Another Wine Blogger: Meet the Cellarmistress

According to Mr. Google, there are thousands of wine and food blogs. The number and ranking of the blogs is in a constant state of flux, as new people come into the blogosphere and others find they just don’t have the time to keep up. For instance a google search today for “Wine Blog” ranks Another Wine Blog fourth. And a search under “wine” ranks AWB Number 13 for “wine” and the third actual wine blog. But if you look at any number of non-google rankings, we may be higher or lower, depending on their search criteria.

The fact is, no matter where you search you’re bound to find some great wine and food blogs out there. So we thought it might be nice to profile some of the blogs and bloggers we’ve met along the way. First up, another winner of the WBC-or-Bust tour, Grace Hoffman, who blogs at Cellarmistress’ Cellar Talk.

Houstonwino and Cellarmistress at Waterfront Seafood Grill in Seattle

Cellarmistress, Grace Hoffman

In addition to her blog, Grace is on twitter (@cellarmistress) and is a frequent participant on TasteLive, a site that hosts virtual tastings of wine and beer. Although she lives in Des Moines, Iowa, she blogs about wine from all over. But her primary focus is on the Pacific Northwest.

“I have a huge passion for the small family winemaker,” she says. “I mix it up with occasional posts on events I attend or am involved with as well. For every widely distributed wine, there are hundreds that the average person knows nothing about so I feel it is my duty to bring these wines and wineries to peoples’ attention.”

Grace, whose day job is in advertising, says she got into wine blogging purely by accident, even though she had been attending wine events for nearly a decade. At a friend’s suggestion she joined Facebook, and started posting short wine reviews on an application called Wine Beagles.

"For every widely distributed wine, there are hundreds the average person knows nothing about. I feel it's my duty to bring these wines and wineries to people's attention."

“The whole thing skyrocketed,” she says. Grace is Wine Beagles Top 5 wine reviewer, having reviewed over 700 wines. She started meeting lots of wine industry people though attending regional events. “So it naturally led to me starting my own blog,” she says.

We asked The Cellarmistress about some of her favorite wines. Grace says her palate is constantly evolving, but she enjoys red wines with huge flavors, especially California Zinfandel. She also enjoys Sauvignon Blanc. While she isn’t big on dessert wines, she says she is open to learning more about them.

While Grace has interviewed a number of winemakers, but there is one interview she regrets missing. “I would love to have spoken with Robert Mondavi,” she says, about the Napa Valley wine icon who died in 2008.

Since we’ve never been to Iowa, we asked Grace to recommend “hometown” wines she’s tasted. “Iowa wines are a whole different animal,” she says. “Our soils here are much different than on the west coast. But most of the wines are enjoyable.” Graces tells us that Iowa is now part of the largest U.S. AVA, the Upper Mississippi Valley. “I haven’t had the chance to visit many of them yet,” she says. “Here locally I would recommend Tassel Ridge and Jasper Winery. Both make terrific wines.”

Grace says she would rather read a good book than watch television. We asked her what she enjoys most about her blog.

“Everything I write comes from the heart and I take pride in all my stories. The joy comes afterward when the subject of my story contacts me with a “Thank You!” It brings a smile to my face…”

You can visit the Cellarmistress’ cellar at Cellarmistress’ Cellar Talk.

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