Jessica Altieri

Wine and Water Expert

How Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri Sips Luxury

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Jessica Altieri – Luxury Brand Influencer

Luxury has always fascinated humans. Cave dwellers admired amber and bright pebbles, rough cut as they were. In the time of the Greeks, people read Plato’s marvelous descriptions of Atlantis, covered in gold, silver and mythical metal orichalcum with wonder, imagining what life was like in that faraway land that now lay under the sea. Medieval royalty bedecked themselves with as many gemstones as would fit on a single person without making it impossible to walk.

Even then, sometimes not walking was a willing price to pay for Awesome Middle Ages Bling. (Just saying.)

Today, the luxury lifestyle looks a little different. From writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ian Fleming come descriptions of elegance in different 20th-century time periods. From 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg, we get accounts of everyday living accompanied by jewelry, cars and expensive drinks.

Well, our hiphop friends aren’t far off, because cars and beverages are among the go-to luxury items humans in the modern era enjoy most of all. Here are a few of our favorites for your consideration.

The Luxury Lifestyle Today

So, did I mention that rides and bevies pair exceptionally well? Because if not, let me just say it again: People have loved drinking expensive things in the back of expensive vehicles since the dawn of time. Today I’ve paired a few of the most stunning new cars on the market with a few of the crispest, most delicious libations available. Feel free to mix and match!

Bentley New Continental GT

Put on your driving suit, because it’s time to tour the Amalfi coast, admire the epic sea views of Morocco or climb the fresh-breezed mountains of British Columbia. 

“The new Continental GT features clean, superformed lines and a wide, low body, evoking a sense of speed and presence,” explains the website, adding that the car was “created for agile, exhilarating driving.” Oh, and it’s green, too! With best-in-class fuel emissions, you can now drive a smidge too fast without worrying about Mother Earth. Yay!

Rolls-Royce Phantom

Described as a “large barge in charge” by Autoweek, which adds that a ride in the Rolls-Royce Phantom feels like “being whisked about in a sedan chair carried by beauty queens stepping on marshmallows while wearing extra-large and comfy bunny slippers.” In other words, the Phantom is a luxury ride with no parallel when it comes to comfort and quiet.

With 287 pounds of sound-dampening material, a quarter inch of glazing on the glass and foam-lined tires, you don’t need to worry about a single road noise disrupting your classical music or hushed conversation. 

… except the sound of sipping.


Australia has a firm place in the history of winemaking. None deserves its reputation so richly as Penfold’s, which came on the scene in 1844. Its annals include founding by Dr. Christopher and Mary Penfold, but when he turned to focusing on his medical career, the vineyard fell largely into Mary’s hands. She was succeeded by her daughter, Georgina – proving once again that women can rock the business sphere just as hard as any man.

In the last 170-plus years, the vineyard has transformed itself into a name synonymous with luxury, greatness, taste and pedigree. (BTW, this might be a good time to mention that at one point there was a Penfold’s car, shaped like a wine bottle, combining the two very things we’re talking about here today.)

If you’re not in a wine mood, however, how about a glass of water? 


For those not yet in the know, Svalbard is one of the coldest regions in the world. So cold, in fact, that it was chosen as the site of the Global Seed Vault, a bunker-like storage facility that houses thousands of seed varietals. Think of it as the human race’s “Oh damn, the world has ended and we better figure out how to save seeds without power so we can start farming again when the dust from the supervolcano finally clears in a hundred years” form of insurance.

Yeah, it’s that cold.

Much like the luxury water Svalbarði, award-winning and ultra-low-mineral still Arctic iceberg water, perfect for a refreshing crystalline draught or the world’s most delicious cup of tea. Believe it or not, it is the world’s northernmost bottled water and is tagged as a “taste of snow in the air,” due to those lingering glacial flavors. Trust me, don’t miss out on this one.

A Day to Remember … A Life to Remember

Hopefully now you have a few more ideas about your next picnic/joy ride. Your honey will ride in high style, thirst quenched by the perfect vino and most luscious water. So whip out that calendar, schedule in a free Saturday and sit down to dream about luxury. Or, if you can, actually live it (wink, wink), all life long.

Any questions? Feel free to get in touch with Jessica Altieri just as soon as you like!

America's Water Sommelier with 5 Tips to Sip Smart and Drink Better Water

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Dining Out or Working Out – Why You Need Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri

Well, sure – of course you need a wine sommelier when you’re at a restaurant. How else will you know which bevvies go best with the salmon, steak or field greens? You might not have considered, however, that water makes just as much of an impact on the enjoyment of your food as wine does. Therefore, why shouldn’t it be just as important?

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Enter the water sommelier, an elite class of experts that can educate you on the many types of water and why they matter. Here are just a few reasons you need a water sommelier, whether working out or dining out.

1. Treat Your Taste Buds

Have you ever traveled to another country, tasted the tap water and marveled at how different it is from home? As with wine, the different minerals of a region flavor water differently. That means they also complement food differently. To increase your dining enjoyment at restaurants and home, you should start paying attention to H2O.

2. Like Coffee? Water Matters

Coffee, just like good old booze, has about a thousand notes influencing every blend and brew. Roasters work hard to identify the right beans, source them from the right regions and roast them just the right amount. Use a tap water full of chemicals or minerals, and you’ll ruin that delicate balance entirely. That’s where the right water comes in.

4. Steer Clear of Chemicals

Lots of tap water has chemicals in it, such as chlorine or fluoride. While these might perform important health benefits, they’re not good in large quantities. Mineral waters are much lower in chemicals, or chemical-free altogether. Of course, it takes help to discover what they are … so see below. (Wink, wink.)

5. Get Your Minerals!

Minerals are critical when working out. Many people don’t know, in fact, that they’re almost as important as water itself, and that without them, you can actually be poisoned by the life-giving liquid. Specific waters have more of certain replenishing salts and elements, such as magnesium, calcium, sulfur and potassium. Now you can sweat without worrying about the consequences.

These are just a few of the reasons to consider learning more about your water today. And who better to ask than Jessica Altieri, America’s newest Certified Water Sommelier? Get in touch to learn more about the fascinating world of water and why it matters to you today.

Meet Potbelly CEO Alan Johnson

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When you meet Alan Johnson, the new President and CEO of Potbelly, you know right away that there’s going to be lots of laughter, conversation and stories to require at least one bottle of great wine and a few sandwiches.

Join me for a conversation that takes us on a ride from South Africa, working for Michael Eisner, being the CEO of BevMo! and why Alan loves going to the grocery store for hours and not always hitting the Amazon Prime button.


Join me and Alan for an “award-winning” sips and sandwiches podcast and “Don’t forget to hug the stove!”

Here is an overview of the first part of our conversation. Enjoy and grab your favorite Potbelly sandwich and bottle of wine!

Jessica Altieri: [00:00:09] Welcome to Wine Conversations. I’m your host Jessica Altieri, CEO and certified sommelier of the Wine Channel TV Digital Network. This is podcast number 14 “Sips and Sandwiches” with Potbelly CEO Alan Johnson in Chicago on Monday February 12th, 2018. A glass of wine is just a conversation waiting to happen as I always say, and today’s conversation is with Alan Johnson the CEO of Potbelly and we are sipping some Napa cellars Cabernet to get the conversation started.

Jessica Altieri: [00:00:49] Welcome to Wine Conversations.

Alan Johnson: [00:00:51] Hey thanks Jessica. Lovely to be here. Great to see you all. How are you enjoying the Chicago winter so far?

Alan Johnson: [00:00:59] Look there’s no such thing as bad weather. There is only inappropriate clothing, so once I sorted that out then it’s been just fine.

Jessica Altieri: [00:01:08] I like that answer. That makes sense. Nothing that a great bottle of wine can’t solve and warm you up with.

Alan Johnson: [00:01:15] I see you have a treat for us here. ( Napa Cellars)

Jessica Altieri: [00:01:16] We have a nice treat and we’re going to talk about that and I want to tell people about everything you have going on in your current role and  how we got in touch here in Chicago. But first I want to start from the beginning and how you got to where you’re at today. So first tell me about where you’re from.

Alan Johnson: [00:01:32] That’s a complicated question you see because most times that means where is that accent from. So, when I tell them I’m from Chicago which is where I live now people don’t believe me, but I was born in Rhodesia which is now called Zimbabwe. And then I moved to South Africa I grew up there as a young adult. I left South Africa at the age of 19 and moved to Australia raised three kids in Australia and then left at the age of 29,30 travelled around the world went to the US with my job for Pepsi years working at Pizza Hut and went to the worldwide headquarters of Pizza Hut which believe it or not is in Wichita Kansas.

Alan Johnson: [00:02:20] Lovely place and quite a culture shock going from Sydney Australia to Wichita Kansas.

Jessica Altieri: [00:02:35] So where did you get to school though?

Alan Johnson: [00:02:39] In Australia.

Jessica Altieri: [00:02:41] What did you want to be?

Alan Johnson: [00:02:42] Well, you know this strange thing is I wanted to be a doctor and moved to Australia and then as it turned out had to miss a year because of the transition from South Africa to Australia and ended up enrolling in business school and then four years later with a business degree really straight but it was a great decision. So, I ended up in Wichita, Kansas and then I was working in strategic planning for Pizza Hut worldwide and I was sent to eastern Europe to open Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. I lived in Warsaw Poland for a couple of years.

Jessica Altieri: [00:03:28] So you know a little polish…

Alan Johnson: [00:03:32] Yes….so we have that in common and a love for wine and food.

Jessica Altieri: [00:03:44] I can’t even imagine the food over there. So how long were you in Poland?

Alan Johnson: [00:03:48] About a year and a half a year and then moved back to Australia thinking OK that’s it I’m going to put down roots going to live back in Australia and quite literally three months later I found myself in Boston where I was the chief operating officer for a movie theater company building these big megaplexes. I did that for whatever it was three four years.

Jessica Altieri: [00:04:12] Wait…. the type of megaplexes like we could drink and eat in?

Alan Johnson: [00:04:16] We opened the very first stadium megaplex on the East Coast of the US with valet parking,and ATM’s that distributed movie tickets not cash, VIP seating and even specialty food, not just popcorn and Pepsi.

Alan Johnson: [00:04:42] And then Michael Eisner visited one of our theaters and liked what we were doing.

Jessica Altieri: [00:04:52] How was that first conversation with him?

Alan Johnson: [00:04:53] Very nerve-wracking because he’s such a legend and he’s such a visionary and he’s see things so different. Anyway, he wanted me to go and work for a small division that kind of focused on restaurants and regional based entertainment.

[00:05:17] And I packed my bags, left Boston into L.A. and spent five or so years working in wonderful businesses like ESPN Zone which was a restaurant-based sports restaurant and club Disney and Disney Quest, opened Disney Quest here in Chicago on Ohio and Rush. And worked in the theme park part of Disney in the days when the Internet bubble burst in year 2000 if you remember all the drama and was asked by then the chairman of the Internet group to go help figure out how to write the Internet business because they were losing a lot of money. And spent a lot of time building what back then was the equivalent of Orbitz and Travelocity and Expedia. They hadn’t been thought of. And we built a complex travel site that you could plan your Disney vacations and you know book your hotel your rental car, your airfare and buy your tickets to the theme park. And then I had an epiphany at the end of that which was sort of you know I need to start working for me rather than these big you know companies like the Pepsi’s and the Disney’s. And so eventually I got together with an ex-Pepsi friend of mine that I had known for 25 years who purchased a small company and that’s how you and I had our paths cross. BevMo was a small chain in California, the equivalent of what you have here with Binnys. And we had 50 stores only in California a few in Arizona.

Alan Johnson: [00:07:30] We took the company from 50 to about 165.

Jessica Altieri: [00:07:45] Was it difficult going from somewhere like Disney to BevMo?

Alan Johnson: [00:07:48] It was, not for any reason other than I’ve been in the “eatertainment” business for 30 years.

