Alright guys, welcome to another episode of live with a cork in the road. And I'm Kelly. I'm your wine Explorer here in Atlanta, Georgia and I am chatting with people who are shaping the southeast wine industry.
Hi everyone Great to have you here today for episode 116 of the cork in the road Podcast. I'm Kelly, your host, and I'm based in Atlanta, Georgia. And my guest today is also based in Atlanta and also happens to be someone I'm lucky enough to call one of my really good friends and even recently, one of my golf buddies, I get to talk to Lindsey Fragalle, who has worked at a small local wine shop called Brookhaven wines since 2019. But she started her wine industry career while living in California, so she comes to the retail space with experience working in tasting rooms and traveling to wineries all over the Bay Area. She just returned from a trip to Germany that was actually a work trip because Brookhaven wines plans many trips for their customers. So I got to ask her about that itinerary. And you'll hear about some of her favorite moments from visiting with producers. She loves helping people discover new wines and bringing people together through wine and I can confirm that she is able to make wine more approachable for everyone no matter skill level or budget. She's actually a wizard when it comes to picking out quality wines at every price point. So I hope you enjoy this episode and learning about her adventures not only in Germany, but also her time living in California and a recent trip to burgundy where she visited with a former podcast guest in his cellars in the heart of bone. If you haven't met her or shopped at this shop stocking up for the holidays is a perfect time to go check it out. She's the best. And speaking of the holidays, the calendar is starting to feel a little while but in all of the best ways so many fun things coming up for a cork in the road. You can find all the details and ticket links for upcoming events on www.acorkintheroad.com and on Instagram at @acorkintheroad and I'm honored to share that Atlanta is getting one of the screenings for the latest film and the Somm documentary series called cup of salvation. So if you love wine, if you love movies, or both, please join us on November 1 at the Plaza theater for a really special night celebrating the wine community that we have here in Atlanta, there are three ticket options with General Admission starting at $35 per person and then there's a VIP option that includes a pre screening party at Southern belle next to the theater. There's even a we heart ATL ticket option that includes contribution to funds that supports Atlanta wine professionals pursuing wine education. So save the date November 1, grab your tickets, we want to pack the theater to really make some noise for this community and the culture that surrounds the world of wine. Then coming up on October 14 Shortly after this episode releases. I'm heading back to Limoges cellars in north Georgia to host the next class in my blind tasting series. And I think there might be just a few tickets left we'll be focusing on sparkling red wines for this class, and you'll be one of the first to try the new sparkling red wine from Limoges Cellars as part of this exploratory lineup. And then on October 21, I'm honored to provide some media coverage for the annual Inman Park wine stroll, an event that combines some of my favorite things like wine tasting, walking, live music and a sense of community - there will be 14 locations in the historic neighborhood of Inman park where attendees can sample wines and tickets are $55 per person. So I hope to catch a lot of you sipping and strolling that October 21 afternoon. If you want to get the latest news and updates about these types of events, make sure you sign up for our monthly newsletter because I'm about to share a really special series of events coming up in November featuring some very special guests visiting Atlanta from the winemakers podcast that you will not want to miss and tickets will be dropping very soon for the second annual friendsgiving tasting that I'm hosting with Joe Herrig from Georgia Crown in the theater of the epicurean hotel here in Atlanta. So yes, lots ahead and lots of great reasons to fill your glass. Cheers to harvest in the northern hemisphere and to the 2023 Vintage, cheers to Lindsey for being on the show. And cheers to all of you for listening. You can leave us a review if you enjoy to any and and I'll be back with another episode on October 26 featuring a man a myth a legend in the Atlanta wine communiy. So until then, take care and we'll talk soon
so good to see you. So glad we finally got this recording on the calendar. So, so fun. And thank you for helping me get my voice back a little bit. I know it's not great, but you had a magical potion for me
I'm telling you I do it every time I have a sore throat or cough or anything. It's kind of gross if you don't like vinegar, but I love vinegar. So I think it tastes great
with colds and everything and it got you through professional singing.
Yep, magic potion.
I'm wondering if I should put this in the show notes. I'll actually tell people what it is. But I sound I sound okay, I don't sound very good. But I was prepping for this conversation. And I walked way down memory lane Lindsey, because I think I've known you for all of the seven years that you've been working in the wine industry maybe?
Yeah. Before we moved to California. So I think we met in I don't know like 2013 Maybe.
Yeah, and you weren't working in wine, So I had a lot of fun going down memory lane because so much of what we do now involves learning about wine, studying wine, drinking wine, all of that. But I met you before that was even on your professional resume. And you just got back from Germany. So I thought that we'd start by geeking out about that trip, because it just happened and you're just back from this. But then we'll dive into a little bit of what got you to that point. It's been quite a path and I love it. But this trip, this was a work trip of sorts,
technically a work trip. Yeah, we take small groups of clients from the shop to different wine regions around the world. And they've been doing it for years. I think 2015 or 2016 is when technically they started doing this. But this is my this was my first trip. And it was just magical. Germany was incredible. I had never been
did you get to pick Germany?
