I’ll Drink to That: Wine Director and author Victoria James

Episode 421 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Victoria James, the Wine Director of Piora restaurant, in New York City’s West Village, and the co-author of Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé.

Victoria James recently co-authored a book on rosé wine, called Drink Pink, wherein she has collected a large number of stories and insights into rosé from contributors. But Victoria also has any number of amusing and interesting stories of her own, despite a young age of 26. Over the course of this interview Victoria shares her recollection of a knife fight that resulted in a stabbing, of drinking 1966 La Mission Haut-Brion, which resulted in her love of the classic wines, and of stealing sips of blush wine from her grandmother’s glass, an early rosé appreciation which seems to have come full circle with her recent book. She also details her career shift from NJ diner waitress (starting at the ripe old age of 13) to fine dining sommelier in Manhattan, opening up about the hard decisions she took along the way, like dropping out of college, and the hard work environments that found her at times unprepared. Perhaps most valuably, she shares some of what she was feeling at each stage of her career moves, and anyone who has spent time in the food and beverage industry can relate or benefit from what she has to say. She also opens up about the backstory behind her book, and the balancing act of creating it with a new boyfriend. Plenty of relatable life advice shows up throughout the interview. Those looking for a good story or three may want to listen to this episode with a topped up glass of rosé in hand. Victoria would certainly approve.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine