Review: Florence Wine Fest hosts live recording

This chilly, misty morning in March, I scurried downtown to the Mane Room in Florence to escape the cold and join a live recording of Pig & Vine Radio with host and writer Amy Collins and her special guest, Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter John Paul White.

I walked in the door for the live recording of “Pig & Vine Radio: A Podcast w/ Wine and Real Conversation,” flashed my driver’s license and took my seat to sample a French Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

This event came first on the 2017 Florence Wine Fest agenda. I scored one of the 50 free student tickets to this event, but the tickets for the rest of the day sold out this morning.

As someone who rarely, if ever, listens to podcasts, I was a little skeptical at first. What would Collins have to offer me that was different from the typical podcast and writing?

First, her blog dedicates itself to all things wine. Not to mention, I find her writing style engaging. She offers tips on becoming more knowledgeable about different wines, gives reviews of the wines she tries and posts overall engaging content and updates about her adventures. I find this venture of hers to be very interesting.

Second, she is an entertainer and has a fantastic personality, which I feel certain would have translated well over the air, even if I had not been there in person. It even translates in her blog posts, too. As I read her most recent entries, I heard her voice and felt she was actually telling me about the wine she drank in California last month.

As soon as the pair went live on the air, she poured herself and White the same type of wine the audience received. She noted it went well with conversation, and I agreed.

During the interview with White, she began with asking him about his first experience with wine.

“I can sum that up in one phrase,” White said. “I’m Catholic.”

From my seat, I saw two friends, not an interviewer and interviewee. I think that adds to her laid back, casual style.

As the conversation progressed, the pair sipped their wine and discussed White’s work through producing music and how people want compelling content.

Collins asked White about his latest album, Beula, a name which holds familial and artistic significance, according to his website.

Collins closed the podcast with the mention of The Vine Club with Pig & Vine, a club where members can receive multiple selections of different wines each month. The Carriage Wine & Market accepts applications for this club.

After today’s experience, I find myself being that person saying, “I actually want to know more about wine.”