What makes someone a wine influencer? Why is there so much uproar in the wine industry about celebrity wines and influencers? How did heavy drinking become such an entrenched part of the wine industry? Do you sometimes feel you drink too much wine?
In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I’m chatting with Devin Parr, Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates.
You can find the wines we discussed here.
Join me for the debut Watch Party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live-streaming for the very first time on Zoom on Wednesday, May 5th at 7 pm eastern.
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- What makes someone a wine influencer?
- Why is there such frustration towards wine influencers from the traditional wine community?
- How can we bring a sense of inclusion to the wine community?
- What would Devin like to see from wine influencers?
- How can wine brands improve their relationships with influencers?
- Why is awareness such a critical part of marketing?
- Do we drink too much in the wine business?
- What’s it like doing wine press tours?
- How did such a heavy drinking culture develop as “the way we do business”?
- What is Devin’s opinion on mommy wine memes?
- I agree with Devin that an influencer is anyone who actually influences opinion on wine, not just those with official certifications. There’s a role for many voices, particularly in the wine industry.
- She makes such a great point: we don’t drink wine in a vacuum. Wine is part of our broader lifestyle. I just wish more media trips would incorporate that … it’s why I stopped going on them altogether.
- And yes there have been times when I know I’ve consumed too much wine, though usually, this has been at home not at an industry event, thank goodness. But I think it’s something the wine industry needs to address more openly as do we all who love wine and want to keep it a part of our lives.
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About Devin Parr
Devin Parr is the Founder and Managing Partner of Devin Parr & Associates, a PR, marketing and content agency for the beverage, travel, and tourism space. She holds a level 3 WSET certificate and in 2017, was named one of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers. She’s written for Bottlenotes, WineCountry.com, NapaValley.com, Sonoma.com, The Plum, The Gourmet Insider, and others, including her own popular blog. Devin earned her B.A. in Political Science and Economics at UC San Diego and she joins us now from her home in Southern California.
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Devin Parr 0:00
There is a level of condescension that exists in the wine industry. When you talk to everyday wine consumers who aren’t scholars of wine. They’re frustrated by it. There’s a reason people feel afraid to share their thoughts on wine. There’s a reason they feel intimidated in a restaurant order wine. There’s a reason they find it elitist and scary. It’s supposed to be this product of pleasure and inclusion and bringing people together. So let’s not make it this scary beast. Absolutely.
Natalie MacLean 0:26
It’s one of the first things that had to get over in starting a podcast. I’ve been writing about wine for 20 years, I still had to get over what if I say something wrong? You have to move beyond your own ego but also open yourself up to be vulnerable and to be corrected and hope that someone does it kindly rather than the other way.
Devin Parr 0:42
I mean, Natalie, I’m sitting here body tense clenching myself in case I say something wrong about wine. The wine industry loves to beat people up. Let’s not do that anymore. Yeah, inclusion call in.
Natalie MacLean 1:00
Do you have a thirst to learn about wine, the love stories about wonderfully obsessive people, hauntingly beautiful places, and amusingly awkward social situations. That’s the blend here on the unreserved wine talk podcast. I’m your host, Natalie MacLean. And each week, I share with you unfiltered conversations with celebrities in the wine world, as well as confessions from my own tipsy journey as I write my third book on this subject. I’m so glad you’re here. Now pass me that bottle please. And let’s get started. Welcome to Episode 127. What makes someone a wine influencer? Why is there so much uproar in the wine industry about celebrity wines and influencers? How did heavy drinking become such an entrenched part of the wine industry? And do you sometimes feel that you drink too much? Our guest this week has answers for you. Well, on at least those first three questions, plus lots of great wind tips and stories. I’ve got a bonus for you. In addition to this podcast, I’d love for you to join me in the premiere watch party of the video of this conversation that I’ll be live streaming for the very first time on zoom, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube tonight at 7pm. Eastern. I’ll include a link where you can sign up for the zoom tasting for free in the show notes. The video will show you the pictures and other visual elements we discuss on this podcast. And I’ll be jumping into the comments on all four platforms as we watch it together. So I can answer your questions in real time. It’s like the Netflix version of the podcast. Plus, you can talk to me and ask me questions as we watch it together. And you can also see what other people thought of this conversation and the answers to their questions. I want to let you know that you can win one of two tickets to an exclusive virtual wine tasting led by our guest that also includes two bottles of premium wines that will be shipped directly to your home. These tickets are priced at $135 each, and enable up to six participants per household to participate. We’ll be giving away two tickets, one to each of two different winners. All you need to do is comment on the social media posts that I created about the contest. Just pick your favourite platform, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and comment on my post before 7pm tonight. in the show notes, you’ll find a link to these posts, the full transcript of our conversation, how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class and where you can find me on zoom Insta Facebook and YouTube live every Wednesday on video at 7pm. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie mcclain.com forward slash one to seven. Now on a personal note before we dive into the show, we’ve been in lockdown now so long, but sometimes I wonder if I’ll have to relearn how to socialise the way. You know someone who’s been in accidents sometimes needs physio therapy to walk again. I know that’s very melodramatic, but as an introvert I naturally gravitate toward being on my own. And so you know being forced to do that more during the lockdown hasn’t been as hard on me as it has been on more extroverted people. Still, I wonder what happens when everything opens up again. We’ll getting together even with friends feel like a disruption of my perfectly solitary patterns. How about you? Do you think about this too? Okay, on with the show.
