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The Art of Seduction

by  Maria C. Hunt on September 29, 2011
The Art of Seduction

If you’re lucky, you know the joy that can accompany sharing a bottle of wine with a couple of good friends. If it’s the right wine, it seems as the bottle empties and the conversation flows, smiles come more easily and laughter erupts.

The words “wine education” aren’t usually associated with the good times that can happen while talking freely and sharing wine with friends.

But that’s exactly what happens each week as three sexy young women in Atlanta serve up wine education and fun on their webcast called Vino Seduction.

Danielle Davis, Maxine Lee and Maya Crigler explore titillating and approachable wine topics like Freaky Muscato, Beverly Hills Bubbly and Red Wine Cake on their live webcast that airs on Thursdays.

A recent show dived into whether hip hop artists like Drake, Nelly and St. Lunatics, the creators of Freaky Muscato, had ruined the rep of the sweet Italian sparkling wine by telling people to drink it with lobster.  While getting freaky may not be for everyone, the ladies concluded that moscato’s image hadn’t suffered any permanent damage.

“We always preach that you drink what you like,” says Davis, who’s known as the show’s “Wine Enthusiast.” “There’s no point in drinking an $80 dollar bottle if you don’t like it.”

Other more serious topics they’ve tackled include California chenin blanc, pairing chocolate with red wine and getting seduced by sake. Their goal is to help more people get comfortable with wine, so they’ll want to drink more of it.

“It’s about incorporating wine into your life instead of just going to tastings,” says Lee. “Do it daily. I drink wine daily if I’m having a turkey sandwich or I’m making quail for dinner.”

Davis worked as a sales rep for a national wine distributor after graduating from college. She was surprised to see that while her white customers drank a wide variety of wines, most African-Americans stuck to brands like Arbor Mist and jug wines.

Both Davis and Lee really say their love of wine took off when they had the opportunity to work at the first Atlanta Wine Styles, a national boutique wine shop franchise. When a friend offered Davis the opportunity to create her own web TV show, she decided there was a need for a down-to-earth wine program that spoke to African-Americans.

“I said wine would be perfect if I can educate urban professionals or anybody who wants to learn more,” Davis says.

Lee, who is studying to become a Certified Specialist of Wine, started coming on the show as a guest; now she’s the resident “Winista.”

Lee, who buys wine for a national gourmet retailer, selects wines to feature on the show and researches the topics with reference books including “The Wine Bible” by Karen MacNeil.

On her blog, In a Fabulous World, Lee encourages other millenials to try affordable and unusual wines like picpoul de pinet, a crisp white wine from France’s Languedoc region and bukettraube, a fruity white that’s native to Germany but shines and South African wines like Seven Sisters’ Odelia.

Much of the show’s sparkle comes from Maya Crigler, the “Wine Socialite” of the Vino Seduction trio, who provides the comic relief. Sweeping back her long locks, Crigler talks about pop culture, her favorite shows or a song she loves. Davis says they purposely surprise Crigler each week with the show’s wine topic.

“Viewers like to see her reaction,” Davis says. “I want them to see we’re learning along with them and we’re not wine snobs.”

As the ladies keep presenting their fresh take on wine education, they’re winning attention from winemakers and wine enthusiasts at all levels.

“I’m definitely getting a positive response,” says Davis. “I got a call from Rex Pickett, the writer of ‘Sideways,’ and he said I really like what you’re doing.”

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Maria C. Hunt

Maria C. Hunt

Maria C. Hunt is an award-winning food and drink editor and the author of The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion (Clarkson Potter, 2009). full bio



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