I was excited to be interviewed by the premiere European Food and Fashion website, Webflakes. So if you wanted to know a bit more about the guy behind Bacchus and Beery…Here you go.
This week we introduce you to Roger Beery who, along with his wife Donna, started the wine blog Bacchus and Beery, which is dedicated to tasting, enjoying, discovering, and of course, just drinking wine.
They started their love affair with wine back in college and it is now a shared passion in their family, with both their son and daughter working in the industry.
With years of experience, Roger is now a self-appointed Wine Evangelist spreading the Gospel of the Grape – from sharing an interest with lifelong friends to passing down his family’s passion to their children.
What inspired you to start blogging and what’s the focus of Bacchus and Beery?
I have loved writing all my life and had written some wine magazine content and a few non-published wine fiction short stories. One day our son (now an aspiring winemaker in Napa Valley) came to us with a university project for his wine marketing class. His Texas Tech University class was working with a similar class at the University of Bordeaux. The assignment was to find a man and a woman to write a short piece on a moment when wine was impactful in their lives or a relationship.
Donna and I had recently seen the movie Julie & Julia about blogger Julie Powell. The film peaked our interest in blogging and the assignment along with my earlier writing gave us enough content to get started. Today, Bacchus and Beery has over 60,000 followers on social media and the website receives around 5,000 unique hits monthly.
Bacchus and Beery started like a lot of wine blogs writing on the predictable topic of “I love wine and you should, too.” In order to offer our readers more and to follow our wine passion, we began to focus on small, family and artisan wineries that mainly sell directly to consumers. We also include many experiential travel pieces and winemaker interviews. The blog is written from our point of view and we often share personal details about our life in wine and wine travel.
Webflakes is all about sharing the authentic, first-hand experiences of our foreign bloggers, including traveling. Do you have a favorite region for wine?
We do spend a lot of time in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California for a few reasons. First, we love both areas, their wines and people. The blog has given us a worthy excuse to spend plenty of time in Napa and Sonoma with our new friends and share their wine. As if we needed more of an excuse, now our son Conch lives in Napa and our daughter Whitney is a tour guide at the renowned Jordan Winery in Sonoma.
Earlier in 2013, we traveled across Italy. From a wine standpoint we fell in love with the Langhe Region of Piedmont and the Chianti Region of Tuscany. We were lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time in both regions soaking in the wonderful culture. Thinking of the wine, food and the local people we met makes me wish I was back there right now.
With the holidays coming up, are there any wine accessories or affordable wines you recommend as gifts for wine-lovers?
Wine Chill Drops: teardrop-shaped polished stainless steel made to fit perfectly into a wine glass to chill room temperature wine to the desired serving temperature.
Wine Glass Writer Pens: ink that washes off for writing guest’s names on their wine glasses. Sure beats those dangly stem charms that everyone forgets which one was theirs.
Thermal Concrete Wine Chiller: there are a few out there, we like the product produced by Angle 33. Keep it in the fridge. This is not intended to be a wine chiller but instead keeps your wine at the perfect serving temperature. Works great on a warm summer evening when you want a Pinot Noir at cellar temp. No wet drippy mess like an icy chill bucket.
Grapeseed Oils and Flour: earlier this year we found these delicious grapeseed oils from Salute Santé! in Napa, CA. They make a high smoke point cooking oil as well as herb-flavored and grape variety-specific finishing oils. GMO free, they have replaced olive oils in our kitchen. The gluten-free grapeseed flour is a great addition (20%-30%) to whole grain bread flours and gluten-free fours, creating a nutty richness.
You must have tasted hundreds or thousands of wines throughout your years in the business, what stand out as the top three?
We are very fortunate to taste and sample so many great wines. Wine however should never be consumed and considered in a vacuum. It is also the people, the environment, shared stories and the food that elevates a wine and at the same time, the wine elevates the moment…No one says that about vodka.
So rather than speaking about specific wines that your readers probably can’t acquire, I’d rather mention a few of my favorite boutique winemakers who sell their wines online. These winemakers always craft vintages of the highest quality. Each has a uniqueness to their winemaking spirit that piques my interest.
Any grand plans to share your passion and knowledge about wine? Maybe having your own vineyard, making your own wine, etc?
Of course I would love to give up my real-life, non-wine, consulting career to live out my days as a winemaker, probably in Sonoma where there are more grape varieties to work with. I would also have an interest in being part of the growing Texas wine industry where the forward thinking winemakers are creating wonderful wines from Sangiovese, Viognier,Tempranillo, Tannat and other grapes that perform well in warmer weather. Texans love wine, not just beer.
I think I’ve done a good job putting the pieces in place by raising a winemaker son, a wine hospitality daughter with my accountant wife for a true family winery operation…Now I just need to win the lottery or an angel investor to fund it all.