Natalie MacLean 4:55
I’m sure part of what you’re saying applies to our next area, but another area of loading it seems in the industry, our social media influencers. So let’s first principles do our definitions. First, what defines a social media influencer? Why an influencer versus sort of traditional wine journalists or media for you
Devin Parr 5:15
think of an influencer truly as being anyone who actually influences opinion on wine. So if you are a journalist who is also an influencer in the space, then that works. I think their traditional definition of an influencer is someone on say, Instagram or Tiktok, or social media, who uses that platform to promote wine, why travel wine brands, whatever it is a wine lifestyle, through imagery, short captions video. And so it’s a highly visual medium, which lends itself to wine. If you think about it. I mean, the landscapes in wine country are just stunning. And the bottles are gorgeous, and the sound of a cork popping, and it’s a great platform. But there is yes, there is this frustration in the wine world for the wine influencer.
Natalie MacLean 6:06
So there’s obviously probably, again, a protectiveness at stake here from the serious people who’ve studied the subject. Is there anything else going on in terms of prompting the backlash? I mean, there’s been some serious backlash against certain wine influencers. I don’t know when it was a few months ago, there was a hashtag going around our beat myself, but wine. Yeah. And so what is that? What’s driving that?
Devin Parr 6:34
So there is a level of frustration that certain wine influencers don’t actually have wine credentials, and often will post information that is actually incorrect. I think I read somewhere that like, we store wine on its side, because if we don’t, it gets corked, or something like that. And I’m grossly butchering that. But there was a frustration on people like students of wine or even just serious wine consumers were like, that’s not even actually correct. So I know you have 50,000 followers, but maybe don’t spread misinformation about the wine world. Again, there is a belief in the wine community that influencers don’t actually know about wine, and they are detracting from the serious wine writers out there. Journalists, in particular, feel frustrated by it, like, I’m not getting invited to press trips, or I am getting invited to press trips and pitched, but getting crowded out by the influencers, who are there by virtue of their 100,000 followers.
Unknown Speaker 7:30
Devin Parr 7:31
And you know, just posing in a vineyard with a sexy bottle is not necessarily communicating
Natalie MacLean 7:36
information about the wine. Yeah, exactly. Well, you quoted Tom mark, who published an article and you said, wine writers are generally trying to tell a story, whereas wine influencers are trying to get the right light, something like that,
Unknown Speaker 7:49
which I disagree with, I think, a picture
Natalie MacLean 7:52
tells a story, so worth 1000 words,
Devin Parr 7:55
right? Why do people spend so much money on advertising? It’s true. It’s a gorgeous photo that’s designed to be aspirational in many ways, or to communicate a story in a picture. So yes, I think there is a cohort of influencers who perhaps lack proper wine training or the knowledge but I don’t necessarily want to write off wine influencers, categorically, because there are plenty of wine consumers who don’t actually need to know the story of the vineyard and the family and the programme again, and the you know, how the vines are trained. They really just want to drink the stuff. So because the story or the background and the science exists doesn’t necessarily mean that that is what’s selling the wine to every consumer, we all need different things.
Natalie MacLean 8:44
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think just in terms of how we deal with influencers, even if there is something incorrect, I think it could be more of a, as they say, call in culture rather than call out rather than saying j s and pushing. How about inviting them in, in a kind way and saying, this is you know, the accuracy or whatever, but not in, like public shaming.
Devin Parr 9:09
You know, it’s like there is a level of condescension that exists in the wine industry. That’s incredibly frustrating. And when you talk to everyday wine consumers who aren’t scholars of wine, they’re frustrated by it. And there’s a reason people feel afraid to share their thoughts on wines. There’s a reason they feel intimidated in a restaurant order wine. There’s a reason they find it elitist and scary. And it’s like the only beverage other that people are scared by. And it’s supposed to be this product of pleasure and inclusion and bringing people together. So let’s not make it this scary beast. Absolutely.
