SmartTalk Debuts at The Grand

The popular “SmartTalk Connected Women” speaker series appeared for the first time at their new home last week: Wilmington’s Grand Opera House. 2015’s kick-off speaker was the dynamic and witty Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, an internationally-recognized wine expert and holder of the elite “Master of Wine” title. Only three other women in the U.S. have passed the rigorous MW examination, which includes identifying 36 wines in a blind taste test.

Simonetti-Bryan was working 80 hours a week as an international banker and not terribly happy when she had a life-changing moment over lunch. Served a crusted salmon and a glass of Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc, Simonetti-Bryan was amazed and overjoyed by the alchemy of the food and wine pairing, and from that moment on, she began to study wine in earnest. She has since trained thousands in the industry and judges international wine and spirits competitions.

Brad and Lele Galer, owners of Galer Estate Vinyard and Winery in Chadds Ford, led the Q&A with Simonetti-Bryan. One of their questions: If you were stranded on a desert island, which wines would you hope to take with you? “Champagne, Malbec (red) and Gruner (white),” replied the wine expert. She maintains that champagne is unequivocally the best hostess gift, as it pleases just about everybody.

The non-profit organization Great Dames, invites you to come hear the four remaining SmartTalk speakers this season: Dr. Ainissa Ramirez on Feb 5, radio host Delilah on Mar 12, 60 Minutes’ Lara Logan on Apr 20, and Linda Ronstadt on May 13. Visit or call the Grand Opera box office at (302) 652-5577.

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1 Comment

  • This was such a wonderful event! Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan was a delightful, inspiring and really fun speaker. To be one of only three women in the United State, and one of 300 people world wide who have achieved the title of Master of Wine is incredible – especially as she started out in investment banking and made a leap into wine, knowing next to nothing..only that she knew she loved it. A great life lesson for everyone. The whole series of Smart Talks is just terrific, and I encourage anyone to go to these talks for a fantastic evening.
    Brad and I, as owners of Galer Estate Winery, were honored to help introduce Jennifer and conduct the Q & A on stage -it was so much fun! And, so well coordinated by the staff at the Opera House and by Great Dames. I am so very glad that Town Square was there to cover the event!