Just about a year ago I was preparing for my first Wine Bloggers Conference . I was a scholarship recipient and it was only polite to personally thank the donors who made the scholarship fund possible. Debbie Gioquindo is a huge supporter of the Wine Bloggers Scholarship Fund. That’s how I met (we do still say met, even though it was through social media, right?) the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess. A big title to be sure but I have learned that she manages to wear the crown well. We had somewhat similar career backgrounds in public relations and media and I started to follow her blog. She earned her Certified Specialist in Wine from the Society of Wine Educators. She truly is the goddess of all things wine related to the Hudson Valley in New York ( a place just south of the Finger Lakes). Debbie is also a Wine Location Specialist in both Port and Champagne. Through her own social media activity she answered a tweet from Keryl Pesce, author of “Happy Bitch”. Happy Bitch and its brand is about getting on with things after life throws one of its curve balls. Keryl was asking the twittersphere if Happy Bitch should create a wine. Debbie said she should do it in the Hudson Valley and the two met and formed a partnership to produce Happy Bitch wine. I followed Debbie’s posts about the process of selecting the blend and bringing the choices to various events to have the public help decide on the final blend and before long Happy Bitch wine was born. They chose a flirty, frosted, crown capped bottle for their chardonnay/pinot noir rosé.
After vicariously enjoying Debbie’s posts documenting the process of creating a new wine I wanted to get my hands on a bottle and try it for myself but wine shipping laws being what they are this was no easy feat. In fact it practically took divine intervention. I live in Massachusetts and Debbie lives somewhere near Poughkeepsie, NY. Her company is just starting out and her distribution is limited and does not extend into Massachusetts (Free the Grapes!). Debbie just happens to have a child planning to attend a New England school and we figured out that during one of their excursions to the area we could meet to hand off the wine. Several missed opportunities went by and in the meanwhile I had planned a girls’ night tasting featuring this wine and had to satisfy my friends with “other” less spectacularly named (and tasting) wine. Eventually, while planning to drive up to visit a friend she extended her drive an extra hour to meet me at work and deliver the wine. Can you believe the above and beyond here! A four hour drive to get her wine into the hands of a thirsty wineaux! That’s dedication to purpose.
I have to admit, I approached the whole thing from the point of view of supporting a fellow wine geek and didn’t expect too much from the wine. How often does anyone hit it big with a first outing? Fizzy enough to tingle your tongue. Frizzante as the Italians say, and flirty, with a beautiful, somewhat deeper than salmon hue. I thought this wine was going to taste on the sweet side but it is a well balanced and more serious wine that the label might suggest. There is soft melon and strawberry on the palate and a lovely fruity finish. Very drinkable. I enjoyed it with mixed cheeses and appetizers but definitely pairs best with good company. A little hidden surprise is that on every bottle, above the label there is a peel away banner with a positive affirmation from Keryl’s book.
Debbie missed last year’s Wine Bloggers Conference due to a family illness but this year she moderated a workshop that allowed bloggers to sit down one-on-one to discuss their blog with an experienced (and prolific) blogger and receive feedback. I heard nothing but excellent feedback about this workshop. I was happy to spend some quality time with Debbie at the conference. It certainly beat meeting her in the parking lot of my office for a handoff. There are many more Happy Bitches in the world thanks to Debbie and Keryl.