All I Do Is Wine: Q&A with Zita Keeley
Over the years Joseph and Curtis have come to form some great relationships both personal and business related. Zita Keeley is one person who fits both of those. She has an amazing passion for wine and anything wine related. Zita offers her talents among a wide variety of wine related subjects: TV pilot, wine school, women for winesense, and the list goes on and on.
Recently, Zita asked me to speak at her Hoboken school for wine about wine storage which I was glad to do. Our passion for building custom wine cellars opens new doors to new friends each and every day.
I found the class insightful, unpretentious, and fun. I hope you will find Zita as interesting as we do.
Now, let’s chat with Zita Keeley…
J&C: So tell us about ALL I DO IS WINE.
Zita: Many people laugh when they hear my company name, All I Do is Wine. The name actually came about as an “aha” moment one morning when I woke up. It is probably thanks to my son who kept on complaining to me that all I ever talked about was wine..wine..wine!! It really is a name that captures my love and passion for wine.
J&C: Where did your passion for wine come from?
Zita: I know that I always loved wine but the passion was definitely fueled while living in London, UK for 6 years. During that time I dined out quite a bit (a real “lady who lunched”) and found so many fabulous and affordable wines that I loved. I needed to know more. A friend convinced me to take the wine course at Le Cordon Bleu and that was the beginning of my wine career path. After a fabulous conversation about dessert wines with the Sommelier from one of London’s top French restaurants, I knew for certain I wanted to know more. I continued studying back in NYC and started working with various companies assisting with wine events and tastings. After realizing I did not want to become a Sommelier (not a job for a mom) nor did I want to sell wine the one thing that stuck out for me was how much I liked talking about wine. That is what led to my teaching and consulting. In addition I write a monthly newsletter and my daily blog, “The Wining Woman.”
J&C: Most memorable wine moment?
Zita: One of my most memorable wine moments, of which there are many, was back in London one Thanksgiving meal. Some friends we had invited brought along a visiting guest from France. His contribution to us was 5 bottles of Puligny-Montrachet and some cheese. (What a great guest!) This was the first time I ever tasted Puligny-Montrachet and I was just blown away. We finished all 5 bottles and, to this day, I haven’t found one that has made me gasp the way that one did. (It was also only about $8.00 bottle.. that definitely will make you gasp)
J&C: Favorite place to travel that’s wine related?
Zita: I love anywhere that has vineyards. I can be driving through the Finger Lakes and suddenly get goosebumps when I see the sun shining over the vines and the lake. One of my most memorable wine trips has to be my visit to the Rhone Valley. Not only was it my first real vineyard visiting experience but it was the perfect region to truly understand winemaking. The diversity between the North and the South and the beauty of both is inspiring.
J&C: Tell us about your wine tasting classes.
Zita: I started Zita Keeley’s Wine School after living in Hoboken for a while and seeing that there weren’t many wine course offerings in NJ. This course is designed for all aspiring wine enthusiasts. I teach all the basics of wine tasting, including buying and storing wine as well as pairing wine with food. The curriculum delves deeper into wine study as students will also learn how to choose a wine with confidence, how to read a wine list and, naturally, how to enjoy wine.
J&C: Any special guests?
Zita: In the past we have had some special guests with our most recent being Mark Censits, owner of Cool Vines wine stores in Westfield and Princeton (partner of Joseph and Curtis). Joseph and Curtis will be guests in 2010 as well.
J&C: When do the classes begin?
Zita: The course is run as a once a week, 6 week program for 2 hours each session. The next course begins on Monday March 1st from 7:00-9:00PM. Classes will be held March 1, 8, 15, 22 and April 5 & 12. (No class on March 29.) All classes will be held at The Melting Pot- 100 Sinatra Drive- Hoboken, NJ. Cost for the entire course is $390 and advance payment/registration is required. Registration form is available at www.allidoiswine.com/WINESCHOOL.html or email [email protected]
J&C: Who is the ideal student?
Zita: The ideal student is anyone with a real love of wine who wants to have more confidence and understanding of wine.
J&C: Anything you would like to add about the TV show?
Zita: My newest project is to host an as yet untitled wine lifestyle and contestant based tv show that will be marketed to a specialty cable network by Coalition Films, a Hoboken-based production company that is developing the new show as well as working with reality TV mogul Mark Burnett on a few other fledgling projects. The pilot will be shot in March.
J&C: Please tell us about Women for Winesense.
Zita: I am the founding President of the New Jersey Chapter of Women for Winesense, a national non-profit organization that is the premier wine education and networking organization for wine industry professionals and wine enthusiasts. We have a variety of events throughout the year.
J&C: Any up-coming events?
Zita: Our next event will be on Saturday February 20th where we will be tasting wines served at the White House in celebration of Presidents Week. For more information go to www.womenforwinesense.org and see events calendar. There is also the upcoming Grand Tasting Event in Napa, Ca from Fri April 30-Sunday May 2, 2010. This is an event not to be missed with seminars, tastings and winery visits.
It was a pleasure interviewing our friend, Zita Keeley from All I Do Is Wine. We hope that you enjoyed the Q&A and visit www.allidoiswine.com to learn more about Zita’s passion for the wine lifestyle.
Until next blog…