Greetings, and welcome to another episode of The Official RIDGE-Ite 20 Questions Questionnaire! This time, we’re going to come right home to the Monte Bello Tasting Room, and visit with one of the newer staff members in the MBTR, to see what kind of fresh perspective we’ll encounter. Our guest today is Samantha McMillan, who in her relatively short span at Monte Bello to date has already made herself an indispensible part of the family; here is what she had to say in response to our questions:
The Official Ridge-ite 20 Questions Questionnaire
1. Can you briefly describe the first time you remember “consciously” drinking a bottle of wine (meaning, you were aware of what you were tasting, and to what extent you were enjoying it)?
The first time I remember really enjoying a bottle of wine is a couple years ago after I returned from a trip to Europe. Wine seemed to be a more common beverage and I often enjoyed it with my meals.
2. Who first “turned you on” to drinking good wine?
My good friend Hilary. She worked for a wine distributor and we would often try different wines that she brought home.
3. Do you remember the first time you tried a wine from Ridge? (What was it, where did you try it, etc.)
The first time I had Ridge wine was when I came up for a interview for tasting room associate with Christopher. I stopped by the tasting room when I was finished to try the wine.
4. When did you first realize you had an interest in wine that went beyond that of the “casual” consumer?
When I realized I couldn’t drink the same wine with every meal. After that I took a interest in learning which wines paired well with certain foods.
5. What was your first job “in the industry?”
This is my first job in the industry.
6. When did you first join Ridge, and what led you here?
I joined Ridge in February 2009. I was looking for a fun job to do on the weekends.
7. If you had to pick, is there one Ridge wine that you prefer above all others?
I really enjoy the 2006 Paso Robles.
8. Do you have a favorite food and wine pairing?
I like tacos and Cabernet.
9. If you could have any Ridge wine, served with any meal, cooked by any chef, with any companion, anywhere in the world, what would you select?
04 Dynamite Hill with chocolate covered strawberries sharing with any one of my friends on the beach in Portugal.
10. Is there a common “myth” or “belief” or supposed “truism” in the world of wine that you’d like to take the opportunity to debunk? (white wines only with fish, wine is made in the winery, alcohol levels in California are too high, the 100-pt wine rating scale is obsolete, etc.)
That the price of wine is an indicator of the quality.
11. Outside of California, what is your wine region of choice?
Germany: Rhine River Valley
12. When you’re not drinking wine, what is your beverage of choice?
tea. hot or cold.
13. If you could have any other job in the wine industry then the one you have now, what would it be?
Owner of a wine boutique.
14. Wine & Cheese, or Wine & Chocolate?
15. What has been the best wine experience to date in your life? (Where were you, who were you with, what did you drink, etc.)
I was in Soquel with my boyfriend David in a local tasting room. I don’t remember what I drank but it was one of the first tasting rooms I had ever been to. The entire experience was fun from the great service to the good conversation.
16. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen happen in a wine tasting room?
Any and all of our conversations for tasting notes prior to opening. Oh, and the Barry-Kyle banter.
17. What do you consider to be the five most important items in your fridge right now?
cheese, strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette, yogurt, and jello.
18. If you could offer one piece of advice to someone who is interested in getting a job in the wine industry, what would it be?
Get to know as many people as you can in the industry. Networking can sometimes take you places that talent can’t.
19. How do you feel about the “aroma wheel”?
Don’t know much about it to be honest.
20. What’s the desktop photo on your computer?
A picturesque landscape of rolling hills in the fall courtesy of Microsoft.
Thank you Samantha!
Categories: RIDGE Staff