[This image is borrowed from Alana Gentry’s Website: Girl With a Glass.]
The world of wine blogging has introduced a whole new set of players to this seasoned PR pro; Alana Gentry is one of them.
Some people just make sense, and that’s what Girl With a Glass means to me; someone who makes a lot of sense. I like her energy and spirit, and she’s a player.
Last year I invited her to the Petite Sirah Symposium. Her reactions were classic and very appreciated. She wrote: Petite Sirah.
The exciting news is that there is a renaissance of intellectual curiosity about Petite Sirah. Growers in the hot, dry, California climes of Livermore Valley, Lake County and Lodi as well as some cooler areas are sharing information about their techniques, failures and successes. They are mostly making 500 cases or less and selling them directly to winery visitors and club members. Interesting, that the grape’s relative under-appreciation may just establish a cult following.
I love someone who’s open, and someone who enjoys being on an entertaining learning curve. Hopefully she can make it to this year’s Petite Sirah Symposium, sponsored by Concannon Vineyard, on July 26, 2011.
I’m adding Alana to my wine writers, because her background and credentials are formidable.
ALANA: I bring to you 20+ years of professional writing expertise. My degree in play writing helped me achieve the honor of five of my plays being professionally produced. I also attended the Masters in Teaching Writing program, at California State University, Humboldt, to increase my exposure to various writing styles.
In 1992, combining my love of writing with business, I founded The Gentry Agency. The Gentry Agency provided marketing, sales strategies, product development and written communication services to over 100 companies worldwide.
Pairing and learning about wine since 2000… blogging since 2005.
Great answers, and when it’s all said and done, she’s a Girl (with a glass) after my own heart.
Wine writer Q&A
[Q] Many wine writers also have a day job. If wine isn’t your job, what is and for whom?
[Alana] Since 1992, I’ve owned The Gentry Agency which provides marketing, strategic planning, product development and operational support to a variety of businesses. I’m also a care giver for my husband, as he’s recovering from a spinal cord injury.
[Q] When did you start writing about wine?
[Q] What prompted you to start writing about wine?
[Alana] I’d been pairing and learning about it for about 5 years when my marketing guy for my other business said, “you should start a blog” so we did.
[Q] What aspect(s) of wine do you most enjoy covering?
[Alana] Wine/food/travel are subjects that I think can make people feel good. So it doesn’t matter if the subject is corks vs screwcaps, petite sirah, Argentine wine or a special pairing, my interest is writing articles that make people smile—a moment in their day where they sit back enjoy a glass of wine and read.
[Q] How has your job changed since you’ve started?
[Alana] I’ve enjoyed it so much, I’m working on making it into a career.
[Q] What’s the most memorable wine you’ve ever tasted?
[Alana] My memory isn’t very good, which is another reason to keep a blog. A recent Assyrtiko, a 1919 German Riesling and a Prager 2004 Aria White Port come to mind.
[Q] What’s your favorite variety?
[Alana] I love so many but if you said I had 3 seconds to decide or I’d never get to drink wine again, I’d say Pinot Noir.
[Q] Do you believe that there are better quality, lower priced wines today, than in past vintages?
[Alana] Oh yes. The global wine market is creating great opportunities for consumers to pick up excellent values. Domestically, some 2nd labels of higher-end wineries are becoming more competitive and overall, as competition has heated up, prices have fallen.
[Q] What’s your favorite innovation in the wine industry over the past few years?
[Alana] Improved web sites. Being able to get the info I need online to complete an article is fabulous. Also, I used to dread providing my readers with a link to an ugly dysfunctional winery site, but now almost everyone has a nice site.
[Q] What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
[Alana] Aged blue cheese and a spicy slightly sweet wine such as Castello di Amorosa’s Dolcino Gewurztraminer.
Lamb with cherries and Pinot Noir, such as an older vintage of Hugh Chappelle’s single vineyard Pinots that he made at Lynmar.
White port and cheesecake with caramel…
Should I go on?
[Q] What are your interests outside of the wine business?
[Alana] Traveling, gardening, cooking, being outdoors, reading great writing, listening to music, photography, driving throughout gorgeous Northern California with the top down.
[Q] Who inspires you (wine business or outside of it, doesn’t matter)?
[Alana] I’ve always been inspired by strong women doing important work like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Sojourner Truth to today’s heroine, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, founder of a project called Miss Representation that brings attention to how media devalues women and girls.
[Q] For what would you like to be remembered?
[Alana] That I was kind and brought happiness to people.