San Diego Here We Come…

Bill Brandel

2019 is zipping by, but that means one of my fav wine and food fests, the 16th annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (SDBWFF) is fast approaching (Nov 10-17). So I thought it’d be cool to get Bill Brandel, VP of Sales and Marketing of the Somm Journal and Tasting Panel Magazine to do the NSI quiz.

Brandel will be moderating a panel of 6 diverse spirit experts at a seminar called Deconstructing Spirits that is being held at San Diego’s Intercontinental Hotel on Thurs Nov 14 from 11:15 to 12:30. Since Brandel has such a wide and multifaceted career in the wine and spirits world, from sommelier (we didn’t call ourselves that back then, he says with a modest chuckle) to a career in the sales and marketing of wine and spirits it makes sense he would be a perfect panel guest on what the SDBWFF bills as the Tasting Panel which delves into what influences the final outcome of high-end spirits that will include discussion on production, terroir and ingredients. Attendees also get to taste along as the panelists explain their brand which will include tequila, whiskey, gin and brandy. Enjoy.

What was last night’s dinner? Domestic lamb chops from Gelson’s grilled medium-rare with a bottle of Ruffino ALAUDA. (Cab Franc, Merlot, Colorino blend – great wine!)

Favorite drink? The Negroni

Favorite dining spot in L.A.? Davenport’s in Encino

Favorite music? Classic Rock

Favorite thing about living and working in L.A.? The golf courses

Any brush with celebrity? Smoked a cigar at Fat Stogies in Encino with Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Rob Schneider while watching a Dodger game several years ago. (That was fun.)

What makes a great winery? Great people and great vineyards

Any wine, meal or place to visit on your bucket list? St. Andrews golf course in Scotland

Final thoughts? I never get tired of trying new wines from all over the world!