Madeline Puckette became the ultimate wine influencer because she wanted to make wine accessible to everyone.
Co-founding Wine Folly, to share her knowledge, encourages people to learn about the many facets of wine and see that it is more than just a type of alcohol.
“Wine is art,” said Puckette. “Even though I’m an expert I don’t think like one… I am always teaching beginners, I am catering to a specific group.”
Releasing her new book, Wine Folly: Magnum Edition: The Master Guide to create a physical end-all-be-all for wine novices to devour that she wrote with Justin Hammack who also co-founded the wineaux website.
Puckette says that it is easy to become arrogant after completing wine training and that is one of the reasons she knew she had to create a way to make learning about wine more approachable.
The certified sommelier’s aha moment came after her husband caught her having a “snobbery” moment after opening up a $900 bottle of wine with her grandmother. She started them off with a Reserva Malbec and then poured the expensive cellar find afterward. When her grandmother told her she preferred the Malbec, Puckette surprised herself.
“At that moment I almost immediately judged her. I had gotten so bad that I was judging my sweet grandmother who had just opened a $900 bottle of wine for us,” said Puckette.
“The true folly is when you get smart about something you think you are better than other people. It is true that when you learn about wine your tastes change. You can’t judge someone because they love something that you are so over because your tastes changed. That’s my job since starting Wine Folly, it is to love people for their position (on wine) as long as you want to enjoy it.”
Cramming all of her knowledge into bite sized pieces, videos, newsletters, info-graphics and more the wineaux gives readers the highlights of wine and dares them to try new wines and flavour profiles.
“The experts need to understand that there is a world of people out there who are just getting into wine and are interested. I am just trying to make the pie bigger for us geeks so that we can drink more Orange wine,” said Puckette.
She now can add another title to her resume, narrator. Puckette has narrated the latest edition of the cult wine film series, SOMM3.
Three wine legends, Steven Spurrier, Jancis Robinson and Fred Dame sit down in Paris to taste the rarest bottles of their careers. Meanwhile Dustin Wilson gathers the greatest blind tasters of today in New York City for a secret tasting similar to the original Judgent of Paris. In 1976, Steven Spurrier held the Judgment of Paris, a blind tasting where American wines beat out the classic French wines and put American wines on a global platform. The recreation of the historic moment is to see if any of the world’s Pinot Noirs can stand up to the greatest Burgundies of France.
The film, directed by Jason Wise, concludes with both tastings crossing over with results that could change the wine world forever.
Puckette says that the new grape variety is not Cabernet Sauvingon or Merlot and viewers will have to bite their nails until the end of the film to find out which varietal takes the title.
“He ended up calling me up, (Wise) and said, “Madeline I told you I would never do another film, but now I am doing it. It’s crazy and I need your help,” He is a hyper-passionate individual. He is so charismatic and I just wanted to make it work,” said Puckette.
She describes his creative process as “crazy and magical” because Wise collects his hours of footage and has it transcribed, he then edits it as if it is a book, then the footage is edited.
“I am pretty inspired by his process. The story is told through action. There are basically three stories being intertwined at once so it’s difficult to tie it together without narration,” said Puckette.
SOMM3 will premier at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus Nov. 12 tickets are available online at startfreshkitchen.ca for $38 and will include wine tastings and small bites.
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