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 smarttalkwoman.com or call the Grand Opera box office at (302) 652-5577.