I first met Leslie Sbrocco, an award-winning author and Emmy-winning TV host as well as an extremely sought-after wine education and speaker and co-founder of Thirsty Girl, at the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference in Portland, OR. I had been up for the Best Overall Wine Blog award, and, as rewarding as that nomination was, getting to chat with Leslie, and receiving words of encouragement and kudos from her, is something I’ll not soon forget.
Nor will I soon forget that we also met while drinking Champagne, which, really, is the most appropriate manner when it comes to your first in-person encounter with Leslie. Because she’s crazy about Champagne, especially Rosé Champagne*. She’s also a little crazy. But not crazy crazy. More like, as she says, “A wild, fun crazy.” In fact that is a quote from her on my Wine Without Worry podcast. How stoked was I to have Leslie as a guest? Immensely.
Of the many things I like about Leslie, one that stands out is her approach to life and wine, both guided by the principle of F-U-N fun. And pleasure. While our conversation beings with a discussion of what women want to learn about wine (and is it any different than what men want?), we veer into other topics such as:
- Wine’s sexy, lusty side
- The humbling process of making your own wine
- Low(er) alcohol wines
- Getting some R&R: Riesling and Rosé. (Sidebar: Riesling as a breakfast wine. And reminiscing about Riesling Rendezvous.)
- Elegance over power
- Clare Valley, Australia
- Natural Botox
- Post-wine judging tequila drinking
I also had the pleasure of spending a few days with Leslie and a group of writers in Apsen, CO, right after this year’s Food and Wine Classic, thanks to Terrazas de los Andes winery. We had a taste of Argentina transported to us via a BBQ prepared by the winery’s chef, Manuel. Here I am speaking with Pascal Eyssette, the Brand Manager for Terrazas de los Andes. And, yes, wearing a cowboy hat.
As you can discern from this photo’s caption, I have Torrontes in my glass. It’s a grape that, when done right, produces a very floral and refreshing white wine. But the coolest wine I tried on that trip was a Late Harvest Petit Manseng.
The only thing cooler is a half-hour conversation with Leslie, showcasing her humor and spirit. Best paired with some R&R:
*Bathtub wine alert.