#RidgeSomms: In A Portland State Of Mind

I was fortunate enough to attend last year’s Wine Blogger’s Conference, and I was fortunate for many reasons, chief among them being that the conference was held in the great city of Portland.

Knowing I was Portland-bound, I advance-queried some reputable and contemporary palates as to recommended food & wine locales I should make certain to visit, and to a responder, one location came back above all else: Veritable Quandary.


So it was with great pleasure that I first viewed the invitee list for the 2013 Ridge Vineyards Sommelier Symposium, and discerned upon it the name Vanessa Bazzani.

Vanessa is the Wine Director at Veritable Quandary, which meant VQuandary was comin’ to #RidgeSomms!

And this made me happy.

You know who else it made happy?

Margaux Lemma, of Lemma Wine Company.

Lemma Wine Co. represents Ridge Vineyards in Portland, and Margaux is rep to Vanessa. And here is what she had to say in regards to Vanessa joining us for #RidgeSomms:

Vanessa Bazzani, sommelier of Veritable Quandary, is passionate, energetic and humble – qualities that I love in a Sommelier!  Her list is a reflection of her love of wine. Not your typical Oregon/Washington/Italy/French focus that so many Portland restaurants offer; Vanessa’s list delivers fantastic wines from both known and up-and-coming wineries in NW and California, along with classics from various parts of the world.  I am proud to work with Vanessa; her avid support of Ridge makes her one of the few Portland restaurants that is wholly committed to offering not just ‘what’s cool’, but what’s best for the restaurant and her customers. I’ll never forget her first time tasting through the entire Ridge line-up – her enthusiasm and genuine “I have just fallen in love with Ridge” moment was extraordinary. She knew then that Ridge was a perfect fit for VQ, and her customers have agreed, making her one of the top supporters of Ridge in the Portland market.

 Thank you Ridge for making this opportunity for Vanessa! She’s a gem.

Margaux, you’re welcome! Believe you me, you’re welcome …

And I can say that for truth now, because I’ve met Vanessa. I’ve spent time with her, I’ve tasted with her, and I’ve toured with her. She’s the real deal. She had a notebook and pen out at all times; clear proof of real dealitude.

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And believe you me, it’s good to connect to real dealitude.

If you wish to get connected to Vanessa and Veritable Quandary, please see below:



And to  dig the “official” Bazzani line, here’s the bio:

Vanessa Bazzani was raised in a restaurant family in New York City (her father was the managing partner of Le Bar Bat and Café Iguana) before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1994.  Growing up in restaurants, it was only natural for her first job to be that of a busser at the age of 16.  This early introduction to the business quickly led to a career devoted to restaurants and the wine industry.  While working at several of Portland’s premiere restaurants, Vanessa’s hard work and passion for wine inevitably led to her pin from the International Sommelier Guild in November of 2005.  For the past 10 years, Vanessa’s love for the wine regions of the Northwest has made her a staple at the International Pinot Noir Celebration working as a Maitre D’Hotel.

Currently, she is the Wine Director of Portland’s Veritable Quandary Restaurant & Bar where her passion for locally sourced products has found a home.  Her wine program reflects Chef Annie Cuggino’s seasonal farmer driven menu, specializing in an array of Willamette Valley and Northwest wines while also offering a vast selection from around the globe.


And with that, I say, THANK YOU! to Vanessa Bazzani for being such a vital part of our event. Vanessa, your professionalism, dedication, and thoroughly contributive presence were and are greatly appreciated, and on behalf of all at Ridge, we heartily concur with Margaux as to your gem-ness. Cheers!


The 2013 Ridge Vineyards Sommelier Symposium is now over, it’s true, but there are many more tales yet to tell, so remember:

Just filter for #RidgeSomms, and you’re IN!



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Categories: Business of Wine, Events, Offerings, Social Media, Viticultural Salmagundi, Wine Tales

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