Q: Tell the wine world about yourself in two sentences.
I am a wine expert and with over 10 years of experience in the industry and my market savvy skills, I have developed strong relationships with wineries across Ontario. I have an enviable thirst for life, enjoy traveling and often seek new experiences and adventures of any kind.
Q. Why wine?
I fell in love with wine by chance about 12 years ago. However, I found it even more meaningful to have been part of a team that was considered a pioneer in featuring Ontario wines through e-commerce. I found that building a niche community and curating experiences through wine was something that was so natural for me. Kwaf and Wine Collective have helped me to combine my passion and purpose into a career that I am proud of.
I also work to set a standard by increasing the representation of Black people within the industry. It’s very difficult when you are part of an industry you love and yet you don’t see other people who look like you. It’s also important to send a message to consumers that there is a place for them. In order to do that, they too need to see that the industry represents them and their experiences.
Q. Tell us about your favourite reference book?
It would have to be Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide. It is the perfect book for any wine professional.
Q: If you were a wine grape, what would that be, and why?
I would be a Riesling because I believe it to be one of the finest white wines out there. I think that it is an underrated grape but it can be so versatile. It pairs well with a variety of different dishes I enjoy.
Q. Looking into your crystal ball, what is the great change you would like to see in the wine industry?
In addition to overall greater representation of the BIPOC community, there should be more women of colour in leadership and decision making positions. Moreover, they should also be equally compensated in comparison to their female and male counterparts.
I believe that the industry is moving in the right direction by creating spaces to be more inclusive. However, the work needs to continue and be proactive to ensure that meaningful change happens and remains permanent.
Q: If there is one wine you can drink for the rest of time, what would it be? Feel free to be as broad or as specific about your choice.
This is a difficult question but I would say Riesling. It is because of the types of food I enjoy eating. I enjoy jerk meat and having a Riesling at the table would pair well.