No and I was like, I want to go to take me
You are the guide?
Yeah, I was there to help answer any questions and really, just to be a part of it.
And how many people total. Were on this trip then from the shop?
usually 10 to 12. You know, there's the regulars from the shop that have been almost all of them have been on all of the trips. And it's been really, really tight knit basically family group.
Yeah, they shop together and they travel the world for wine together. And this time, you got to join the crew.
It was really fun. It was a good group there, actually. So some of the trips, we do two legs, and two, they just started the second leg. So I'm here running the shop the next two weeks, and Bethany and Jeff are on the second leg and it's amazing
Brookhaven wines on the go around the globe. Basically who's ever not in the shop is probably somewhere traveling for wine more than likely. Well, how much did you know about and how frequently Did you drink German wine before this trip?
Well, I mean, I think being a wine nerd we all love Riesling, of course, all types of Riesling, dry, sweet, whatever. And I also there's a soft spot in my heart for German Pinot. And yeah, being able to immerse myself in that past 10 days was incredible. Every time I tell someone I was in Germany, they were like, Oh, they do wine there. Yeah, really good stuff.
But you're helping people discover that, especially during, like, Oktoberfest time. I'm thinking people are thinking beer right now.
of course, we did have some beer when we were there. But you know, mostly wine.
Yeah. So studying wine. You do come across German wine and really kind of geek out about it. I mean, really, it's a fascinating classification system and all of that. But what were some things that you completely didn't expect. Did anything surprise you?
I think just the full range of so many different styles of Riesling. You know here in the states we get a little bit we see some cool stuff. But they're it's just everywhere. And being able to taste like really cool like back vintage things. Because you know, Riesling is such an age-ablegrape. And being able to, we tasted like a 1990 I think it was Spatlese, it was killer at 30 plus years old, amazing. Being able to try some really beautiful Pinot Noir grown and these areas where the I mean, the slopes are like, unreal, being able to see that there was mind blowing
And you can read about it, but then you see it in person. And then it's like, oh, when you talk about slopes like that, that's the degree that we're working with here.
100% Exactly. It's like you read about it and you see pictures and you like, Oh, I get it. No, you don't get it until you're there standing in these vineyards on the slate. That's super slippery, like with people that do the harvest. superheros I don't know how they do it.
Did you see any harvesting going on?
Yes, so there were a lot of the producers that we went to were pretty much like in the middle of harvest and that we were very fortunate it did not rain really when we were there. So they were like, you know, thank the wine gods that there's no rain right now during harvest because that can crush No pun intended. Harvest. But yeah, it was interesting to see the different ways that they harvest the fruit. You know, some people it's all just, it's mostly manual, you know, the, the inclines are so high, they can't really get any machines in there. So it was really interesting to see how hard they have to work, literal backbreaking work,
and they let you just kind of immerse yourself and be there during this crazy time.
Yeah that was, we were so fortunate really, you know, everywhere we went, we were like, thank you so much. We know it's a really busy time for you. We totally appreciate letting us you know, be a part of this walking along vineyards and people were just doing their jobs and I felt bad like recording. I'm like, I'm sorry. Thank you for letting me be here. But y'all keep it up and can't wait to drink your wine
as everyone's trying not to fall down the slope. What was the general itinerary of a trip like this? Because obviously, it's people that have traveled a lot for wine if they've been on a lot of these trips. So what's the itinerary like?
Well, usually they're the first day is travel day everybody's getting in settling in, depending on where we go, we stay at multiple places, because you know, you want to travel around the region, you don't want to stay in one place. But I think we stayed in three or four hotels slash castles really cool. And yeah, so first night, very chill. And then the next day, we're on a bus and off to the next city. And I think the longest we were like traveling in a bus was maybe two hours. But other than that, it's like, you know, shorter trips, this was a little more unique, because obviously, we're on the Mosel and the Rhine. So we were able to take little boat varies across to the different cities, and up and down the river, it was amazing vantage point to see the vineyards from the actual water, like it was so cool.
And I bet it just comes to life from all these times of studying for you. Do you think that other people were having similar moments?
Aboslutely. You know, a lot of the people that are on these trips, they may not work in the industry, but they are a part of it like they are the consumers are the people that we help every single day. And it's really special to be a part of that moment for them to see it too. And taste, you know, a wine that maybe they've had before a couple of times, but not in the place where it's grown, and have it and be like, Wow, this is unreal, this is just beautiful. And that's what it's all about.
And they're gonna come back to the shop, and they're gonna have those moments to draw upon when they're shopping with you. So you're gonna keep remembering this and keep using it. But how do you think in general, this trip with Germany and going to the Mosel, How will that impact the way that you're able to speak about the wines in the shop?
I think being able to see it firsthand and be totally immersed in, it gives you a whole different perspective on it, you really learn the intricate details about certain things, and it's things that you keep with you forever, you know, I'm always gonna, it's not just memories, but like being able to taste and smell and feel all these things. It just soaks up in your mind. And at least I get obviously very excited about talking about wines that I love. And this was definitely one of those experiences. And you know, anytime people come into the shop now and like hey, oh, can you tell me a little bit about Riesling? I'm like, Yes, actually, I can.
How much time do we have? But that's so cool. And you met with a lot of the producers. So do you have any favorite moments from being in person? What's something that one of the producers told you that will always stick out to you?
So one of the last places we went to is Schloss Johannesburg, and they are pretty big producer, but they've been around for a really long time, like centuries. And they told us the story of Legend has it that they created Spatlese, they say like on accident, basically. So being able to, to hear that and see like everything and taste the their Spatlese was really cool. We were able to go into their cellar, which is so historic. I mean, their new cellar was built in the early 1700s. But their original cellar was built 900 years ago. And we were able to see that couldn't go into it. But we stood right outside of it in some of the really, really, really old bottles in there. And that was just unreal, it didn't feel real.
Because it takes you back to a time where you're like, that's the only thing I read about these times. And then you're standing there like No, that's a physical structure from those times that I've read about
I"m in the book that I have been reading right now.
So cool, you're gonna bring all of this knowledge back to the retail space. And that's why I get excited that you are doing these trips because you're bringing the consumers on too and you're able to have that dialogue about what you're both learning from enjoying wine from studying wine, from being able to speak about wine. I mean, you're teaching every day technically when people come into the shop. So I'm gonna come in and ask you about German wine.
Yeah, it was also really interesting. You know, climate change is a thing. It's happening. And we were there to see the harvest. So it was interesting to hear them talk about what they have to do to change and stay relevant, basically, with the climate change. And they're planting new grapes. And it's not just Riesling, it's you know, some people are planting Chardonnay, too. We had a really cool blanc de Noir from Gunder lock. That was really cool. It was kind of like, they don't I don't think that they even really, I know they don't distribute it. But I think they really kind of just keep it for themselves. And it was really special to have that bottle with them. And just interesting to see how things are changing and how they're kind of just going with the flow because you have to what are you going to do?
Did they speak at all to the timing of the harvest given that because studying German wine, you know that the ripeness is so key and become such a regulated classification system? So, did they speak at all to changes of timing for those sugar quantities?
I mean, a lot of them are picking earlier because they have to and especially like in a rainy season, you don't want to wait too long because the grapes are gonna burst. And yeah, it's a lot of timing. And I wouldn't want to be in their shoes because they really I mean, they're out there every single day trying to figure out what they need to do and how long they need to wait. And yeah, we asked them because you know, there's ice wine is that's a thing there too, but you don't see a lot of it because it doesn't really get cold enough anymore to leave the grapes on the vines long enough to freeze like that. So some vintages actually, most years, they've just don't do it. They you know, maybe like every few years they have it. So it was really interesting to see.
The acidity is so key. I think when you're talking about the aging wines, and you got to try 30 year old Riesling, and honestly my first ever birth year wine was a German Riesling. And I think that's so unexpected, just maybe from thinking about oh, in your cellar what you have aging, but no, for real. It was so structured so that acidity is really key.
Exactly. And I who would not want to be doing what they're doing. These people are so dedicated and so invested and I mean, it's their livelihoods.
Did you bring any wines home?
Yes. I brought a 2019 Pinot Noir from August Kessler, which you can get some of his stuff in the States. We've had his kind of entry level Pinot Noir. It's called the daily August. We've had it at the shop before it was one of the first German Pinots I ever had and it was delicious. A cool climate Pinot I'm like how can you not love that? And so we tasted we days actually tasted at August Kessler. With August Kessler, he was so nice. We're hopefully going to do some wine dinners here at the shop with him. He's in the States a lot. So yeah, brought a bottle back of his beautiful ___ Pinot Noir. 2019. amiable. Great. I'm like don't touch it for a couple years. Just sit there just be beautiful. Let's see what did I say? Oh, a 2011 Reinhold heart Riesling. So that was another producer we went to that was they're very small, but they're in a town called Peace port. And it's like right on the Mosel like literally, like, walk out a few feet. And there's the water. It's gorgeous. They open just for us on that Sunday. They don't open on Sundays. And we were like, Please, we love you so much. They opened and we tasted with the winemaker and his family was just sitting outside hanging out there was like a dog and a cat. And it was it was that was one of my favorite experiences. And he was so nice. So I was able to bring back a 2011 Spatlese. A beautiful vineyard just right behind the winery. So beautiful. And then I bought a 2011 BA from August Kessler. Yeah, it's a small bottle.
So cool. How does it feel to tell people about Atlanta when you are on these types of trips? Are they familiar with the market? I mean, obviously, these are producers that you have worked with at the shop. But what's it like to be like, Hi, we're all from Atlanta, and we love wine?
Yeah I would say most of the producers are in the Atlanta market. Not obviously not everything that they do. So they were already familiar with this, even like other places, we went to like restaurants. Where are you from? Like, oh, we're from Atlanta. They're like, Oh, you have family there? Or, you know, it was funny to see that. I was like, What a small world. You know, it's funny. This is some of the people that were on the trip that they don't technically live in Atlanta. But they're there all the time.
