Blake Leland is our newest wine specialist and addition to Bottle Shop. Get to know him with our rapid fire wine Q&A:
Can you tell us how long you have been in the wine industry and how the taste profile of wine lovers have evolved?
The year was 2000. In my experience I’ve noticed more wine drinkers are expanding out of their comfort zone. And with the help of smart phones, they can look up certain wine characteristics and hone in on their specific profile(s).
What was the wine that got you hooked?
Honestly, when I tried a 1966 Chateau Lafite, I knew that I loved wine.
What do you look for in a wine when shopping yourself?
I’m always curious about new appellation’s I’m not experienced in. I really like Cote Rotie’s and vintage Brunello’s.
Do you have any advice or tips you want to share with wine lovers?
Always take a moment to experience what you’re drinking now. Even if you really don’t like it, look for something positive, even if it’s only the color or bouquet (smell). Speaking of smell…don’t always think that if doesn’t smell good that the wine isn’t. Let the wine tell you a story (if it can) and you’ll be amazed on how much more you’ll enjoy it.
What are some of your favorite wine quotes?
Can I have some more of that?!
What is your favorite food and wine pairing?
Smoked salmon and creme fraiche on a krustini paired with Alsatian Gewurztraminer.
What has been your favorite wine region to visit and where do you want to go next? Solvang and Walla Walla WA.
If you aren’t drinking wine, what are you drinking?
I like the new smoothie/sour styled beers. I know…that’s weird!?