super Itata Rouge Blend. It is from Itata, which is an old and forgotten region in the southern wine hemisphere of Chile with some vines going back to 1551. So, I think of it as Hogwarts because it has deeply rooted history – no pun intended *Susan and I still laugh because we’re dorks*. Rogue Vine is a project between two friends, Justin and Leonardo, so I feel like this could be a good Potter wine because you have Harry and Hermione, or Harry and Ron. So it’s a wine made by amigos. It is also a blend, and Harry is a layered character, and the grapes –  Syrah, Carignon, and Malbec – reflect that.