A couple months back, before life got hectic with full time employment and all the end of year school stuff, I was offered the opportunity to try this Alex Elman wine collection AND the chance to interview The Blind Wine Chick (her words, not mine).
I jotted down a couple of questions and waited anxiously for my 7:45 time slot. I dialed her number at exactly 7:45, the phone rang 2x and then disconnected. Thinking something better came up (for her) I tried one more time to at least leave a message so she didn't think I was blowing her off. She answered. I introduced myself, asked if there were any topics she wished not to discuss (she said there weren't) and I asked my first question. With notepad in hand I ferociously tried to keep up with her amazing story and how she became a lover of wine and eventual Winepreneuer (my new title for her). It didn't take long to realize that her story was edge-of-seat exciting and there was no way I could listen and take notes. I wanted to hear every word. I put away my notepad and we just talked.
It was like reconnecting with an old friend after years apart. We chatted about wine, her travels, her assist dog Hanley, relationships, food and everything in between. I had planned on 10 to 15 minutes but the call lasted more than an hour. If it weren't for the kids needing to be put to bed, I could have talked to her all night. Check out her story...
*from Alex Elman Wines
Born in New York City to an American oenophile and a Brazilian chef, Alexandra Elman was exposed to wine and food at an early age. Both her parents encouraged her to experience the world and develop opinions, so she became her mother’s chief taster and helped her father study for wine society entrance exams. She spent her youth in Brazil, France and New York and this early exposure to an array of food and wines honed both her palate and passion for high quality wines made without manipulation.
As an adult, Elman went to work for Perrier-Jouët Champagne in Epernay, France, where she learned about wine production at the Chateaux level—she worked in production, packaging, storage and sales. Upon her return to the U.S., Elman began to work for her stepfather, Basil Winston, trading wines from all over the world, including many California cult wines. When working for Sherry Lehman, Elman was exposed to some of the lesser-known wines of the world, and found them to be more compelling and honest—or truly reflective of their sense of place—than many of the larger labels.
In her late 20s, due to complications from diabetes, Elman partially lost her vision and after various eye surgeries, lost her sight completely within a year, at the age of 27. She credits her first seeing eye dog, Hogan, as the reason she was able to move forward with her life. Elman never stopped working in the wine world, and soon discovered that her palate had become even more focused. Her passion for wine grew, and Elman developed a reputation as someone who not only had an intricate knowledge of fine wine, but an extraordinary sense of what might succeed.
In 2002, Elman embarked on a venture to import small production, hand crafted, artisan wines to the U.S. In 2009, Alex decided to create her own label of wines, and began working with Beverage Alliance in order to form Alex Elman Wines, which released its inaugural portfolio in November 2010. Elman’s wines are honest, focusing on the sustainability of the vineyards where they are produced, as well as truly representing the wine’s terroir.
Today, she travels the world with Hanley, her seeing eye dog, in order to find the best wines that the earth has to offer.
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting Notes
This Cabernet is forceful and well balanced with notes of red and dark
berries, and a hint of pepper. The tannins are not overwhelming and have
a soft edge. This wine is a great partner to lasagna, game, eggplant dishes,
Beef Bourguignon and hard cheeses and truly beyond comparison when
pared with a piece of chocolate cake.
2010 Chardonnay Tasting Notes
This unoaked Chardonnay allows the buttery-ness to come through. It
has notes of vanilla and green apple with well-balanced acidity. This
jovial wine is surprisingly pleasant and bright. A wonderful compliment
to tangy salads, scaloppini based dishes, soft cheeses, lightly spiced
fish and fruits.
2009 Malbec Tasting Notes
This unoaked, delicious, cozy, well-balanced Malbec is ruby in color and
texture. Notes of cherry, candied apple and caramelized onion mingled
with great tannins to make this a perfect wine for hearty stews, smoky
mushrooms, spicy sauces, sausages, tomato based pastas and steaks.
2010 Torrontes Tasting Notes
This luscious, refreshing, lightly floral wine has notes of orange
citrus, honeydew melon and maintains a well-balanced acidity. Its
notes of honeyed fruit leaves a long taste in the mouth. This wine is
great to sip all day and is a perfect match for salads, citrus accented
foods, light fish and semi soft cheeses.
Alex's go to wine from the collection is the Torrontes.
The entire collection will be available at Target nationwide in the near future with a SRP of
$12.99-14.99. It is already available in some locations other than Target. Check here to see if it's available close to you.
When you find it, buy it. Follow Alex's motto...
"Don't think. Just drink!"
Alex has promised to call me if she ends up in my area. I hope she comes soon. I would love to visit some local vineyards with her and Hanley and share a bottle.
Cheers! to my new friend.