We sat down with Weekly Tasting Sommelier and host of the popular podcast Wine For Normal People, Elizabeth Schneider, to chat wine, her background and so much more! See what she had to say below.
Think back. What was your first experience with wine?
It was definitely my mom. I mean there was always wine hanging around house, my mom wasn't a big drinker and my dad liked wine, but I distinctly remember my mom having a sophisticated wine friend that brought over a bottle of champagne for my sister's graduation. My mom let me have some and I thought 'wow this is tasty and interesting.' I remember thinking how cool it was that people drink this stuff all the time.
When did you decide to take the Sommelier Exam?
Okay, first I already had an MBA at the time and my goal in taking any exam was purely for academic reasons. I like structure and I love to learn more. So when I became interested in wine, the Somm Exam seemed like a great way to learn more within a structured environment. I've also had time in service and I think it's important to understand the diner experience. It was all about learning experience.
What’s your ‘comfort wine’?
Definitely a Bordeaux, specifically a cab based Bordeaux from the Left Bank. I like the earthiness - it grounds me and puts me in a better place.
If you could meet one person in wine, living or dead, who would it be?
Hmm that's a tough one. I'm torn between saying someone like Thomas Jefferson, but that's for a lot of other reasons too. I’m going to go with a historian that understands wine, Hugh Johnson. I think Hugh has a lot of perspective, he has written on so many different topics. He has traveled the world and has seen the evolution of wine in modern times. He's seen the before in California.
The last 50 years in wine have brought more change than the previous 100 years. I’d like his perspective on what he's seen and what has changed. Hugh is a figure that has a lot to say and he'd be a great person to talk to and learn from.