- Born: Brooklyn, NY, The United States.
- Description: Having Italian ancestry, maybe it was inevitable that one day I would be immersed in the subject of wine. But it wasn't a typical journey getting here. I was born in an Italian section of Brooklyn, N.Y. and raised in a middle-class, blue-collar New York City "bedroom community" on suburban Long Island. Although a one-gallon jug of red wine was a permanent fixture in the refrigerator, my neighborhood of two-family homes was light years away from the nearest vineyard. After high school, I started college studying to become a music teacher! After one year, I switched gears to study mechanical engineering! Wine was not even a gleam in my eyes.
It wasn't until I got close to 40 when I heard a calling to learn about wine and began a combination of self-study with class instruction, moved to California, and soon earned certification in wine knowledge from two national wine education organizations. Having been through the wine-ignorant stage, I understood and cared about one's desire to learn about wine, so my teaching instincts kicked in and I created a weekly wine education column in my local newspaper and started conducting wine appreciation classes in restaurants. In short time, my column, "Wineology: Intelligence For The Wine Consumer," was in several publications, winning me a spot on television as a wine specialist (a "wineologist") on TV's Fine Living Network.
Today, I am involved in wine writing, wine making and winery management--I've authored Nose, Legs, Body!, a book specifically for wine beginners while I continue to write my wine column. I am also an oak specialist, consulting to winemakers, and I serve as a general manager for a small, luxury-brand winery in the Central Coast of California.
Though I may not have taken a direct route to the world of wine, it feels like I was meant to be here all along.