Natalie MacLean 9:43
It’s one of the first things that I had to get over. Just in starting a podcast. I’ve been writing about wine for 20 years. I started the podcast about a year and a half ago. I still had to get over. Like, what if I say something wrong? What if I get an appellation wrong or whatever it it’s like some times you have to move beyond your own ego, but also just open yourself up to be vulnerable and to be corrected and hope that someone does it kindly, rather than the other way.
Devin Parr 10:10
I mean, Natalie, I’m sitting here like body tense clenching myself in case I say something wrong about wine, right? Like the wine industry loves to beat people up. And it’s let’s not do that anymore. Yeah, inclusion call in exactly all about that. And And let’s not forget that there are plenty of wine influencers out there on social media, who have strong wine backgrounds, and who have their Ws CT level three are level two, are there Psalms, they have blogs on the side, like, Can we not write them all off?
Unknown Speaker 10:41
Devin Parr 10:43
I’ve worked with plenty. And they’re great to have on press trips. They’re fun, they’re engaging, they ask questions, they want to tell the stories. And I think that’s the spirit of inclusion and sense of fun and passion and enjoyment that we need.
Natalie MacLean 10:58
Exactly, exactly. And you know, I don’t know, have you ever read the books of brandy Brown, she was based Rene Brown. She writes about vulnerability and shame. And she talks about the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, that it’s not the man in the sidelines, which at the time is using all male words, but that’s okay. Not the people in the sidelines who Heckle it’s the man in the arena. That’s getting grit on his face and blood and whatever that matters. And her opinion is, if you’re not in the arena, if you’re not trying, if you’re not opening yourself, vulnerably then I don’t want to hear from you. You know, I love to hear Yeah, I love it, too. And it’s something that gives me courage, you know, to get out there because online, it is the arena, especially online social media. Oh, god, it’s Yeah, yeah. And so it’s great in many ways to connect, like to be able to do these virtual chats, and to share it on social media channels and bring more people in. But it comes with the other side, too. And so I think the only defence is vulnerability these days. It’s just in that Yeah, you know what, I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything, even after 20 years, and it’s like, just tell me or whatever. But anyway, so you can unclench there. This is not, or have a drink, whatever. At least I know where Switzerland is now. Exactly. Thank goodness. But that’s great. That’s disarming to even just put it out there. Yeah. So there are some downsides to influencers. What have you seen or read about that can be sort of less positive, aside from inaccuracy is about wine. Other things when it comes to influencers?
Devin Parr 12:37
Yes. So I work on the PR side as well. So I write about one, but I also work with clients and promote their regions and their brands and do marketing. And I’ve worked with my share of influencers. And it’s not everybody, but yes, there. There are some who I think earn influencers a bad name by doing it for the free product, or the free trips, I get a lot of calls for personal favours. And you know, we all do that you’d everybody wants to call in a favour and everyone wants to sort of drop a name and I get it. But I do get a lot of calls about can you set this up for me for a personal visit in exchange for a story or not static posts, but like an Instagram story, or I’ve had people behave really, really badly when I’ve hooked up winery visits where they get drunk, or they bring their friends and they sort of earned themselves a bad name. And it’s embarrassing for me. And it sort of puts me in a bad light. But it’s the exception rather than the norm. But I think it has caused frustration in the wide world. So you know, I think it’s important to as an influencer, really view yourself as a point professional, if that’s what you are going for. less personal asks, being respectful, not stopping everything to fix your face and get the right light, especially if you’re working with other journalists who are there and not necessarily doing that. I think there are ways to get around it. But yeah, there’s some bad behaving people and in every barrel Yeah, right. Everybody. Limited influencers by any means. No, even
Natalie MacLean 14:07
wine journalists. Yeah. 20 year veterans can misbehave. So is there a way for the wine industry to deal with influencers? Because they are like you and I hear this from wineries. They are deluged with requests for samples and everything else. How do you deal with all of this from an industry perspective? Is there I don’t know. I doubt we can get into certification but is it just word of mouth or an informal registry? What? What is the way to deal with this?
Devin Parr 14:39
I mean, it’s on the brand who is bringing in an influencer to set the parameters and set them properly and really negotiate that contract, even if it’s an informal contract with an influencer to say, here’s my expectation. Here is what I would like in exchange for here’s the agreement when you come on my property, then we expect a static post a boy Post a three photos that we can then use, you know, whatever the contract is, or whatever the agreement is, so that the brand can always tie it to ROI. And I think that is, at the end of the day, what we’re all looking for is the ROI on that exchange. And you know, the same thing for the PR, like I have to constantly defend, or media to my clients to say, here’s what this actually means. So, yeah, it’s just it’s on the brands to really outline expectations, and then go from there to decide whether or not working with an influencer is right for them.
Natalie MacLean 15:31
It must be hard to tie like even with influencers or say an instagramer, who has whatever, 50,000 followers or more, it must still be a challenge to say because she and I tend to be mostly female posted this, we got x sales, like It must be hard to tie it together. I mean, can you at all.
Devin Parr 15:57
marketers have an easier time with it, because they can actually should embed things and kind of track conversions better. But when it comes to influencers and publicists and PR people is tricky, and we can quote impressions data all day long, but doesn’t necessarily translate to sales conversions. So I think when you look at a programme over time, you can track things like the tone that’s being used the mentions, you know, are we moving the business forward long term and looking at any relationship with an influencer? Or a publicist? I think it has to be viewed long term. Yes. What is the trajectory here? But I know there are some very smart gals in the wine industry, who are working on this very problem, right? Oh, yeah. So yes. So
Natalie MacLean 16:40
is there any details you can share yet? Or that makes me curious.
Devin Parr 16:45
I don’t know that I can formally share any details. But I had a phenomenal conversation with a gal named Rachel woods, if anyone wants to Google her in the wind space, who is working on she’s sort of like a data nerd comes from Facebook. And, you know, we had this great conversation. She’s working with an influencer wine with Paige, as well to solve this problem. And we’ve been having some really interesting conversations about ways that influencers can better, sort of, I guess, merchandise, their offerings in terms of real trackable ROI. And I think it applies to PR people as well.
Natalie MacLean 17:19
Absolutely. It’s one of those softer things, and yet, it’s vital, because we know the marketing cycle, or even funnel, the sales funnel starts at the very top with awareness, and then moves to liking and so on. And it’s only at the bottom that you get to purchase and repeat purchase. But it has to start with that awareness, which is where PR, and perhaps Instagram and others plays such a vital part.
Devin Parr 17:45
Well, if you ask any of your friends, what makes you pick a certain bottle of wine? How do you pick your wines, and a lot of my friends will say, Well, I base it on your recommendations, or I see someone mentioned something on social media and, and I go from there, or they pick it by the pretty label, or whatever it is, you know, for the most part, the average consumer isn’t digging into the wine ratings in Wine Spectator, not
Natalie MacLean 18:07
that those don’t have an incredibly valuable place. Oh, it’s peer to peer is super important. Peer to Peer is very important. And I find or at least when I publish my two books, people often told me that they had heard about it, say in three different ways, like from a friend, then they saw maybe a display in the bookstore, but then they saw a TV interview or something, but it was that third hit, or whatever that finally said, I should I should look for that. And so, again, these tools are in that toolkit. And it’s often a combination of things before the person actually moves to buy or to whatever try.
Devin Parr 18:44
Yeah, I mean, I think any smart brand, will understand the role that social media, traditional media, marketing, public relations, all play and a really comprehensive programme that encompasses all of those pillars is
Natalie MacLean 19:01
sort of a winning bet. Yeah, absolutely. So the third area I want to talk about because I’m sure a lot of people, both inside and outside the wine industry, you don’t have to be inside the wine industry to wonder. I’m sure we’ve all had the thoughts. Am I drinking too much wine. And you wrote an really interesting piece about people in the wine industry, whether they’re writers or retailers? I mean, there’s just so many different jobs you can do within the wine industry. Are they drinking too much wine? And has it become sort of a way of doing business? Maybe you could tell us a little bit about that. So I found
Devin Parr 19:38
myself, I think it was maybe two years ago, I was on back to back to back to back trips, press trips, sales trips, business trips, where I just found there to be an excess of consumption. And don’t get me wrong. I love to drink. I love it. Wine is my business. It’s my passion. And I do drink wine every day and it’s part of my lifestyle. But I just found I was getting up and doing a tasting and then having wine at lunch, and then another tasting and then another tasting. And then we were having cocktails before dinner, and then, you know, a cocktail act dinner and then a bottle of wine at dinner. And then oh, we all have to go out for drinks after. And I kind of felt like, this is a little much like, and there was a pressure to do it. Like if you decided you were done and you wanted to go to bed after dinner. It was like you got shamed.
Natalie MacLean 20:28
So you’d like to get to college hazing or whatever. It was almost ritualistic that you couldn’t be the party killing the buzzkill. Right,
Devin Parr 20:36
and then you’re expected to wake up the next morning and start all over again at 8:30am. With this presentation, this wine tasting and it just feels like a lot. And I don’t know that it’s all necessary.
Natalie MacLean 20:47
Right? But the people would ask, Are you spitting? Or, you know, did it still affect you? Or is there real? Also drinking involved in addition to tasting?
Devin Parr 20:57
Yes, so a trade tastings and professional tastings. I mean, I always always spit and it’s to avoid getting any braided. But it’s also to keep my mind fresh so that I can taste properly. But you know, I’ve been on certain press trips where no one is bidding, or you know, few people are spitting. And certainly at lunch when the wine is served, you’re not sitting that’s part of your lunch. And then you have the cocktails. So even if I took all the daytime tasting out, it’s still the wine or the cocktails with lunch. It’s still the drink before dinner, it’s still the wine at dinner. And then it’s still the cocktails after which is fine every once in a while. But when you’re sort of doing rinse repeat on that day after day. And I think a lot of people in the industry look at it as a muscle you need to go do this because it’s earning business. It’s making those connections. I found myself wondering like, is it though? Is this really closing the deal for me? Whether it’s a story or whether it’s the sale? Does this need to happen? And I think when we are looking at this sober curious movement and the dry January’s and the low alcohol options out there, I think they kind of go hand in hand like we got to be careful.
Natalie MacLean 22:05
Right? Yeah, the flip sides of two extremes, as you observe, have to agree like, you know, I’ve been on wine tours. And they do start early in the morning. And you know, dinner is scheduled at 10pm Oh, God, yeah. Especially
Devin Parr 22:19
in Europe. You’re like, oh, you’re not eating until 1030 at night? No, exactly.
Natalie MacLean 22:24
And you get to the dinner. And the winemaker would be like, insulted if you weren’t trying the wines. But then over dinner, they’re no spittoons. Like while you’re actually eating, and they’re serving the wines. And yes, you can just say no, but just sitting there looking kind of glum or not drinking. I mean, they’re watching what you’re doing to if you’re drinking, but I almost found some of those agendas, so tightly packed to be a form of violence. Like it was just an assault, a physical assault, from even sometimes starting as early as seven in the morning, and going to tasting after tasting it, you know, and I know those trips are expensive, if you’re sponsored by a winery counsel, I get that. And I want to get as much out of it as possible to I want to review as many wines as I can on it right? As much as I can based on that, because, you know, I want a good investment of my time. But there was no time even to go for a walk. It was insane.
Devin Parr 23:19
Yeah, I will never forget a press trip I did through all of Spain. And it was one of my favourite press trips of all time. But I remember staying out one night until five in the morning for those like you had to have the gin and tonics from this place and after dinner and, and then the next morning, we were scheduled at a cooperage for like seven in the morning or eight in the morning. And it’s like if for anyone who doesn’t know what that it, like, we listened to hammering and sawing of barrel making and everybody was hung over. And it was just mean kill me now. But you know, in the same way that I do my virtual tastings, I love seeing people like regions and wine regions. So the tourism side and the wine side coming together to create an itinerary that incorporates elements of other things like wellness, you know, like let’s schedule in yoga, or a spa treatment or walk or whatever it is so that people don’t feel quite as assaulted to your point by their barrage of wine and barrel making.
Natalie MacLean 24:22
Absolutely because stories can be written about visiting the region. And that’s not going to be just drinking or eating. It’s going to include those other activities because everybody wants that sort of full experience of a region.
Devin Parr 24:34
Well, I always say we don’t drink wine in a vacuum. Wine is part of our broader lifestyle. We drink it while consuming entertainment or you know, wellness or business or whatever it is. It’s cooking, it’s part of something bigger.
Natalie MacLean 24:48
Absolutely. I love that. The wine industry of course, and maybe more largely than that the beverage alcohol. You’re selling a product that is alcohol so of course you’re going to meet and try the product, but why Do you think it has gone to this excess? Is it because the wine industry or the beverage industry attracts people who want to drink to excess? or Why do you think it’s become the norm to go to those extremes to do business?
Devin Parr 25:15
I think it sort of represents. And again, it’s that symptom of the bigger problem. It represents an old school view. So if anyone’s ever watched Mad Men, you know, everyone’s having cocktails, it legit is a very male dominated culture and the poor and the scotch, you know, to have a meeting at 10am. And I think the wine industry is traditionally male dominated. It’s changing now, but it has been. And there was this old school notion of this is how we do business. Man, when I was a sales rep in New York, that was how we did business. I think it’s changing. And there is a movement to introduce more moderation in a more feminine way for lack of a better way of putting it. If anyone’s familiar with a balanced glass, it’s a community to talk to Yeah, right. wellness in the drinks business. And, and so I’m thrilled to see that movement happening. But I think it does tie back to just the old school way of doing business. And that doesn’t just apply to wine. I think it applies to business in general. And in a traditionally male dominated industry. That was it. And you’re sort of expected to keep up in particular, as a woman who’s trying to prove herself, right?
Natalie MacLean 26:27
Yeah, you don’t need to have another hurdle, as you said, in making your gender more pronounced that you can’t keep up with the boys, as you say. But again, you get those two extremes. So you’ve got this old way of doing business. And yet, the flip side, sort of the puritanical side of even the wine industry came out, at least for me, when you know what my first book was called Red, white and drunk all over, as a bit of a thank you. But it was a poke at trying to be irreverent about wine, but also, I went to many regions like tasting and drinking wine. So that was the title. But there was a backlash against the title saying you shouldn’t be promoting this. And, you know, I wasn’t trying to promote in moderation, but there was almost a puritanical reaction from the wine industry itself about that title. And yet you have the excesses, these two extremes, again, that you talk about in some of your pieces. It’s interesting, why more of it can’t come to a centre of moderation and mindful drinking and whatever. But maybe that’s hope for the future. Look at all the
Devin Parr 27:32
rules and regulations in the US wine industry are a result of prohibition. Right? So
Natalie MacLean 27:38
yeah, yeah, we’re still we’re still living with that. What do you think about all the wine names? The wine mom means I should say, like, the mommy juice, referring to wine and things like that. What’s your take on that?
Devin Parr 27:51
I’m fine with it. And I live for me. And sometimes I communicate with my husband like olien means I’m, I’m fine with it. What I don’t like is the backlash against those means. Because I’m a mom of two little boys. And I drink wine. And I’m not a train wreck. I get up and do my job. I don’t need it to live and get through the day. And but you know what, I do get through a lot of incidents with my kids by like, Oh my god, someone for me a class. So I sort of take offence to it being used as a pejorative, I guess, because I’m a mom and I drink wine. And I get overwhelmed. And yeah, I need a drink sometimes to deal with it. But it doesn’t mean I’m a train wreck. And I think sometimes there is the implication that you’re a train wreck. If you’re sort of thought of as a wine mom, and it’s dismissive. But I think the means are funny and kind of legit.
Natalie MacLean 28:45
Absolutely. I have forgotten to share photos. I want to do that. I know we’re heading into overtime here. So I could send talk wide all day.
Devin Parr 28:53
Yes, we just need a class. It’s like exactly on here, but
Natalie MacLean 28:58
it’s right at 7:30am your time right now. I
Devin Parr 29:00
think it’s five 530 somewhere, right? Okay. Yeah.
Natalie MacLean 29:05
Can you see the picture now?
Unknown Speaker 29:07
Yeah, me at a tank.
Natalie MacLean 29:09
Check. Where are you in this picture? Besides in a tank? Where are you?
Devin Parr 29:14
So one of my very favourite clients in the whole world is the region of Temecula Valley, Southern California Wine Country. And that photo was taken at Peltzer winery in Temecula, where they had brought in some brand new tanks and I was like, I gotta get in this thing. Oh, good. I’m
Natalie MacLean 29:29
glad to hear it’s new because though people dive co2 or something
Devin Parr 29:33
never been used. Yes. This was like, brand spanking new.
Natalie MacLean 29:36
I love that guaranteed quality right about the
Unknown Speaker 29:39
little essence of Devon. There you go.
Natalie MacLean 29:41
I love your sense of humour. Here you’re tasting. Is this in Temecula or somewhere else?
Devin Parr 29:45
Yes, that is actually in Temecula at South Coast winery. We were creating Well, I wasn’t but I was sort of getting to participate by tasting. We were creating a wine blend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the region. And so that was me. tasting one of the components there?
Natalie MacLean 30:01
Where is Temecula? like can you situate it? We all know where San Francisco is Napa and Sonoma north. I assume you’re going south, but kind of where is it?
Devin Parr 30:10
So Temecula Valley is about an hour outside of San Diego, north east. It’s in Riverside County, but it is within a one to two hour drive of literally every major Southern California city, so like an hour from Orange County or from San Diego or from Palm Springs, two hours from LA. So
Natalie MacLean 30:28
it’s a great region. And do they specialise kind of in the same grapes like serraj Cabernet Chardonnay that are sort of well known in warmer regions of California?
Devin Parr 30:38
Yeah, it’s a Mediterranean climate that’s moderated by the Pacific Ocean through this big gap in the mountains. So it actually gets quite cold at night and in the mornings and in the afternoons. I mean, they do a lot of great Mediterranean varieties are awesome. Today’s a orbera, vermentino. Pradesh. Oh, well,
Natalie MacLean 30:53
lots of Italian too. Okay, this is your wine tasting, I assume.
Unknown Speaker 30:58
I think that’s me. It’s Psalm con. Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Doing a seminar there. All right. Cool.
Natalie MacLean 31:05
And is this a pairing that Oh, the San Diego food Wine Festival so you’re pairing guacamole dimsum.
Devin Parr 31:15
calm. That was just yeah, that was my Temecula crew at the San Diego Bay wine and food festival just I’ve been with those gals forever. So having some fun,
Natalie MacLean 31:24
fun. Do you have a favourite pairing tip for gwoc or dimsum? Or time?
Devin Parr 31:28
Oh, goodness. Well, you know, I always love the aromatic whites for sort of spicy Asian and exotic cuisine. gwoc You know what, I’m not gonna lie. I’m at a cracker Corona, or a beer of some sort. Like, I just have to time you know, those herbs I love like an earthy red. Hmm. Something like a round blend or like a poopy gamma or something.
Natalie MacLean 31:53
Okay. All those descriptors and you’re into wellness. What are you doing here? kickboxing?
Devin Parr 32:00
This is so bizarre, but at the tender age of 40. So I think last year, I took a karate. Oh, good for you. Yes. I’ve always had the secret desire to be a ninja like it really is. It’s bad. There it is. Yes. That’s my husband, my kids.
Unknown Speaker 32:17
Devin Parr 32:18
And my oldest son started taking karate and I watched I was like, You know what, I’m gonna do this. And yeah, working toward that black belt.
Natalie MacLean 32:26
Your kids are adorable. There they are. Oh, my gosh. You’re working toward a black belt? Well, and look at them. They’re into it to green belt. Where’s that midway through?
Devin Parr 32:37
So that last one was a blue white belt? Yeah, that’s it’s,
Unknown Speaker 32:42
it’s getting there.
Natalie MacLean 32:43
Okay. A couple more years. And that’s great. Are you a runner as well?
Devin Parr 32:48
I tried to do it all. I mean, not at all. I don’t do it all well, but I think it’s my way of sort of balancing my food and wine lifestyle that I feel a lot better about that glass of wine if I get out and move my body and it helps with my anxiety and I sleep better. So yeah, that was me after a run. My husband is like an incredible competitive runner and does ultra marathons and marathons. So, you know, I don’t necessarily keep up but have you guys ever done the May doc marathon
Natalie MacLean 33:14
Devin Parr 33:15
No, but that sounds amazing. If I didn’t have to actually run the marathon.
Natalie MacLean 33:19
Exactly. You get to run through, I don’t know 23 of the greatest shatto and they have lines out at the stations as the runners go by you can partake. So it’s it’s pretty amazing. Yeah,
Devin Parr 33:30
I finished 10 hours later,
Natalie MacLean 33:33
is staggering across the finish line. I love this photo. And that’s one of your sons obviously.
Devin Parr 33:39
Yes, that is at an airport lounge. I literally like cannot fly without having a glass whether it’s six in the morning or 10 o’clock at night. So he was photobombing me as I was enjoying the joys of travelling with small children.
Natalie MacLean 33:57
And speaking of that, is this you
Devin Parr 34:00
know, that was that’s my youngest son when he was just born. So he’s five now but you know, live in the vineyard life that was at Robert renzoni vineyards and I took him out and he was not thrilled but I was apparently I thought it was funny. That’s so sweet.
Natalie MacLean 34:15
Oh my goodness. And what is this? Are you a baker?
Devin Parr 34:18
That is me in my house in Italy which I don’t have a house in Italy but when I lived there I was renting a place making pasta from scratch.
Unknown Speaker 34:26
Unknown Speaker 34:27
I look at my brown hair.
Natalie MacLean 34:30
That’s great. very authentic. Is that in Italy?
Devin Parr 34:34
No that’s my mom met me at the court on blood Pasadena taking a cooking class together. So that’s one of my biggest passions is cooking and you know that kind of goes hand in hand with wine but
Natalie MacLean 34:45
love to have done? Absolutely.
Devin Parr 34:47
And so does she She’s incredible.
Natalie MacLean 34:49
Fantastic. And this must be at a wine show with Temecula wines.
Devin Parr 34:54
Yeah, that was that a Wine Spectator events and I was spreading the Temecula Valley gospel
Unknown Speaker 35:01
Unknown Speaker 35:02
yes, sir. Right.