Alan Johnson: [00:08:11] So the transition was difficult in that I was so used to sort of a huge organization and BevMo in those days was relatively small and was a private company, so you could you could quite literally sit there and make have a conversation on Monday morning and decide what to do on Monday afternoon and launch it on Tuesday morning. And so, you had to move a lot quicker. But I quickly fell in love with the people, fell in love with the industry. I mean our industry really attracts people with a deep passion for the love of the grapes and the story behind the passion behind who makes the product. And so that was you know a wonderful introduction to a business in California which brings us to Napa which is the mecca for you know for the U.S. It doesn’t get any better. I lived maybe half an hour, 40 minutes from Napa.

Jessica Altieri: [00:09:18] How wonderful and you mentioned you had seen me judge? I’ve been doing professional wine judging for seven years. I didn’t know that at the time and I just knew that you had worked with one of my dear friends, Wilfred Wong. Who is a legend in the wine judging industry and now with And that’s just funny how everything kind of intertwined.

Alan Johnson: [00:09:36] There you go. I mean when I first joined of course you know to be honest, I didn’t know a lot about wine. I’m not quite sure.

[00:09:47] And Wilfred you know he’s a tremendous teacher and he teaches in a way that is non-technical. And so, you know I just sit down with Wilfred and his tasting room and he said, “Alan we need to broaden your palate.”

[00:10:09] And we would sit there and maybe taste 20-30 wines in one flight. And he loves to teach them, and he is such, I think the right term legend. And Wilford will never ever forget what wine you like and one day you’ll be just sitting there all sudden Wilford will put a glass in front of you say, “I know that you will love this”. He just has this knack of remembering that one thing that you once said to him. And I mean he will bring a different bottle to someone else and you know what I also liked with Wilfred is for me the romance of wine with food and then great conversation. It doesn’t get any better than that; you need all three.

Jessica Altieri: [00:10:57] I agree. That’s my slogan; “Wine is just a conversation waiting to happen” and I completely agree with Wilfred too. The other point is I don’t know if you ever notice he takes such meticulous notes about every single wine that he tastes and judges.

Alan Johnson: [00:11:18] And we also had in common, photography. So yeah, I mean the whole food, the wine, the photography and you know Wilfred also I think because he’s had to deal with many maybe built in assumptions that people have about you know how an Asian guy can know that much about wine. Let me tell you, walk through the streets of Europe with Wilfred and you’ll see what a legend he is and every ounce of that hard work. So, I was blessed for five or six years Wilford shared an office not far from me and particularly on those days where I knew he was tasting something special.

Jessica Altieri: [00:12:20] Tell me what led you to your next destination then on your path. It sounds like you’re happy there.

Alan Johnson: [00:12:28] Yes happy wonderful team great brand. The number one player in California. And then just wanted something different to do. Got an opportunity to do what I thought was retire and then I quickly figured out you know what retirement’s not in me now. So, for the last couple of years I’ve been in the frog kissing business. You know and hoping that you pretty much like what happened with BevMo and along came after about a year and a half this wonderful brand that I’d heard of, but I didn’t know a lot about Potbelly and a recruiter called me and said hey you know is that something that you’d be interested in. And to be honest I don’t know anything about it, but I’d love to find out.

Jessica Altieri: [00:13:23] Had you gone to Potbelly before enjoying their sandwiches?

Alan Johnson: [00:13:27] No. You know what. I think I did. And if I did it was that one of the airports that I had no sort of specific recollection of ever being at a Potbelly. Anyway, I spoke to a number of my friends who know Chicago very very well. And soon as you say Potbelly, they say, “I love Potbelly”.

Jessica Altieri: [00:13:47] Can you tell the story of how it originated in case people don’t now. It’s a great story.

Enjoy the rest of the podcast and the story of Potbelly from Alan.  And subscribe to my Wine Conversations podcast here:


Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri now Available on reVolver Podcasts

Jessica AltieriComment

Picking what you want when you walk into a Starbucks or a Baskin-Robbins is easy, but how do you find the right wine? With Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri on reVolver Podcasts, you’ll be sipping wine like a pro.