It's people that are there. They're part of creating what Atlanta is. And then people are familiar with Atlanta, Georgia. And I love that you can be sitting in a restaurant say we're all here in Germany from Atlanta, and people are like, Oh, that's awesome. Like you're here traveling for wine.
Yeah, I mean, some of the places we went to were, you know, they see a lot of tourists. So I think they're a little bit familiar with it. But when we found out that August Kessler, he actually he lives part time in Chicago of all places. You're like, oh my gosh, we need to have you down to Atlanta. You have people that love your wines. We need to share the love.
Just come on down. And this shop is pretty special. We've kind of jumped into the trip that you just did with them. But obviously you have a lot of regulars. If you're able to do these types of trips and bring your customers on board. You have a great community. But what do you like most about working right now in wine retail? We're in a very busy time going into holidays. But you've been in retail for a while. So what what is it about that role?
Yeah, it is definitely getting into that busy time. We're gearing up for the holidays. We're getting more and more foot traffic. It was a little slow this summer, but that's okay. We're going to get back on the train. I love being able to just like introduce people to new wines and new regions and being we know we do complimentary tastings every week, and to be able to introduce a new wine to somebody and see it on their face like or have somebody say, Oh, I don't like this particular grape. I'm like, just try. Just try it. Just you may it may surprise you. And then when they actually like it, I'm like yes, I did my job. So I love I love helping people find new things. And it's it's really special when people come in for the first time. And then the next time they come in, they bring a friend with them, like, Thank you, it really means a lot, because clearly we left an impression on them and want to share it with their friends and family.
And they're coming to you to have wines that will create more memories back home. I think it's always such an interesting spot in the retail world. You talk about a wine and you send people away with it. But you often don't get the immediate feedback unless they come back and visit you and buy another bottle. But it sounds like that happens. You're getting constant feedback from these people that are coming back to buy more wine.
Yeah, we're really fortunate where we are at, a lot of families. But it's also people that maybe haven't been to the area before. So we get it, we get a good variety of people, but we have some really loyal customers. And it warms my heart when they come in and just hang out. It happens all the time. And I love it. It's sometimes you know, like yesterday, I was just hanging out with some, some regulars. And it's just so nice to sit and talk about wine and you know, enjoy it with friends,
these people have become your friends, because they do come in and they're talking about life, but also wine at the same time. Whenever I come in there, there are people sitting and we have teamed up for a couple of classes, things like rose tasting and one of the craziest ideas that you ran with me on was how to shop at a wine shop and we do these classes. But why do you keep saying yes to my crazy class formats? what is it about teaching classes in that space that has made you agree to doing these things with me?
Well you're amazing. You're also so passionate about it. And it's it's really fun to be a part of it. But I also think like that, like how to shop in a wine shop, actually, in a wine shop is so helpful, because so many people are so intimidated by coming into a small retail shop, because they are afraid they're gonna say something wrong, or they don't really know what they're looking for. And I'm like, No, we're here to help you like, let me help you. Let me be your wine, Yoda. Like, let me introduce you to what you're looking for. And you know, what's the best fit for you? And yeah, I know that I think we need to bring that that class back again, I think that was really helpful for people.
I liked it because people were genuinely surprised about the advice we were giving them about the types of questions that are absolutely okay and helpful to ask, it was almost like taking away the pre conceptions of what you can and can't say when you're shopping. One of the main things that I think you are very good at working with, but we want to know your budget. You know, I think when you come into the wine shop, and you say I'm looking for XYZ, you can think about your shelves, and you know, the range of price points for a lot of these categories. So a really important question is how much do you want to spend
Ansolutely and very rarely do I get pushback on that from people. They're like, you know, why? Why do you need to know and like, it's very helpful because I have, you know, I have a white wine, that's $10 I have white wine that's $200 Like, I need to kind of gauge a little bit to help you out. You know, I'm helping bring in these wines. So I feel I have a good grasp on what we've got. And you know, we're tasting all the time. So yeah, the more I know from people come out, ask all the questions, please, the more I can get from you, the better I can help you.
And you are kind of a wizard though. I mean, yes, people can give a budget, but you are a wizard with working with budgets, because you'll always nail the quality of wine in that price point. It's been really fun for me. Can you honestly work with any budget
100% I think that a lot of people have this preconception that that that wine is expensive and good wine should be expensive. And like that's not always necessarily the case. Like yes, of course, some wines are a better quality, you know, smaller production, whatever, you can't get a lot of it. So yeah, maybe a little bit more expensive for a reason. But then you have some, especially in like South America wines are super affordable, but also really great quality. So you don't have to spend a ton of money to have a great wine. And I think I really like helping people figure out new wines within the their budget, I think you don't have to spend a lot of money to have really good wine,
I feel like I need like cheers to that, like that was music to my ears. But it's also fun, because I will give you some times just like, I'll give you a total budget. And I'll say I want four to six wines. And even working with a total budget. You've picked out some really interesting stuff. And the best part is that a lot of times it's wines I've never had, and I know that because you are keeping an eye on what's coming into the market. How often are you meeting with your distributors?
all the time. I mean, weekly, for sure. Multiple times a week. Yeah, we're we taste a lot of wine. And it's it's cool to see the new things come in and try and figure out where we can put it on this shelf. And if there is even a market for it, like, you know, we know our customers, and we know what they like, but you know, we want to keep it interesting. We don't want to have the same old, boring wines on the shelf. Who does, you know, you gotta gotta keep it moving. You know, obviously, we have some staples on the shelf at all times that we have to have. But yeah, trying new things. That's what it's all about. Like, there's so many different wines out there, and I want to try them all.
I get these texts review, and I know that you've been trying a lot of things. So I get these texts, like, Hey, this is new. We are getting six bottles. Do you want one? And I'm like, those are my favorite texts, Lindsey, never hesitate to send me those those text messages, because I know that you just tasted it. And if it excites you, because you have such a range of things that you're tasting all the time. That's the type of person I want in the retail space.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it you know, it's easy to get stuck drinking the same wines that you love, because obviously you love it taste tastes great. I want to drink it all the time. But there's also really cool stuff happening in the wine world. And you know, having a chance to try wines that you like, I've had wines at the shop that I have never had before. And I probably will not see likely again, like there's so many different things happening. And yeah, anytime I have an opportunity to try new wines, I'm there
people are bringing them to you now. So that makes it pretty makes it a little bit more convenient. Like, oh, hello, distribution rep and you brought me all these new wines. Thank you. I love this. But you came to retail from previously working at wineries. And I think this was really fun for me to watch the evolution of you not working in wine and then going out to California and working in wineries out there. Is there any similarity now that you're back in the retail space, any similarity to working at a winery?
Well, it definitely has its differences. Being at a winery you're pouring and tasting those wines that you're producing. Yeah, you're not really immersing into other things. Being in California, I was fortunate enough to try a bunch of different California wines. But I wasn't really trying wines from all over. And then being in the retail space. Obviously, like we were just saying, having distributors come in pouring different things from all over the world meeting people from all over the world. That's the biggest difference. And I would say the similarities, you know, doing tastings, I was working in the tasting room at two different wineries and pouring wine for people and teaching them about certain wines and wines that they may have never had before. So very similar to what we're doing here at the shop, which obviously I love to do so much fun. They're very different, but they do have some similarities.
I feel like the customer service aspect must translate from tasting rooms specifically, not necessarily always in the production setting. But that tasting room service has to translate at least helpful wise to the retail space.
Oh yeah 100%
I can really tell that you like having people try new wines because you've opened my eyes to some really cool stuff from where you were working, especially in the Livermore Valley in California. I had not really been familiar, but you were living there and watching exactly what was being produced. So what makes it unique? What excited you about Livermore in particular?
Not a lot of people are familiar with it. But it is honestly it's an older wine region than Napa. A lot of Napa producers were getting their fruit from there years ago. So you know, it's one of the original areas in California, but it's much smaller. It's a very like tight knit network. And what's funny is that we do have some of the wineries in the Atlanta market. The longevity wines from Phil long, he was just here in Atlanta, doing a little little tour around the shops, and I was able to see him and and meet with him and tell him Hey, remember, I worked at Darcy Kent Like, hey, remember me? He was like, Oh my gosh, Hey, how are you like, such a small world? But yeah, Livermore was really special. It was it's a hidden gem. And they're doing some really cool things out there. But you don't really see a lot of it here, which hopefully that'll change. I don't know, Georgia market is hard, the tough. It's not easy to get into. But now they have the two they have the big names. They have the Wente and Concannon which I feel like what some people are familiar with that. But there's a lot of smaller, really cool, like family owned places to pretty much like all really not like lined up but very close to each other. So it's a great place to go and taste because you're not driving around all over the place. It's like right there. It's so nice, very convenient. It's not hard to get to either, you know, Livermore, that's a little hidden gem.
Well, now I might have to add that to my itinerary because because of you. I added a new region for me personally in California because we both travel out there. I know we like to share our California discoveries, especially the small producers, but you got me to finally go up to Anderson Valley and I would not have made the trip but because of you and your adventures, you were like you have to go. You'll love it. And you couldn't have been more right. It was just, I'm so glad that you inspired me to finally make that trip
Yes. Oh my gosh, that is a little bit harder to get to. It's a little bit further north a bit. That is a slice of heaven. It is absolutely gorgeous up there. Yeah, if you love Pinot Noir, hands down one of my favorite areas in California for Pinot, it's beautiful. The climate there, they're close enough to the ocean. So they get that maritime influence and then the but they're in like a kind of a little valley too. So it's still warm, but it's cold at night. It's perfect for Pinot Noir. And it's gorgeous. Oh my gosh, my family has been going up there for ever. My grandparents used to live in Northern California. And so we would go in the Anderson Valley constantly when growing up. So I've been going there forever. And now obviously, I can really appreciate it for what it is. And anytime we get any type of Anderson Valley wines at the shop and like yes,
well, you got me to go. So there you go. It was I could tell that you were passionate about it. And when somebody that I respect for their wine knowledge tells me about a place, I become even more intrigued. And so I finally got to go. And now I get to also get excited to serve Anderson Valley wines to anybody who will listen. So thank you for bringing that into my life. But we're talking about travel. And you also recently traveled to France, and not only in France, but these magical wine producing regions. And you got to meet with a former podcast guest Charly Fatien, when I got the text that you were in his cellar. My heart melted. Tell me about that visit. How did it go
It was amazing. Thank you so much for the hookup. He was the nicest God and Yeah, same time. It was basically this time last year, so during harvest, and he could have easily had been like, no, I'm too busy. Sorry. But he didn't. He took the time. You know, he was like, let me know where you're going to be at this time. I'm like, great. We're gonna have lunch ain Beaune He was like, Great meet at the cellar at this time. Like, what? Like, what is this? So we went to his cellar in the middle of Beaune and went down and tasted from barrels and tasted amazing wines like 2013 2015 Mercury Blanc, which was my favorite. Oh my gosh, it was killer. That's my favorite wine from him is specifically the 15 Mercury Blanc I was like this is I can drink this every single day. Yeah, it was he was so just hospitable and welcoming, and wanted us to try everything. And we've bought wines since coming back, bought wines from him and we need to do another order to refill on those.
I was actually thinking I'm like, I think I owe you my order. So we can place this new shipping order.
And I actually have some clients going there in a couple weeks. So I gave them the info and I'm like you have to go see Charley. I'm like he may he hopefully you'll have some time to see you. But he's the best. Yeah, that was so much fun.
We are sending a lot of Atlanta love to Beaune specifically. So he's gonna start to feel like he's the Atlanta tour guide.
I told him you have to come to Atlanta, come here. You can stay with us totally fine.
Get him here. That's a great idea. How would you describe Beaune to someone who hasn't been because it is really in the heart of Burgundy. And people again, a place that you study and read about all the time. So what was it like to be in the heart of Beaune?
Oh my gosh, that was so cool. So we stayed just outside of Beaune just a 10 minute, not even a 10 minute drive. But you know, next time I go I'm definitely staying in the middle in Beaune because it's just this beautiful town very well situated to like really easy to get to everything walkable, my favorite wine bar in the whole world is there ____ It is amazing. Their wine book is like this thick and could just spend hours looking through it. They had some really cool stuff. The first night we were there. We had been traveling all day, we were starving. And there was nothing in our little town. It's literally there's nothing. So we were like, Okay, where can we go? And we were driving around. And we ended up at this amazing restaurant. And so we were at the table and I was like, I How is this life right now I'm eating dinner, and arguably one of the best wine regions in the world. What is happening?
And I'm so glad that someone like you was there because you are always going to be thinking about how you can use that knowledge to share with others, especially where you work now constantly having conversations about wine. That's exactly the type of experience that I know, it'll just exponentially go to other people to inspire them to travel and learn about wine.
Yes, send more people to drink burgundy
Send em all. Well and all these trips that you've recently taken, it makes me wonder where's the next bucket list item for you? Has it made you think about a place that you've never been to that you can't wait to go and have this depth of an experience?
So I would say obviously I love Pinot but my next love and maybe maybe even better than Pinot is Nebbiolo. Um, I cannot wait to go to Piedmont That area has been on my bucket list for a while and now just you know, getting back from Germany. I'm like, I'm not you know, traveling high. I'm like, Okay, let's go. When can we go? I'm so ready. I want to go to Barbaresco I want to drink it in Barbaresco. that is definitely like top of my list. Hopefully soon. I don't know when but hopefully soon,
you'll make it happen because these trips are inspiring you to make that a priority in your own wine education. What else are you doing right now to pursue personally, I mean, at the shop, you get to taste a lot. But are you doing anything to personally pursue your own wine education?
I have been thinking about it a little bit. I have my WSET II and knowing you know, Jade, and you guys studying non stop. It's a lot of hard work and seeing you guys do it really motivates me. Like I'm like, Oh, should I do something? Do I have the mental capacity to do that right now? Yeah, I've definitely thought about I think traveling in these places really gets you motivated. And you want to just learn as much as you possibly can about it. So yeah, I've definitely been thinking more and more we'll see
I like the evil. What is that? The Dr. Evil symbol of Lindsey thinking about what else she can study and learn. And traveling? Yes, let's not downplay the impact that travel has on personal education, that is a way and there is an expense to it. So if you're going to put any money or resources toward it, traveling is a type of education for wine
Yes fully immerse yourself into that and to be in that region is an educational experience in and of itself. You can read stuff and books all day, but being able to see it and be a part of it was totally different.
And then you bring it back, like we said to the shop, but you also do a lot of wine education for your friends and family. I even see your mom out there enjoying wine with you, you bring her to wine regions and it reminds me of me and my mom and I love it so so much. But what do you get asked about most often, from your friends and family who maybe maybe they don't work in wine, maybe they don't know as much about how to go explore wine like you are. So what are what are they asking you most often?
I feel like a lot of my friends and family you know, obviously, we like to drink wine. So we drink it all the time. But a lot of them have a hard time trying to describe what they like about that wine. So I've been working with my friends on how to like, Okay, well smell this, like, What do you smell like to me, I associate a lot of smells and tastes with memories. So I'm like, that kind of helps me break it down a little bit. Oh, this smell reminds me of being at the barn and Okay, well, what smells Do you smell at the barn, it's manure and hay and leather and those, you know those types of things. So that kind of like help break it down for them. So that I feel like that's like the number one thing that a lot of my friends have a hard time just trying to translate what they like about a wine so that they can figure out what else they can get and what else they can try
giving them the skills, that vocabulary that allows them to find wines that they end up liking that they're going to be drinking wines that they like, way more often when they're able to describe those things.
Yeah, and being at a restaurant too. I get texts all the time from friends and family that are like, Okay, I'm having this for dinner. We're at this place. Here's the menu, what should I get? I got you sometimes I'm like, on the road, I like pull over and I'm like, okay, looking at the menu. I know what they like because they're my friends and we drink together a lot. Okay, here you go. I'll give them usually give them options, two or three options that would be great go to town.
And they are part of what makes wine so fun is these conversations and these explorations and the adventures that surround wine. I know that we share a love for that. And we try to create that with the people in our lives and create those memories. And I know we talked a little bit about Atlanta, but you also explore Atlanta, you'll tell me about shops that you've been to a restaurants that you've been to. So how do you describe let's say friends or family that don't live in Atlanta? What are you telling them about the wine scene here? What makes it so special?
Yeah, I think that the community the number one most special thing about Atlanta, I mean, the people that I've met through you or through the shop or clients, it's really special the Atlanta community is it's growing and it is basically a family and it's so sweet to see especially like all the events that you do and and being able to be a part of it like dinners and stuff. It's it's really special. I feel like you don't see that a lot and other other places. Especially like you know, being in California. Yeah, you're in a wine region and that's really cool, but it was hard living there and not having that community that you have here. So that is definitely the main number one Atlanta wine community is unmatched
that makes me so happy. I'm sitting here just smiling thinking about that because you have comparisons to other places that you have been specifically for wine. So it means a lot that you've noticed the community the support the friendships that are built through working in wine here in the city. Well, then I have to ask you, I'm gonna come shopping really soon. You're gonna probably get a budget from me. I'm going to tell you I need this many bottles. I want to spend this much. So what would be in the Lindsey fall wine pack these days? What are you loving? What are you drinking from the shop?
Definitely some crew Beaujolais. I drink that year round. But uh, you know, especially in the fall, it's just perfect. I really pretty Syrah we just go a Lirac in. I haven't tasted it yet. But it looks phenomenal.
Looking like it's next on your tasting list.
We had some really yummy Bandol rose at the shop recently that I definitely grabbed a few bottles. Yeah, I mean, I think Rose and white wine too is also perfect for fall. I'm a pescetarian. So I eat a lot of fish. So yeah, I'm white burgundy all day, obviously. But Ooh, we had a really pretty Cinsault from South Africa that we poured a couple days ago for the tasting. And it was probably the favorite of the tasting. And it's like a good fall transition. Red, right? It's a lighter bodied red. And the weather that we're having in Atlanta, like who knows, it could be 6o one day and it could be 80 the next day. So I feel like a lighter bodied red is a good transition into the I'm ready for fall.
I think that's why I'm partially sick. I'm like one day, it's 45 degrees outside and one day it's 80 and I just can't figure it out. The transition wines right now are where I'm finding a lot of fun and exploration, the different textures of white wines, the different structure in rose, and then what I'm eating right now in the fall and how that can play off. But you had my heart at Syrah and Cru Beaujolais. So I'm gonna have to see what you've got going on with that good stuff. Speaking of family in Atlanta, we've just kind of glossed over the fact that this shop is its own little family. What's it like to work with the other folks and who's all involved? Because you're making decisions, but you're working with some pretty cool people to do that.
Yeah so I've been there for four and a half years, which is crazy. And it's such a small team. So Jeff is the owner. He's amazing. Just the nicest caring person. He's really one of the best bosses I've ever had. He's so nice. I don't really honestly think of him as a boss. We're big foodies. So I always text him food that I'm eating or cooking. And he always sends me stuff and I love him. So he's the best. And then Bethany, she came to us a few years ago, I think, like three years ago, and she has whipped that shop into shape. It's amazing what she's done. And we work really well together. I love working with her. And then of course, we have Eddie who anybody who's ever shopped at Brookhaven wines knows Eddie. He's the Barefoot guy. He's here and there. Sometimes he's not so much in the shop as much anymore, but he helps out. Obviously, when we're on the trips. I've been shopping at Brookhaven wines, obviously, before I worked there. I've been shopping there since 2014. I think they opened in 2013. So when I moved to California, and when we found out we were moving back, I messaged Eddie, I was like, Hey, do you know anybody that's hiring in the Atlanta wine industry. And he was like, come by the shop. I'm been there ever since. we have Alicia who's a new employee, actually, I think she said she's almost been there a year, which is wild. I can't believe how quick the year has gone by. And she's great. She's very new to wine. But she is so eager to learn. And she's so great with the customers really helpful to have her on the team. And then Tina, who like plans, all the trips, she's not so much in the shop. She actually lives in Portugal, which is really cool. She moved there during COVID. She and her husband during the shutdown, and she's back and forth a lot. And she helps plan these amazing trips. So we couldn't do it without her.
