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The Black Wine Guy Experience

MJ Towler aka the Black Wine Guy went from a totally obsessed wine newbie to the world's first ever African-American fine and rare wine auctioneer in less than 3 years.This show pairs his passion for complex, interesting
Latest Episode1/24/2022

Still Sippin'...Still Trippin' Jeff Porter Pt. 2

Season 3, Ep. 55
MJ’s guest is seasoned sommelier, wine educator and founder of Volcanic Selections, Jeff Porter. Jeff has been featured in numerous major food and wine publications, such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Eater and The Financial Times. Jeff’s sommelier career began in Napa Valley, where he worked at Tra Vigne Ristorante in St. Helena. He joined the Bastianich Hospitality Group in 2009 at Osteria Mozza under the auspice of James Beard Award winning chef Nancy Silverton.Jeff is back! On this week’s episode, he and MJ talk all about turning a passion for wine into a successful career. Jeff details making the move from LA to NYC, and the differences in wine culture that he discovered once he arrived. Jeff shares about the process of making Sip Trip, his web series about wine life and culture that aims to show anyone can get be passionate about wine. He reflects on starting an import and distribution business just before the pandemic hit, and opens up about what’s next for him and his business.A huge thank you to Jeff Porter!Follow him on IG @jeffporterwineCheck out Volcanic Selectionshttps://volcanicselections.com/Follow them on IG @volcanicselectionsThis episode’s in studio wine: 2019 Natte Valley Stellenbosch Cinsault______________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
1/24/2022

Still Sippin'...Still Trippin' Jeff Porter Pt. 2

Season 3, Ep. 55
MJ’s guest is seasoned sommelier, wine educator and founder of Volcanic Selections, Jeff Porter. Jeff has been featured in numerous major food and wine publications, such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Eater and The Financial Times. Jeff’s sommelier career began in Napa Valley, where he worked at Tra Vigne Ristorante in St. Helena. He joined the Bastianich Hospitality Group in 2009 at Osteria Mozza under the auspice of James Beard Award winning chef Nancy Silverton.Jeff is back! On this week’s episode, he and MJ talk all about turning a passion for wine into a successful career. Jeff details making the move from LA to NYC, and the differences in wine culture that he discovered once he arrived. Jeff shares about the process of making Sip Trip, his web series about wine life and culture that aims to show anyone can get be passionate about wine. He reflects on starting an import and distribution business just before the pandemic hit, and opens up about what’s next for him and his business.A huge thank you to Jeff Porter!Follow him on IG @jeffporterwineCheck out Volcanic Selectionshttps://volcanicselections.com/Follow them on IG @volcanicselectionsThis episode’s in studio wine: 2019 Natte Valley Stellenbosch Cinsault______________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
1/19/2022

Heart and Soil: Eric Jensen on Life and Wine in Paso Robles

Season 3, Ep. 54
MJ’s guest is Founder of Booker Vineyards, one of Paso Robles Legendary Artisanal Cult Wineries, Eric Jensen. Eric and his wife Lisa Jensen purchased 100 acres of property in Paso Robles, CA in 2001 with the intent of growing the best fruit for some of the best wineries in the area. After making wine with Justin Smith (of Saxum) for five years and Stephan Asseo (of L'Aventure Wines) for two years, the Jensens decided it was time to create their own expression with Booker Vineyard. The 2005 Vintage was Booker Vineyard's first release with the wines being made by Eric himself. The vineyard received organic certification in April of 2021.In this episode, Eric is fresh in the studio after a big night of celebrating in NYC - and he and MJ quickly jump into discussing the bottles. This conversation is unscripted and full of heart. The opinions about wine and winemaking are candid and real. From Eric’s humble beginnings in San Dimas, CA to his early days of cold calling to his absolute love of Paso Robles and its winemakers - make sure your ear pods are charged, you don’t want to miss a minute of this one!A huge thank you to Eric JensenFollow him on IG at @bookerbadgerKeep up with all he has going on at Booker Winery:https://www.bookerwines.comFollow them on IG @bookervineyardThis episode’s in studio wine:2016 Booker White2015 Booker Oublie______________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers, and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
12/29/2021

The Old Man and The Romanée. Chatting Basketball and Burgundy with JJ Redick

Season 3, Ep. 53
MJ’s guest is JJ Redick, the famous Duke University basketball player, where he still holds several records including “all time leading scorer.” JJ’s professional basketball career began in 2006 when the Orlando Magic selected him with the 11th pick overall. Over the course of his 15 year NBA career he has played with Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Orleans Pelicans, and finally the Dallas Mavericks. He is the creator and host of the podcast The Old Man and the Three. In 2020, he founded the podcasting company ThreeFourTwo Productions. He is an enthusiastic wine collector, JJ has assembled a cellar of diverse vinous selections, which he recently discussed in “All Starts Uncorked” a digital event sponsored by Acker Wines. JJ is a devout Christian, husband, and father, an ESPN sports corresponder and… a household name.On this week’s episode, MJ and his guest discuss in detail JJ’s legendary journey from an uneven backyard basketball court full of obstacles to numerous records at Duke University, his spectacular professional career, and of course, his love affair with wine. JJ reminisces on his earliest athletic experiences, balancing baseball and basketball before ultimately embarking on the path that would seal his place in basketball history. He reflects on his decision to complete his four years of college, where he was just hours before the draft, the contract celebration that sparked his curiosity about wine, what it was like to bond over a bottle during the NBA pandemic bubble, and what it means to be a compassionate human being.A huge thank you to JJ RedickFollow him on IG at @jjredickCheck out his podcast, The Old Man and the Three, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and his website www.threefourtwo.comThis episode’s in studio wine:2019 Joseph Drouhin Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru______________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers, and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Huge shout out to our sponsor:56 Degree Wines.Are you looking for extraordinary new wines that have been tasted and approved by professionals with over 40 years combined experience?Then you have to check out 56degreewine.com.Joe Bembry and his grand crew at the shop do all the heavy lifting for you by vetting every wine on their shelves. Authentic, Artisanal wines. Use the Code:MJ when you checkout to get 10% OFF your first oder.https://www.56degreewine.com/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
12/20/2021

Who's That Girl? Brooke Sabel… International Woman of Mystery.

Season 3, Ep. 52
MJ’s guest is a cellar’s worth of degrees and experiences in wine, and service, and is currently the wine director of Gary’s Wine and Marketplace, please welcome Brooke Sabel. Brooke has been featured in Real Simple Magazine, Travel + Leisure Magazine, Forbes Magazine, CondeNast Traveler Magazine, SOMM Journal and More! Along with the James Beard Foundation, Brooke has participated in Star Chefs Somm Slam, New Jersey Wine & Food Festival and is one of sommelier luminaries for Nantucket Wine & Food Festival. Brooke was Assistant Wine Director for Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa where she developed wine lists for culinary masters Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, and Michael Mina. Brooke also developed a wine program for Sir Richard Branson and New Jersey developer Bob Wojtowicz to develop the wine program at Natirar and its award-winning restaurant Ninety Acres, where she held the position of opening Wine Director. It was her focus on sustainable, organic, biodynamic and small-production wines that garnered high accolades amongst her peers and the press.On this episode, MJ and Brooke pull back the curtain on what’s nothing less than an amazing career that started in college! Brooke dishes on her initial foray into wine during a wine class; leaving a potentially lucrative job with the PGA Tour to drink and eat her way through Spain with her class; being recruited to Borgata after just 3 months with 56 Degrees Wine where she worked as the top Sommelier working alongside Bobby Flay (and one particular special night, where he never let her out of his sight again!). Phone call, after phone call, changed Brooke’s career path again and again, and each time, for the better. From Sir Richard Branson to Robin Williams and Billy Crystal - Life doesn’t get much sweeter than this, Kid. Grab a long stem and a cabernet sauvignon, and get ready for a good time.A huge thank you to Brooke Sabel!Follow her on IG at @brookesabelFollow Gary’s Wine and Marketplace @garys_wineGet more of Gary’s Wine at garyswine.comThis episode’s in studio wine:1989 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon______________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers, and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
12/13/2021

The Bon Bon Bon Vie! Acclaimed Journalist and Author, Jon Bonne is Living His Best Life.

Season 3, Ep. 51
MJ’s Guest today is one of the most influential and widely-read American voices on wine and food and Managing Editor of RESY, acclaimed journalist and author, Jon Bonne. In Jon’s 20 + years as a journalist he has been a Senior Contributing Editor for PUNCH. He spent nearly a decade as the Wine Editor and Chief Wine Critic of The San Francisco Chronicle, where he co-edited its Food & Wine section, and won two James Beard awards and numerous other accolades.He is also author of The New California Wine and The New Wine Rules, and is currently finishing his next book, The New French Wine.In this episode MJ and Jon discuss his early beginnings in media at MSNBC where he first pitched the idea of doing a wine column. From that momentum he eventually landed in California, as wine critic at the SF Chronicle which jokingly Jon calls “not awkward” as big California wines had not “been his thing”. MJ and he discuss his journey of discovering California wines “that spoke to him”, writing now iconic books, the love story of meeting his wife and his deep appreciations of Burgundy, the wine and the region. The opinions are strong and the wines are delicious! Cheers!A huge thank you to Jon Bonne!Follow him on IG at @jbonneCheck out his website: jonbonne.comRead his current writings @resy.comThis episode’s in studio wine:Monnières - Saint Fiacre2018 Domain De La Pepiere Planquette_____________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers, and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
12/6/2021

Nevertheless She Persisted. How J’nai Gaither Became the First Black Editor for Wine Enthusiast.

Season 3, Ep. 50
MJ’s guest is writer and research journalist J’nai Gaither. She has worked vintages as a cellar hand at Ferrari-Carano Winery in Geyserville, CA, and Indevin New Zealand Winery in Gisborne, NZ. She has done WSET Level 3 and is currently studying for her Master of Champagne through the Wine Scholar Guild. Additionally, J’nai was one of four research journalists working on Karen MacNeil’s upcoming third edition of The Wine Bible.In this episode J’nai has literally just returned from Burgundy after receiving the Becky Wasserman scholarship. MJ and she discuss her early days growing up in Chicago and how her innate ability to “zig while other people zag” has defined her journey to become a celebrated food and wine author. The discussion touches on everything from her new discoveries in Burgundy to California cult wines. J’nai shares her past experiences with racism in the tasting rooms of Napa Valley and her current joy of being an editor at Wine Enthusiast magazine. The humor, the realness and the wine banter is all at 100. Enjoy!A huge thank you to J’nai GaitherFollow her on IG at @champagneandreservationsRead her writings at: winemag.comThis episode’s in studio wine:Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Champagne Grand Cru_____________________________________________________________Until next time, cheers to the mavericks, philosophers, deep thinkers, and wine drinkers!Don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to give The Black Wine Guy Experience a five-star review on whichever platform you listen to.For insider info from MJ and exclusive content from the show sign up atBlackwineguy.comFollow MJ @blackwineguyThank you to our sponsor: Paso Robles Wine Country. Paso Robles is a region with so many diverse microclimates that allows for a stunning array of grapes to thrive in. It’s made up of over 200 family-owned wineries, making a beautiful variety of wines.Learn more at https://pasowine.com/Tune in to their podcast Where the Wine Takes You - which explores the people, places and wines of Paso Robles Wine Country!https://pasowine.com/where-wine-takes-you/Huge shout out to our sponsor: 56 Degree Wines. Are you looking for extraordinary new wines that have been tasted and approved by professionals with over 40 years combined experience? Then you have to check out 56degreewine.com. Joe Bembry and his grand crew at the shop do all the heavy lifting for you by vetting every wine on their shelves. Authentic, Artisanal wines.https://www.56degreewine.com/Love this podcast? Love the cool content? Get a producer like mine by reaching out to the badass team at Necessary Media.www.necessarymediaproductions.com@necessary_media_
11/22/2021

Dan In Real Life. Dan Petroski’s Massican Mission to Create Meaningful Impact in the World

Season 3, Ep. 49
MJ’s guest is a winemaker and the founder of Massican Wines, Dan Petroski. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where he went on to play football at Columbia. He went on to work for Time Inc. while also studying for his MBA at NYU, both ingredients for a promising future in magazine publishing. Dan began his wine education literally winning and dining clients around Manhattan’s best restaurants. He set off for Sicily, where he interned at Valle dell’Acate for a year. Dan originally intended to return to NYC to sell wine, but later received a harvest invitation in 2006 in Napa Valley. Not long after that, Petroski was hired as cellar master, ultimately claiming the Larkmead winemaker title in 2012. In 2009, Dan launched his own wine business called Massican, which specializes in Italian inspired white wines. Massican is a one-man operation where Dan manages all winemaking, sales and marketing. In July of 2020 Dan went back to his digital media roots launching Massican Magazine online. Petroski's approach and ability to craft wines as diverse as Cabernet Sauvignon and Tocai Friulano has earned him the recognition as San Francisco Chronicle’s Winemaker of the Year in 2017On this episode, MJ and Dan enjoy a beautiful bottle of Fiorano Boncampagni Ludovisi, while discussing Dan’s unlikely start to a decorated and fulfilling career in wine, his once in a lifetime winemaking education in Sicily, his time at Larkmead, starting his own business at Massican, and fighting climate change on the front lines! Period. Cheers!