You won’t want to miss our live video chat with Marnie Old, sommelier and author, as well as Jean-Charles Boisset to chat about what’s new with California Wines!
Join us Sunday, March 25 at 6 pm EST right here (click on this link below):
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Watch previous episodes of the Sunday Sipper Club (SSC) and find out who’s coming up next.
Sommelier and author Marnie Old is a breath of fresh air in the wine world. An engaging performer and gifted teacher, she is refreshingly direct and down-to-earth. Marnie’s focus on matters of real-world relevance to consumers, not winemakers or brewers, puts her in demand as an expert speaker on wine and beer around the country, most notably as a featured seminar presenter at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. She is also the founder and organizer of Philly Bierfest, an annual festival celebrating Pennsylvania’s German brewing heritage.
Teaching is Marnie’s passion. Formerly Director of Wine Studies for Manhattan’s renowned French Culinary Institute, she served as the founding education chair for the American Sommelier Association4and has taught for New York’s Astor Center and Philadelphia’s Temple University. A pioneer of online video, Marnie designed “Wine Online”, a long-distance learning program for the University of Delaware’s department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. Best known for her innovative presentations on wine, she also lectures on wine marketing, beer, hospitality and service.
Marnie is best known as an author, and her most recent publication is the culmination of a decade’s work. Wine: A Tasting Course [DK 2014] is the first wine basics book to harness the power of images to explain complex wine concepts. Like all of DK’s books, it is vibrantly colorful, fully-illustrated and beautifully designed. Like all of Marnie’s books, it is engaging, easy to read and packed with ‘aha!’ insights. Her first book was the acclaimed He Said Beer, She Said Wine [DK 2008], a lively and entertaining debate on food pairing with co-author Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Marnie’s second book Wine Secrets [Quirk 2009], is a collection of down-to-earth wine advice from 40 international wine experts. In 2012, she launched her first interactive digital book Wine Simplified [Inkling 2012], later honored with a Publishing Innovation Award by Digital Book World as the “Best Non-Fiction App” of the year.
In addition to writing books, Marnie pens a humorous wine column for the Philadelphia Daily News called ‘Cheap Buzz’ – documenting hypothetical conversations between the sophisticated sommelier and her penny-pinching blue-collar neighbor Buzz. Marnie is a familiar face in Philadelphia as the former host, writer and co-producer of over 100 webisodes of Philly Uncorked, Philly.com’s weekly online video series. She previously served as Philadelphia Magazine’s beverage columnist and as a contributing editor for Sommelier Journal magazine. She is recognized internationally as an expert wine commentator, most recently by the Wall St. Journal, MSNBC, Real Simple magazine, Salon.com, Time Out New York and the UK’s Fine Wine Press. Features on Marnie have run in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the New Jersey Courier-Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and her events have been highlighted in USA Today and the New York Times.
Marnie first earned national recognition as sommelier for Philadelphia’s leading seafood restaurant, Striped Bass and as Executive Beverage Director for its premier restaurant group. After five years with the company, she launched her independent consulting venture, Old Wines LLC, in 2001, serving restaurants, consumers and corporate clients. She has advised world class organizations, like ResidenSea’s opulent ship The World, as well as independent start-ups and nonprofits. Since 2010, she has provided consulting services for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, one of the world’s largest purchasers and retailers of wine and spirits.
Marnie has consulted on beverage programs ranging from New York’s Morimoto to Fort Lauderdale’s Steak 954. In Philadelphia, Marnie has designed dynamic wine programs from the ground up for 16 restaurants, from Rittenhouse Square’s iconic bistros Parc and Rouge, to the edgy Spanish tapas lounge Bar Ferdinand in Northern Liberties. Among the many distinctions earned by her creative wine lists, Food & Wine magazine has twice honored her wine programs as ranking among the country’s “Ten Best New Wine Lists”, first for a cutting edge all-Italian wine list at Avenue B in 2001 and again in 2005 for an innovative seafood-oriented wine list at Striped Bass.
