If you were ever in search of a knowledgeable real sommelier type, someone who could really lay out the facts with finesse and an unstodgy vocabulary, then Margaux Pierog would end your search. Done and Done. She is young, she is intelligent. She is pretty, she is also pretty smart. And best of all, Pierog can name & define 10 obscure wine appellations faster than you can recite “Peter Piper Picked a Pickled Pepper” three times fast.
Pierog grew up in Dana Point, California – a relaxed beach community. Her family encouraged her to seek the keys of the world and unlock secrets. And that’s just what she’s done, as a wine educator, for the last two years for Regal Wines.
1. What single person, place or thing has most significantly altered the course of your life? Studying abroad in Paris, really took me out of my element. Living there allowed me figure out what was most important in life. There was so much out there to take in each day and new parts of the city to explore. I had to be bigger than my realm of comfort.
2. What is your greatest passion? Learning, without question. Not just about wine, but surrounding things that I don’t know much about. Also, my family and maintaining a close group of friends who keep me centered and laughing!
3. What makes you happy? Mad? Mad? People who don’t laugh! Laziness!! It’s horrendous! Happy? Knowing that what I’ve been a part of is better off than before I started being a part of it.
4. Has the economy affected your job in any ways? Not really. People always want to learn and there are so many ways to share education. But I have had to re-focus on the more popular classes though. Classic topics.
5. What have proven to be the hardest pieces of the wine puzzle to learn? Italy. Sometime I think that the Italians makes rules just to break them. I adore Italian wines since they are so food friendly. But trying to delve into Italy after France and California is difficult.
6. What is your favorite food & wine pairing? Anything with champagne. Do you really even need food? I also like Kendall-Jackson Late Harvest Chardonnay with Caramel Corn. Mmm I like Spanish Cava, too.
7. What’s your next destination or just your favorite destination? My dream is to visit Greece and Portugal. Oh! The wine and culture there. I need to make it happen before I’m 30.
8. Tell us about one of your secret cheap thrills? Sancerre, a baguette and goat cheese. That’s perfect for a simple lunch or dinner. A complete thrill.
9. Which country or varietal is your specialty? Wonderful. Priorat. It’s in Northeastern Spain. Priorat are blends, usually of Mourvedre, Carignane and of course SYRAH! They are brooding, complex and delicate all at the same time.
10. Top advice for an up and coming aspiring sommelier? Check your facts. It’s important. So much wine info is out there is wrong. So have due diligence, Become an expert, a real expert on world wine. Constantly reading and learning.
11. Would you rather be caught in granny panties in public or paying corkage on a bottle of 2-buck chuck at an upscale restaurant? Granny Panties as long as they aren’t orange or yellow. People might get the wrong idea from yellow granny panties.
12. What is the most overlooked varietal? Syrah! Wholeheartedly. It’s not just pure black pepper and spice. It has a myriad of nuance – chocolate, raspberry, leather and mint.
13. And the next thing on your learning radar? Greece… there is more there then Retinsa.
14. Leave us with a quote… I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. ~Abraham Lincoln
Margaux Pierog recommends you read A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat