We continue our Q&A series, where we bring the people behind Long Island wine to you, with Bridget Micieli-Martinez, who runs the tasting room at Palmer Vineyards.
When I first met Bridget, she was still Bridget Quinn and she was working at Martha Clara Vineyards. But, in recent months she's not only taken over the room at Palmer Vineyards but also gotten married. And, if your recognize her new last name, it's because I've written about her husband Juan Micieli-Martinez several times. He's the winemaker at Shinn Estate Vineyards.
As you can probably guess from the Halloween picture Bridget sent me to run with this Q&A, she's a fun person. And, take it from me, she speaks her mind.
What (and where) was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking?
First year of college LSU...magnums of Vendage merlot and cabernet sauvignon on pizza night. The next year I came home to New Orleans and I was hired for my first waitressing job. We had tastings of Ferrari Carrano Fume Blanc, Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, Ravenswood Zin -- all at Louisiana Pizza Kitchen
What event/bottle/etc made you decide that you wanted to be in the wine industry?
Um hate to say it, but an ex-boyfriend turned me on to the finer selections - Chateau de Beaucastle, Chateaunefu de Pape, Italian Amarone's.
Which of your current wines is your favorite and why?
Shinn's (Juan's) Rose. It's dry with hint of creaminess. Ummm its just delicious. To me it tastes like vanilla and strawberries...not just summer sipping but year-round for sure.
What has surprised you most about being a winery employee on Long Island?
The clientele I guess. I was expecting that they would be more educated about wine and more receptive. But a lot of people come out with their city attitude and regiment--they are in a rush or drunk. I feel that a quality experience should take time and you should enjoy rather that rushing around trying to visit as many as you can before they close their doors for the day.
Other than your own wines, what wine/beer/liquor most often fills your glass?
Any seasonal from Southampton Publick House. My favorite is Saison or Grand Cru.
Is there a 'classic' wine or wine and food pairing that you just can't make yourself enjoy?
Not one that I can think of, I will eat anything. Come on, I am from New Orleans!
Wine enjoyment is about more than just the wine itself.
Describe the combination of wine, locations, food, company, etc. that
would make (or has made) for the ultimate wine-drinking experience.
Sunday afternoon in New Orleans with old friends and family, preferably a pool or breeze at least, light chesses, fresh fruit and many bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Kim Crawford will do. That just gets us warmed up for dinner!