DALLAS (Nov. 13, 2017) – Picking what you want when you walk into a Starbucks or a Baskin-Robbins is easy, but how do you find the right wine? With Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri on reVolver Podcasts, you’ll be sipping wine like a pro. Join Jessica and celebrity guests from the world of wine, music, sports, fashion and food each week. For every wine drinking reason or season, Jessica will give listeners great wine choices for ladies’ night out, tailgating, date night, or just sitting on your couch after a long day. 

Host Jessica Altieri, aka “Just Jess,” is changing the way consumers buy, taste and experience wine. She has captured the ears, eyes and hearts of wine lovers around the globe, sharing and creating unique wine lifestyle experiences through digital and social media. In 2016, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named her a “40 Under 40 Top Tastemaker.”  A respected millennial-age professional wine judge, Jessica is a Certified Sommelier and former NCAA scholar athlete. She founded the world’s fastest growing digital wine lifestyle network, Wine Channel TV, in 2009, and works with some of the world’s leading brands, trade associations and lifestyle companies. With a multiplatform digital network, Jessica has more than 500,000 loyal followers around the world. She makes shopping for your next bottle of wine as much fun as eating ice cream, and as she likes to say, “wine is just a conversation waiting to happen!”

“This is going to be such a fun podcast for our audience. Jessica is a lively, knowledgeable host who will take the guesswork out of buying wine for meals, events, gifts, parties, and more,” said Maria Lopez-Alvarez, vice president of content and production, reVolver Podcasts. “We are thrilled to welcome her to reVolver Podcasts.”

Find and follow Jessica Altieri on social media: Instagram @winechanneltv and @bestsipever; Twitter @winechanneltv; Facebook @winechanneltv; and YouTube @winechanneltv. Check out her websites for the latest news and updates too: and

Tune in and subscribe to Wine Conversations with Jessica Altieri. Find your favorite reVolver Podcast at, Uforia, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and iHeartMedia. To listen on Apple Podcasts, visit Sales or marketing inquiries can be directed to reVolver Podcasts at For questions about content or to find out how to become a content provider and host, email

About reVolver Podcasts

reVolver Podcasts is the leading multicultural, audio-on-demand content creator and distributor in the U.S. Home to “El Show de Piolín,” “Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom,” and “Road Trippin’ with RJ & Channing” plus more than 50 additional programs spanning sports, music, finance, entertainment, lifestyle, health and wellness, inspiration, news, real crime, branded content and live events, the podcasts are distributed on, Uforia, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and iHeartMedia. For more information about the company, visit


Media Contacts:

Katie Olivier

Sunwest Communications

214.373.1601 x241


This Wine Will Make You Fall In Love on Malbec Day #Malbecday 2017

Jessica AltieriComment

Enjoy Malbec Day 2017 #malbecday, on April 17, with Wine Channel TV host Jessica Altieri. Jessica had the opportunity to meet with the President and owner of Zolo, Patricia Ortiz, who shared the meaning of “Zolo” and the history of the grapes from vineyards from Lujan de Cuyo and Maipú, Zolo. Zolo winemakers include Fabián Valenzuela, recognized winemaker from Argentina, as well as Jean Claude Berrouet, famous winemaker in Pomerol, who worked for more than 40 years as a leading winemaker of Petrus, France. Cheers to #MalbecDay 2017.


Zolo is made with grapes from the first zone from the Mendoza River Valley (Maipú and Luján ) from vineyards located between 800 and 1100 meters height. These wines have a marked fruitiness, spending 8 months in oak, developed with sustainable practices, the wines have ripe tannins, red fresh fruits, giving way to a modern, vibrant and intense wine.

Zolo is one of the most technologically advanced wineries in Argentina. Zolo selects grapes from estate vineyards in Agrelo and Alto Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, Mendoza. Located at various altitudes, each of these terroirs provides a different expression of fruit and varietal concentration


From Zolo Wines: “Purplish red color. Aromas of fresh fruits such as plums and strawberries. The oak contributes with delicate vanilla notes. Sweet and gentle entry. Smooth and persistent finish”. Perfect for #malbecday 2017!

