We recently had the opportunity to interview the beautiful Hana-Lee who is responsible for the @WanderAndWine account on social media. Hana-Lee is a writer, Certified Specialist of Wine and Sommelier who lives in Santa Barbara, CA. Her travels have not only inspired her to enhance her wine skills, but also her perspective on life. Her content is always intriguing and keeps her audience engaged. See below for more information on her and her experience with Kascadia wines!
How did you get into wine? Is there a specific story you can share with us describing how wine sparked an interested for you?
Though I drank wine while spending a semester abroad in Italy (but let’s be honest, I wasn’t exactly drinking the finest Italian wines!). It wasn’t until I lived in San Francisco after college that I really started to get into wine. San Francisco is a foodie paradise, and since I love good food and trying new restaurants, I naturally started getting more interested in what I was drinking when I went out to eat. Being so close to wine regions like Napa and Sonoma and having access to cool San Francisco wine bars made it easy for me to explore the world of wine. My friends and I would take day trips to wine country, meet at local wine bars and attend wine events in the city, and I soon realized that I didn’t just enjoy drinking wine, but wanted to learn as much as I could about it. Learning about wine became a passion very quickly!
Do you have any food pairings you would suggest for any of the wines we sent you? Do you have any recipes you'd like to share?
While I’m a firm believer that you should drink what you like, regardless of whether it technically pairs well with your food, you can’t argue with a great wine and food pairing! It can be eye-opening when you get to experience the magic of a great match.
I tried the 50th Parallel Pinot Gris with prosciutto and local goat Gouda and it was a fantastic pairing. Given the touch of sweetness in the wine, I think it would also be a great match with Asian or Thai food. I also tried the Meyer Family Mclean Creek Pinot Noir, which was a bit heartier than some PInot Noirs, and had a nice blend of red fruit, baking spice and savory characteristics. I’d probably pair it with duck or pork roast, or something heartier like Beef Bourguignon. Yum! The Painted Rock Red Icon, on the other hand, had a more tannic structure, full of black pepper, dark chocolate and earthy notes. I’d hold onto this one for a while to let it age a bit, but if you want to enjoy it now, try decanting and serving it with a delicious steak.
Who is your biggest inspiration in the wine world and why?
That’s a tough question! It’s impossible for me to say I have one major inspiration, because I find so many different people, places and wines inspirational. When I travel to different wine regions and meet winemakers and producers, I’m always inspired by their stories of how they got into wine. More often than not, they were on a very different path in life but a chance job at a winery or restaurant changed their course. It’s really cool to hear!
That being said, I find so much inspiration in Santa Barbara’s wine community. The dedication, passion and knowledge of winemakers and wine professionals in this area is infectious. It’s a community of generous, welcoming and hardworking people who are dedicated to crafting exceptional wine from our region, but aren’t afraid to have fun along the way. Wine can be serious on some levels, but this community reminds us to find time to pop open bottles, cook a great meal in your backyard, and share laughs and stories with friends. Finding a balance of working hard, doing what you love and making time to enjoy life, that’s inspirational!
To view Hana-Lee's Wander & Wine website click here.