On April 20th, we teamed up with Bianca Bosker to celebrate the launch of her book, Cork Dork, and took a dive into the (male-dominated) world of wine. Cork Dork (a term used to describe people who dedicate their lives to wine) hit the shelves last month and became an instant NY Times bestseller, and it’s not hard to see why - Mix alcohol, high-stakes competitions, and a novice cellar rat together and we’re interested, but throw in Bianca’s journey to becoming a certified sommelier and we’re hooked.
Following Bianca’s insta-famous #pairdevils, we concocted three Of Mercer x Bianca Bosker food and wine pairings: Black & White cookies with Riesling, Lox bagels with Rosé, and Queso with Pinot Noir. Bianca read sections from the book, discussed the differences between $20 and $200 bottles of wine, and taught us tips for not panicking when ordering off a wine list.
See our Q&A with Bianca below, and stop by the store to pick up a copy of her book!
- What is your go-to power outfit? Blazer, black jeans, pocket-sized notebook, and boots (but nothing with a heel. I require being supremely mobile at all times.)
- What is your next professional goal? Help my new book Cork Dork get turned into a TV show, movie, musical, and/or adult coloring book.
- Think of the woman you most admire and name three qualities she exhibits. She is breathtakingly intelligent, unfailingly supportive, and disregards convention.
- What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? It’s actually a quote from Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
- What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done? Quit my stable, full-time job as executive tech editor for The Huffington Post to guzzle wine on weekday mornings and start over as a “cellar rat”—the lowest of the low in the wine world. My journey from cellar rat to sommelier is the basis for my book Cork Dork, and for a long time after quitting my job, I was filled with excitement and sheer terror, which I took as proof that I was challenging myself and doing something worthwhile.
- What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud? Sarah Andersen’s Big Mushy Happy Lump, a collection of comics that could basically be my biography.
- What is your greatest indulgence? Wine, especially older white wines. I used to think that spending more than the price of a hardcover book on a bottle was indulgent because I couldn't taste the difference anyway. But since training my senses (which, by the way, any of us can do) and learning to savor the stories in wine, I've developed a taste—and curiosity—for more unusual bottles. Thanks to my training as a sommelier, I can find value wines better than I could before—but my splurge bottles are more splurgey.