19 April 2015

Interview with Susannah Gold

Susannah Gold works in New York City in the public relations and marketing world of wine for Vigneto Communications. In addition she blogs at Avvinare, named for the Italian verb that means rinsing your glass and preparing it for wine service.

I first met Susannah during the Snooth PVA Awards weekend two years ago in Manhattan. We didn't spend a lot of time together, though I apparently got too loud during the Ribera del Duero presentation while we were arguing about kosher wine and there was a memorable moment with a Brazilian Tannat at the Saturday night party. I was a little overwhelmed during that trip, but have developed a lot of great friendships and professional relationships with many of the people I met that weekend, and since then it's been great to get to know Susannah better and learn about her fascinating history.

BWR: Tell me a bit about working as a financial reporter in Italy. If you were in Milan in December 1996, we may have briefly crossed paths 
near the Duomo or Galleria.

Susannah: I was in Milan in December 1996 in fact, a period of time I remember very well. I lived in Milan for 10 years and was a reporter for 4 of those years. I loved being a reporter in Italy because I am very interested in Italian politics and economics. It’s a very complicated country in many respects and there are so many layers of it to understand and analyze. Everything about Italy interests me, truth to tell.

BWR: Everyone that I know who has spent some time in Italy has a magical 
food moment, something that clicked and let you know that you weren't
 in Kansas anymore. Hot crespelle in a café, seared octopus on the 
Ligurian coast, or even a few roasted chestnuts from a street vendor.
 Did you have such a transformative experience?

Susannah: I have had many food moments in Italy that have been outstanding, starting from my first pizza on a side “street” in Venice overlooking one of the canals when I was 15 and with my parents but my real ah moment was when I was 20, living in Dijon, France and visiting Italy with my Mother, a sculptor and Art Historian by trade. I fell asleep in the train and when I woke up I was looking out at the Borromean islands rising in the mist from Lago Maggiore. That was the beginning of my real love affair with il bel paese.

BWR: We talked a bit about biodynamics in NYC with fruit days, but I'm
 curious to hear your four favorite seasonal wines, what you crave in
 spring, summer, fall, winter.


Susannah: Yes we did have that conversation about the biodynamic calendar. In the Spring I tend to crave white wines or a good French or Spanish rosé while in the Summer, Vermentino is always a favorite as is sparkling wine which I crave and drink all year long. Fall I like to drink wines with more body that pair with great fall foods like pumpkin, squash, turkey, etc. In winter, I am interested in a heavier red largely to pair with meat dishes or root vegetable ones. Again, sparkling wines are a passion in winter too. I also really like a touch of sweet wines throughout the year.


BWR: Was wine a part of your family dinner table growing up? If so,
 what was poured and what did you like?

Susannah: Wine was part of my family life growing up. I don’t remember when we started but during that trip as a 15 year old, I was most certainly already interested in wine. My Dad made wine in the basement of our house with our next-door neighbor who was Sicilian. He also once bought the contents of a liquor store that he owned as a real estate investment. We drank Louis Jadot, Ruffino, Chianti, Macon Village. I also remember a lot of Lancers and Mateus in the house. I liked it all if memory serves.


BWR: What is the one bottle or the one region that you've always wanted 
to try but have not yet had the opportunity?

Susannah: There are so many regions I would love to visit that I haven’t yet, in many countries, but if I had to pick one, it would be Pantelleria and the night harvests at Donna Fugata. I love Ben Rye that they make there and that is an experience that I haven’t yet had. I would also love to visit Salina again and see the CapoFaro resort of Tasca d’Almerita

BWR: Congratulations on the birth of Niccolò! A dear friend of mine
 recently had a baby and I was wondering if you experienced any changes 
of sense of smell while pregnant--a lot of experiencing wine involves 
training your nose with non-wine items: sniffing lime peels and
 jasmine blossoms and things like that. Has anything changed in what
 appeals to you, or what you can now discover in a glass

Susannah: During my pregnancy I was very good about alcohol of course but you are right you have a heightened sense of smell and can really pick out aromas that you might not have otherwise. When I was pregnant the wine I missed most and that appealed to me during that time was sparkling wine. I’ve always had a predilection but it was even more pronounced during pregnancy.

BWR: I'm also curious how you plan to introduce your son to wine, since
 it will be part of the family business. When he's old enough to start
 having a sip with dinner, what would you like for him to try first?
 Are you planning on setting aside anything like Madeira or Barolo for
the long haul?

Susannah: I imagine like most novice drinkers, he will probably appreciate something with a bit of sweetness like a moscato. I am thinking a lot about what I want to lay down for him. I have also toyed with the idea of buying futures from this vintage, 2014. Madeira is a good idea as is Barolo.

Many thanks to Susannah for participating in this interview series. You can follow her at Avvinare.

8 comments:

EdChampagne said...

Great interview.i share your predilection for sparkling wine, especially if it's Champagne.

EdChampagne

EdChampagne said...

Here is the application of Lettie Teague for membership in WMG. In addition to her many wine writing positions and accomplishments, Lettie is one of two 2014 inductees into our Hall of Fame.

Please vote here and forward to me at psavoie@nyc.rr.com :

Your name Ed mcCarthy_________________________

______x_____ YES

___________ NO

__________ ABSTAIN

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