Monday, June 24, 2013

6/24-Michael Horn & Nicole Nielsen talk to Robin Kelley O’Connor and Cate Conniff

Robin Kelley O’Connor - Wine Educator & International Wine Judge                                                                                     

A leading wine educator, international wine judge, wine writer, and sommelier, Robin Kelley O’Connor recently joined Italian Wine Merchants (IWM), where he’ll be adding his thirty years of experience, authority and passion to seminars, dinner events, sales, offerings and wine education. In addition. Mr. O’Connor was previously Lead Specialist & Head of Wine, Americas for Christie’s Auction House. He is a Christie’s trained charity auctioneer. Prior to Christie’s, he was Director of Sales and Education for Manhattan wine and spirits retailer Sherry-Lehmann, winner of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2010 Wine Retailer of the Year Award. Preceding Sherry-Lehmann, he was Trade Liaison and director of trade and consumer education in the Americas for the Bordeaux Wine Bureau (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) for 20 years. Robin holds Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Certified Wine Educator (CWE) certifications from the Society of Wine Educators and passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Certified Sommelier exam. O'Connor served as president of the Society of Wine Educators from 2003-2007, is on the board of directors of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food, and has been a regular panelist at the Food and Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen for 20 years. As a popular wine educator and spokesperson, he has conducted over 2,500 seminars; written for the Trenton Times, Santé Magazine, Wine & Spirit; and served as senior editor for Kevin Zraly’s Complete Wine Course 25th Anniversary Edition. For over a year during 2008-2009 he traveled around the world with Kevin visiting over 20 Countries, 80 wine regions, and 500 appellations and tasted more than 7,000 wines. Among his many professional honors, Mr. O’Connor bears the distinction of induction into the wine world’s most prestigious institutions, including the Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc- des Graves et de Sauternes-Barsac, the Jurade de Saint-Emilion and Les Hospitaliers de Pomerol.

Napa Valley Vintners Launches "An Unexpected Summer Story in Every Bottle"
Promotion includes chance to win a Napa Valley/34th America's Cup getaway

St. Helena, CA--With the official start of summer this Friday, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) today announced the start of its "An Unexpected Summer Story in Every Bottle" promotion, showcasing stories that illustrate unexpected facts about Napa Valley and its wines, a photo contest with the chance to win a Napa Valley/34th America's Cup getaway and sustainable seafood recipes highlighting summer wine-friendly cuisine from coast to coast. 

Among Napa Valley's unexpected stories:

Although known primarily for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay production, a wide range of aromatic white and rosé wines are also crafted in Napa Valley that vary greatly in style, price and flavor profile to match summer fare 95% of Napa Valley wineries are family owned Napa Valley has the most stringent land use and sustainability measures of any wine region Napa Valley is the official wine region of the 34th America's Cup coming to San Francisco this summer

As the NVV depicts these unexpected summer stories from the Napa Valley wine region, the trade association is also asking people from across the country to tell their stories, via a photo and caption contest. The photo that best conveys the spirit of Napa Valley and its quality wines will receive a Napa Valley   34th America's Cup getaway package. Four runner-up photographers will receive Instax Mini 8 cameras. The contest runs from now through July 15. 

"We're eager to share this unexpected side of Napa Valley and its fun, affordable and food-friendly summer wines," commented Linda Reiff, executive director of the NVV. "We believe wine consumers will be excited to explore the crisp whites and refreshing rosés that pair perfectly with trips to the beach, summer barbecues, relaxing by the pool or family picnics--and then tell us about their Napa Valley summer wine experiences."

To celebrate the connection between Napa Valley's leadership on issues of sustainability and healthy waterways, the NVV has also developed sustainable seafood recipes featuring cuisine from coast to coast. Each recipe has a "Best Choice" main ingredient selection from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch list from four water-touched regions: the Northeast, Southeast, West Coast and Great Lakes. These recipes were developed by noted cookbook author and Napa Valley restaurateur Cindy Pawlcyn.

To learn more about unexpected Napa Valley and its summer wines, enter the #unexpectednapa photo contest and gather sustainable seafood recipes from Cape Cod to California and from Lake Michigan to the Louisiana bayou, go to 

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 450 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit 

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