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Our Staff

How I got into wine: 
For many years I was living in Japan and teaching English, and when I finally came back to America I began my search for a “real job”. In the meantime, I started working at a restaurant just to pay the bills. I didn’t know a thing about wine at the time, but when the manager who was responsible for the wine program left, I was somehow nominated to take on the role.

I started learning (and drinking) more so that I could do my job well, and I found myself falling in love with this magical beverage – an art form that reflects place and time so remarkably, that elevates the enjoyment of food to a new level, and that brings people together in pure joy. I was hooked.

After a while I decided that I wanted a job where I could focus all of my attention on wine, and I just happened to come across Jason’s post for a position at a brand new shop in Mosaic. We met up in the empty shell of a storefront that would ultimately become Swirl & Sip, and we discovered that we really gelled in terms of our philosophies and goals. The rest is history!

What I look for in a wine: 

I tend to like Reds that have strong earthy components – particularly leathery, smoky, and spicy flavors. I generally gravitate towards regions that have warm-ish climates, where these savory notes are balanced nicely by darker fruits, softer acid, and riper tannins. My go-tos are anything from the Rhone Valley, southern Italy, Spain, or Chile.

I love crisp Provence-style Roses and salty, mineral-driven white wines. But my real guilty pleasure is bubbly – if I could drink a nice glass of Champagne every day for the rest of my life, I would die happy!

What I do when I'm not drinking wine: 

On my days off you’ll find me chasing after my two young children – an incredibly smart (and unabashedly opinionated) 4-year-old, and a fearless 18-month-old who already loves a good adventure. I spent years traveling around the world and hope to share more of it with them when they’re older. For now, I’m happy sneaking out to a winery to share a good bottle of wine and some beautiful scenery with my husband when I have the chance!

Wine Certifications: 

WSET Level 2 (Intermediate), Passed with Distinction
WSET Level 3 (Advanced), Passed with Distinction
WSET Educator for Level 2 Course

 

 

How I got into wine: 

Like many a Virginia Tech grad, I took the famed Geography of Wine class my senior year of university. It was a fantastic introduction to the world of wine. My breakthrough, though, came at the end of the school year at a “Bacchanalia” party when I tried red wine for the first time and loved it! While I don’t recommend pairing fried chicken with Malbec, that and the glass of Barbaresco I also enjoyed made for a revelatory experience.

It took me a few months after graduation to figure out what I wanted to do next, but I did know I loved wine and how there’s always something new to learn about it. Thanks to a chance encounter and suggestion at a pairing dinner, I decided to make a career of it! Before long, I found myself working at a local winery part-time and learning the basics of this wild and wonderful industry. My job there had me working at the tasting bar, where I grew to love the feeling of educating and exciting other people about wine. A little over a year later, I joined the team at Swirl & Sip full-time, where I’ve been honing my skills and palate for more than three years now.

What I look for in a wine: 

Unusual, off-the-beaten-path grape varieties or regions are a major plus for me – if I can get my hands on some rare Portuguese grape from an almost extinct wine region or something from Eastern Europe, I will. I mostly drink reds, in which case I love wines that are medium-to-full-bodied, earthy, and spicy, with a sense of place and terroir. I want to taste the dirt the grapes grew in! When I drink white wines, I look for minerality, bright acidity, and aromatics. My greatest weakness is for vintage dessert wines like aged Banyuls, Port, and Tokaji that perfectly balance sweetness and acidity. For everyday drinking, I especially love South American reds like Chilean Carménère.

What I do when I'm not drinking wine:

I enjoy video games, chatting with friends, books, cinema, and cross-stitching. I love music and put a lot of time into curating my ever-growing vinyl collection, which includes everything from Glenn Miller to Echo & the Bunnymen. My favorite albums include the Beatles’ Abbey Road, Cream’s Disraeli Gears, U2’s War, and Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black.

Wine Certifications:
WSET Level 2 (Intermediate), Passed with Distinction
CSW, In Progress