To join the Crew just leave a comment on this page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be sent a personal invite
The Grand Crew is a grassroots community wine blog, focused on education and vinous exploration. We network family, friends, wine professionals, and your local wine clubs from around the world. We invite you to join the crew and contribute to the blog. You will be given full posting and editing access.
What if I don’t know anything about wine?
…Who cares! In fact even better. The Grand Crew is meant to be as formal or informal as you want it to be, bringing together experts, amateurs, and the completely clueless. There’s only one requirement… drink wine!
How can I contribute?
…Let us know what your local wine club’s been up to
…Your personal wine journal entries
…Suggestions or warnings on bottles of wine that have amazed you or been highly disappointing
…Experiences and photos from an unforgettable wine trip
…Amazing wine and food pairings that have blown you away
…Notices on upcoming wine events that you plan on attending and want to get others to attend
…Interesting wine articles you’ve read
…Anything connecting you to wine, or any fermented liquid for that matter, as we also welcome beer and spirits!
Kenny Galloway, Founder and Editor of The Grand Crew & Wine Professional
The Summer of 2003. That’s when it all began. I was working as a server at Lindey’s restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. It was one of my three jobs that summer, as I was pumping out over 80 hours a week, in order to accumulate as much cash as possible in preparation for my career move to Monterrey, Mexico. It was my first serving experience and I took it very seriously … had tons of fun … and well … I got really into wine. In June the wine director launched a new wine list. To encourage us to sell, the director announced a wine sales competition. The grand prize to the individual who sold the most wine in the month of June was an all expenses paid three-day wine trip to California wine country. I think ya’ll know where this is going. It was like manifest destiny. As soon as the competition and prize were announced I told every single one of my colleagues that the trip was mine! The competition was fierce and I spent every waking hour at the restaurant pumping out our new wine list. By the time June came to an end, I had sold twice as much wine as second place! And this was a fine dining, white table cloth restaurant with career servers. I don’t mention this detail to be pretentious, but rather just to reiterate how predestined this whole experience seemed to be.
So the rest of the story is pretty straight forward. I spent three days during the 2003 harvest at the end of September in the Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. I stayed in the guest house at Parducci, which is part of the Mendocino Wine Company. I hung out with the winemaker, shadowing him in the vineyards and the winery, and I experienced crush head on! The entire valley was buzzing with wine frenzy. The beautiful vineyards … the smell of freshly pressed grapes and lively fermentation … and the overall fervor so characteristic of this peak moment in the winemaking process … simply breathtaking! It was a completely hedonistic and euphoric experience that I’ll never forget. From the first day I stepped foot in the valley, I had fallen in love with el vino.
My non-wine bio …
I was born in Worthington, Ohio, Northeast United States, in 1979. I’m the very proud son of Ken and Shirley and have two awesome siblings, Kelly and Kyle. Kelly and her hubby Randy have two obnoxiously gorgeous daughters, Sarah Catherine (2006) and Daphne Irene (2009). A big shout out to the Galloway-Liddil-Kreischer-Gehres clan … I love you guys!
All that I’d like to say about my high school years, as I’ve been trying to suppress them, is that I was in the marching band and I fell in love with drumming and music. We can go one-on-one if you’d like any more details. During college I co-founded the non-profit International Institute for Democracy (in 2000 to be precise), which gave me the opportunity to monitor elections and meet very interesting people from all corners of the globe. Since then, I’ve been addicted to world travel and discovery, covering all corners of Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, South Africa and Europe. And of course the journey is never-ending … there’s still so much more to see ! After graduating from The Ohio State University in 2003 with a degree in international business and Spanish, I moved to Monterrey, Mexico. I spent one year looking for a job and teaching English and four years managing sales for a multinational precision metal fabricator. There’s no question about it; Monterrey, Mexico is my second home, after Worthington, Ohio. In 2008 I moved to Paris to complete a Master of Public Affairs at Sciences Po. I quickly learned two things … One, I probably wouldn’t pursue a career in public affairs. Two, Paris is an amazing city and a great place to grow one’s passion and involvement in wine.
My wine CV …
So I had been building upon my wine obsession ever since 2003 — maintaining my personal wine journal, reading wine literature religiously, attending wine tastings regularly, as well as making a moderate investment in my personal wine cellar. Nonetheless, the progress was really quite moderate within the world of wine geekdom.
However, moving to Paris in 2008 changed everything. It served as a major catalyst in my personal wine development, and ultimately I decided to devote all my efforts to the pursuit of a career in wine. I’m interested both in production, as well as business development and consulting. I created The Grand Crew wine blog and co-founded the MPA Wine Club in November of 2008. Additionally, I became an active member of In Vino Veritas, a student wine club at Sciences Po. In fact I was one of four members representing the club at the 2009 Défi de Bacchus national wine tasting competition in Lyon, France. We won first place!
I’m constantly looking to grow my palate and explore new wines. So naturally I attend all the local wine expos, tasting and taking notes on hundreds of wines. And I’ve visited the following wine regions: Bordeaux; Bourgogne; British Columbia (Okanagan Valley); California (Sonoma County, Mendocino County); Champagne; Japan (Niigata); Pacs del Penedès; Piedmont (Barolo, Barbaresco); Northern Rhone; Texas Hill Country; Tokaj-Hegyalja; and Washington State (Woodinville, Walla Walla).
During the summer of 2009 I spent July and August in Bordeaux, visiting over 15 grand cru chateaux and interviewing the owners, directors and winemakers. Additionally, for five weeks in September and October I worked under the guidance of Marcel and Philippe Guigal as the wine-making intern for the 2009 vinification team at E. Guigal Château d’Ampuis in the Northern Rhone.
In 2010 I completed a six-month contract, developing exports and social media communications at Domaine du Closel – Château des Vaults, a world-class producer of Savennières wine (chenin blanc), based in the Loire Valley of France. Currently, I’m nomadic, hoppin’ ’round the world, managing various projects. But the wine virus is incurable and I’m always thirsty for the next vinous surprise!
Paul Stagg, Contributor of The Grand Crew
My wine story starts more than 15 years ago with an annual holiday party where friends would all bring a bottle of wine. At the time, we didn’t have disposable income or education that lead to great wine experiences, but it was an experience, nonetheless. Over the years wine has been part of nice meals, and I flirted a bit with the subject, doing some reading and keeping some rudimentary notes. I remained primarily a cocktail and beer drinker; in fact, spent much more energy searching out interesting beers than wines.
As I’ve gotten older, I found myself building more of an interest in wine. In the fall of 2007, I went to the Napa Valley. That experience, seeing the passion of the people who grow grapes and make wine, really piqued my interest, and I found myself drinking more and more wine, exploring more, learning more. At that time, I started taking more detailed tasting notes, developing my palate, and continuing to try more varietals.
I am by no means an expert, in fact I still consider myself a novice. My palate has changed over the years; my favorite wines right now come from the Southern Rhone. I tend to like old world more than new world, but still love the occasional big expensive California Cab.
Outside of my interest in wine (and along with it, food), I am interested in Economics, personal development, powerlifting, automobiles, sports, cooking, and Libertarian political philosophy. I have an MBA, and I am a Market Unit Director of Field Service for a very large company. I live in Baltimore, MD with my wonderful wife and my dog. I am a rabid Baltimore Ravens fan.