Natalie MacLean 35:02
That’s a great Devin, really great. We’re going to wrap up because this has been a fantastic, thank you.
Unknown Speaker 35:09
Natalie MacLean 35:10
Absolutely. Is there anything that we haven’t covered that you’d like to mention before I get to where we can find you online? Oh,
Devin Parr 35:18
my gosh, um, I would love to see anybody Join me for virtual tastings, of course. And I think, you know, not to shameless plug, but I work with some cool brands doing them. And we always try to incorporate an element of lifestyle. So I’ve got one coming up. I’m working with two gals from the Toronto Symphony, and they’re doing a performance and we’re pairing wines with the classical music, library and chefs and if they’re really fun, and like I said, I’m a big believer that wine is part of a broader lifestyle. And I think everything I do tries to live up to that. Great idea. So
Natalie MacLean 35:50
where can we find you online?
Devin Parr 35:53
My website is Devin par. com. That’s d v. I N. Paar, pa rr.com. And on Instagram, I’m at the So Cal line gal. Those are the places I live.
Natalie MacLean 36:06
Awesome. And just a reminder to everyone watching or listening. Devin has generously offered two tickets, premium tickets to one of her virtual tastings. And all you have to do is pick your social media platform of choice and post about a wine. tag me so I make sure to get you into that contest. Thank you, Devin. Thank you for that. And for this wonderful conversation. This has been absolutely terrific.
Devin Parr 36:30
so far. Like I said I could sit here all day. This is great. Thanks so much, Natalie. I really appreciate it. Great way to start my day. Absolutely. Take care.
Natalie MacLean 36:44
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed part two of my chat with Devin par. Pure my takeaways. Number one, I agree with Devin that an influencer is anyone who actually influences opinion on why not just those with official certifications. I believe too, there’s a role for many voices, particularly in the wine industry where we need them to, she makes a great point we don’t drink wine in a vacuum wine is part of our broader lifestyle. I just wish more media trips would incorporate that. That’s why I stopped going on them altogether. And three, yes, there have been times when I know I’ve consumed too much wine. Usually this has been at home rather than an industry of home, thank goodness. But I think it’s something the wine industry needs to address more openly and talk about, as do we all if we love wine and want to keep it as part of our lives. Just a reminder that you can win one of two tickets to an exclusive virtual wine tasting led by Devon, and that includes two bottles of premium wines that will be shipped directly to your home. All you have to do is comment on the social media posts that I created about the contest. Before 7pm. Tonight, I’ll select a winner randomly from those of you who participate and you get a bonus entry for every wine loving friend you tag or if you reshare, the post and your stories. in the show notes you’ll find a link to these posts, the full transcript of our conversation, how you can join me in a free online wine and food pairing class and where you can find me on zoom Insta Facebook and YouTube Live video every Wednesday at 7pm including tonight. That’s all in the show notes at Natalie maclean.com forward slash one to seven. You won’t want to miss next week when Ron hunt host of the all about wine podcast interviews me. Ron is a winemaker cellarmaster vineyard dest and tasting expert. I absolutely love chatting with him about my experiences in the wine industry. In the meantime, if you missed Episode 25 go back and take a listen. wine expert and yoga master Morgan Perry and I chat about pairing wine and yoga. Go figure. I’ll share a short clip with you now to whet your appetite.
Unknown Speaker 39:09
Because I come from a line marketing background. And also my personal beliefs are really to be socially responsible that comes first before everything. So we actually don’t drink any wine during the yoga class. We just drink at the end. But we are learning about the wine during the class. So how it works is a 45 minute flow. I will teach you maybe 20 wine facts. So I actually taught at a vineyard today. And we went through me to learn about Chardonnay. I gave them about 20 facts about Chardonnay and they’re holding poses that are kind of easy to pose. So if you’re a yogi, you’ll know where to chair pose you may argue with me about if that one’s easy to hold, downward facing dog. Sometimes I have them in child’s pose. I’m talking a little bit longer. So those kinds of poses where I can give you a quick fact. And then we move through a vinyasa so that we keep Everybody’s moving, but then they’ll pause for a fact.
Natalie MacLean 40:08
If you liked this episode, please tell one friend about it this week, especially someone you know who be interested in the tips that Devin shared. Thank you for taking the time to join me here. I hope something great is in your class this week.
Natalie MacLean 40:29
You don’t want to miss one juicy episode of this podcast, especially the secret full body bonus episodes that I don’t announce on social media. So subscribe for free now at Natalie MacLean comm forward slash subscribe. We’ll be here next week. Cheers