And there are more trips on the calendar. I have seen all of these upcoming adventures. So is that something that you'll be involved with more going forward too?
Yeah, I hope so. I know Bethany and I are planning an Oregon trip with a small group this time next year, maybe, and I think they're planning Argentina, which I want to pick your brain about. Champagne is on the list for next year, I think another Loire Valley trip. So we've got lots of trips planned coming up
just get on that email list. Real quick. So you know, you don't miss these signups. But you also have a lot of these dinner collaborations that I've seen too, which is taking that retail space, but then putting it into where you can actually see people drinking the wines on the spot, which, like we said doesn't happen as often but you're doing a lot more dinner collaborations. Is there anything that you're pumped about for going into holidays? will you guys be doing dinners?
Oh my gosh, we love doing winemaker dinners or pairing dinners. Where we are there's a few different restaurants around us. We'd like to work with them a lot. So we did a pizza party with Vero where we paired amazing killer wines with their specific pizzas. And people loved that it sold out so fast. I think Alicia and I were talking about she wants to do pairing wines with Thanksgiving dinner. And so, you know, obviously, that's coming up so quickly, I don't know how. So that's next on the calendar. We love doing those dinners. It's so fun because then it gives us a chance to really like hang out with the customers too, and talk to them and get an idea of what they're looking for. And really just hang out, not so much sitting behind the counter, like scanning bottles, like we actually get to mingle.
And that allows you to help them keep finding wines that they like, the more that you know them you know what they're eating, you know what they like to do in their free time, then you're able to suggest wines that fit their lifestyle. And I see that you really care about that. From the customer service standpoint, it's getting to know the people who are shopping at the shop. Okay, well, you love wine. And I know that we both love wine. And I'm going to be drinking a lot of wine with you very soon. And it's going to be such a fun holiday time. But if you weren't working in wine, what would you be doing Lindsey and I, like if you say golf, it's really not golf, you know, but we're trying to play golf with our husband. We're really getting golf in our lives. But that's probably not what you would say you do full time. What would you do if it wasn't wine?
Whoo. I don't know. I love singing. So I always thought I would one day be a singer. But I don't think that's ever gonna happen. And I'm okay with that. But maybe in another life. Who knows. I love animals. So probably it would be working with animals, I ride at a barn nearby once a week, like nothing crazy, you know, grew up riding. So I missed it I hadn't written in years, I think it was 13 or 14 years that I hadn't ridden and I was a little nervous to get back into it. But I've been riding at this new place since February. And it has just been so much fun. It really is. I mean, it's therapy, it literally is therapy, it gets you outside getting some vitamin D plus being around animals and the horses are so special, they really can feel what you feel. So it's a way to just kind of like step out and be like, okay, whatever's going on outside of here, leave it there and be here because you can't bring all of that into the arena. And they will feel it.
They will. And again, it's finding those moments for connection. And I think that we've talked about this sometimes but wine can create these really unique connections these moments. And so you're finding that outside of wine as well with other types of communities. I mean, it's really special that we have all of that here as part of our lives. Well now we know that there are other things that you're really into to so people want to connect with you about horses and riding, animals, all that stuff about wine, learn about the shop. What's the best way to reach you and say touch
Yeah, you can always email me and then I have my my wine, Instagram, which is somebody to love, like, like a Somm - Sommbody
which I always think of the song when I look you up, I think of the QUeen so song inside. What's the best way to connect with the shop?
Yeah, @Brookhavenwines. And we're open 11 to eight, Tuesday through Saturday and one to six on Sundays and Mondays. And I'm usually there Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday. Obviously these next few weeks are a little bit different. Because Bethany and Jeff are in Germany. But yeah, come see me we do free tastings Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Every week on our website has all the any events that we've got coming up. And yeah, hope to see you all there.
Just come in and ask you all the questions all of them and come learn to find some cool wines. Thank you so much for doing that. And for always being ready to explore and try new things. I really appreciate that. Especially as someone who shops at the shop. I enjoy your energy that you're bringing. So thank you so much.
Thank you for shopping at the shop. I'm like oh yay, Kelly's here.
Oh my gosh. Well, thank you so much for your time, and thanks for being on the show.
Cheers to you, my friend. See you soon.
Thanks for tuning in to the A Cork in the Road Podcast coming to you live from Atlanta, Georgia, and interviewing people who are changing the wine world in the southeast and beyond. You can find more about a cork in the road at @acorkintheroad on Instagram and make sure to check us out on www.acorkintheroad.com See you soon guys. Cheers.