On one of our more delicious segments, we welcome Kiera Hill, a certified Sommelier to the show to teach us how to properly taste wine. She also shares how you can get your hands on a bottle (or two, or three….) even during a pandemic.
What is Vino Culture?
Vino Culture is fist and foremost a wine education company. With Virtual Classes, tasting events, and curated wine delivery, there is education with every bottle. Wine deliveries are available throughout the Hampton Roads region and Virtual Classes are hosted live on my YouTube channel several times a month. I hope to resume public tasting events when it is safe to do so.
Where are you located?
Vino Culture does not have a brick and mortar location. Instead, I operate under the umbrella of and in partnership with an ABC establishment in Virginia Beach. It has been my dream to spread my passion for wine and wine education throughout Hampton Roads instead of keeping it to one centralized location.
What sets your company/organization apart from others?
While wine is sold in hundreds of places in Hampton Roads, and more businesses are offering wine delivery service, Vino Culture takes it one step forward. I track every bottle bought by my customers (I call them Tribe Members). Because of this, I can make personalized recommendations for wine that I think they will love but will also expand their horizons. My goal is to empower people to trust their own palate and increase the number of wines and wine regions with which they are familiar. Each of my wine features comes with a tag that has information about the region, geography, producer, history as well as my own tasting notes and pairing recommendations. You won’t be left in the dark when you try these eclectic wines from boutique producers in lesser known regions. Instead you will grow in your knowledge and understanding of the “why” behind the “what” you love to drink.
Can you share a brief history of your company/organization with us?
Vino Culture is just 2 years old, but I have been hosting wine educational events and tastings for over 12 years. I am a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and passed that certification in 2015. Previously, I was a manager of a large wine store outside of DC where I developed a series of wine educational platforms focusing on novice wine drinkers, amateur collectors, serious collectors, and industry professionals. When I moved down to Hampton Roads in 2013 I started working at a wine bar in Norfolk and began similar wine tasting classes. Wherever I went, I loved starting wine education programs so I figured it was finally time to make that my full-time job! While the original business model of Vino Culture was hosting classes in restaurants across Hampton Roads, COVID forced me to reinvent myself and now am happily taking that education online and offering retail deliveries.
What is your slogan and why is it your slogan?
Our official slogan is: Learn the “why” behind the “what” you love to drink!
We can appreciate things in life more when we understand them better. We can understand wine better by learning more about why each wine, grape, region is so unique and how to taste wine fully and intentionally. We do this not only through tasting regularly, but also through deepening our understanding of geography, geology, biology, chemistry, history, and even phycology!
What’s your primary goal when attracting new business?
My favorite customer is the one who isn’t afraid to try new things. In the US, 90% of wine purchased comprises less than 10 total grape varieties. But there are thousands of grapes varieties out there! I want to take you on a journey to the small village in northern Italy that makes a red wine from the Refosco grape. I want to fly to the Canary Islands and explore Listan Negro with you. I want to sip an Ugni Blanc on the Mediterranean Coast of France. So basically: life is short, try more wine!