Marnie has earned expert-level credentials from internationally-recognized organizations, having passed the rigorous Level III Advanced Sommelier exams given by the Court of Master Sommeliers and holding the respected Advanced Certificate from the London-based Wine & Spirits Education Trust. A native of Winnipeg in Canada, she has made Philadelphia her home for over 25 years.
Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine in the village of Vougeot, Burgundy, France. His lifelong passion for wine began as a child, growing up above the cellars and within view of the centuries-old vineyards of Château du Clos Vougeot, the epicenter and birthplace of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, founded the family winery in 1961 with an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world. Today, the family collection includes wineries that share more than 18 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world’s most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France, to California’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley.
Jean-Charles leads the family firm with passionate commitment to fine wine, history, quality and a deep respect for the environment. He implemented organic and Biodynamic farming at all of the family’s estate vineyards in Burgundy and California. Together with his sister Nathalie, he created Domaine de la Vougeraie, uniting the family’s Burgundy vineyards, including prestigious monopoles such as the Vougeot 1er Cru Clos Blanc de Vougeot — planted in 1110 by the Cistercian monks, into one of Burgundy’s leading domaines. He instituted the concept of “viniculteur”, redefining the company’s traditional role to encompass a close and active interest in all aspects of winegrowing to ensure premium quality and sustainable farming practices. He refashioned and elevated the family’s founding winery bearing his father’s name — Jean-Claude Boisset — into a premier boutique vigneron in the Cotes de Nuits.
In 2003 Jean-Charles brought DeLoach Vineyards, a pioneering producer of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, into the family collection. He immediately recognized the similarities to Burgundy: each boast a confluence of river, mountains, and soil that is perfect for growing world-class Pinot Noir. He began a mission, inspired by his Burgundian heritage to produce terroir-driven wines with the same commitment to terroir and organic and Biodynamic farming he had instituted in Burgundy. In 2009 Jean-Charles’ quest for California wineries with a sense of history, heritage and a pioneering spirit, led him to Raymond Vineyards in the Napa Valley, where five generations of family winemaking anchors it to the earliest days of the Napa Valley. Under his vision, Raymond has become a leading producer of luxury fine wines, implemented organic and Biodynamic farming on its 100 acre Rutherford estate, and become among the most dynamic winery destinations in California, earning “Winery of the Year” honors from Wine Enthusiast magazine. In 2011, Jean-Charles’ dream of championing California wine history became a reality when Buena Vista Winery, California’s first premium winery, founded in 1857, became a part of Boisset Family Estates.
From this great foundation of historical, pioneering wineries in France and California, Jean-Charles’ sets forth a vision of the wine world centered on family, passion, history, innovation, a commitment to fine wines, and a dedication to sustainable winegrowing. Decanter magazine has included him on its “Power List” of the 50 most important people in the wine world each year of its publication since 2007; in March 2008, he received the Meininger’s International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year; and in December 2008, he was named “Innovator of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The French-American Foundation awarded him their first-ever French-American Partnership Award in 2013, bestowed upon an extraordinary individual or organization that has contributed to creating a strong and enduring French-American partnership in business, government or academia. Haute Living Magazine named him to the Haute List San Francisco, recognizing the 100 most influential people in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He was honored with the 2014 Jefferson Award by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which celebrates the museum’s historical connection to wine. Also in 2014, JFK University in Concord named Jean-Charles and his wife Gina Gallo its
“Entrepreneurs of the Year.” In 2015 Jean-Charles was named an Honorary Co-Chair of that year’s Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction, which broke all records by raising a staggering $4.5 million. In March 2016, Jean-Charles and Gina received the Mondavi Food & Wine award Robert Mondavi Wine & Food award by The Collins College of Hospitality Management in honor of their vision and leadership to advance the wine industry.