“Malbec World Day is celebrated on April 17, to commemorate the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry. On that day, back in 1853, he tasked Michel Aimé Pouget, a French soil expert, to bring over new vines. Amongst his selection, was Malbec.[1] Pouget continued experimenting with the adaptation of French varietals to Argentina’s diverse terroirs.”- (wikipedia)

Enjoy Malbec Day 2017, #Malbecday with Wine Channel TV, #ZoloWines, #Bodegatapiz and Jessica Altieri. Follow #malbecday on Instagram and Twitter.

Be Brave And Bold With Boxed Wines

Jessica AltieriComment

You say you haven’t tried a boxed wine? Well, think inside the box: these eco-friendly, drop-proof wines are problem solvers. They stay fresh A LOT longer than bottled wines, once opened. Picnics. Camping. Hiking. Emergencies. Boxed wines have come a long way. And cork taint? Now there’s a problem solved.


Let me ask one question of the doubters among us: How many times have you edged toward the wee hours of a party and run out of wine? Porch lights off, bats winging by, friends all telling their once-upon-a- time tales, and the last drop drips from the last bottle. Before the groans turn to farewells, I simply head into the house, open a lovely red or white that’s waited patiently for this moment—and the cozy autumn moon party doesn’t miss a beat.

At the end of the night, fantastic tasting wine is what everyone wants, bottled or boxed!

Fave Sips

  • Silver Birch New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 
  • Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • Big House Cardinal Zin Beastly Old Vines California Zinfandel 

California Zinfandel ($22)

Great Eats

I would still be picky about my picnic fare, even if the wine comes in a box. Cured meats and aged cheddar for the Zinfandel, fresh seafood, grilled chicken and light salads for the Sauvignon Blanc.

The Unforgettable Kiss

At a blindfolded taste off on ABC’s Windy City Live, the hosts could not tell the boxed wines from the bottled. Same varietal, different containers. Drew Ellis’ glorious boxed Silver Birch wowed everyone. This outstanding boxed wine has delicious melon, mango and gooseberry notes, with a racy finish. By the time we finished, I turned those TV hosts into boxed wine believers!

Ellis’ famed New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has a Wine Enthusiast Magazine best buy rating. And Drew, a New Yorker who fell in love with viticulture, puts his fine art degree to good use in the vineyards of New Zealand. How so? Drew does not force the grapes into preconceived wines. Like any artist, he lets the medium—the grapes—express themselves. THEN he puts them in boxes!

March Madness 2017 Winning Wine Pairings

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Author: Jessica Altieri | Wine Channel TV Media

“Social with Every Sip”

As a former NCAA Hooper, I’ve loved sports my whole life.

March Madness and game day pairings featured big, bold Cabernets with Italian Beef or Grilled Italian Sausages for hoops fanatics, and a smooth crisp Sauvignon Blanc for party fanatics.

March Madness calls for stepping up your pregame meal options, I’m talking pulled pork sandwiches, buffalo wings with Stone Arrogant Bastard Chipotle BBQ sauce, gourmet fries(garlic parmesan please!) and beer battered fish tacos…Just add some Malbec to go with the Pork and a nice refreshing Riesling to contrast those spicy wings, and let the pre-game NCAA March Madness wine lifestyle begin!

Looking for something to pair with those cheese balls? Try a nice creamy Chardonnay. A vibrant Sauv Blanc would be killer with your veggie tray, like the St. Supery 2015 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Rock a zesty Zin like Rock Wall Wine Company Harris Kratka 2010 with your homemade chili or Sloppy Joes.

And don’t forget to bust out the bubbly with your Fried Chicken and fries…Fried foods and sparkling wine are a match made in heaven. And, of course, that bubbly can be used for mimosas the morning after…#Winning …

Wine Picks Under $50:

Rock Wall Wine Company 2010 Zinfandel Harris Kratka Vineyard ($40)

Masottina Brut, Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG, ($11.99)

Ferrari Perle 2007 ($37.99)

Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling 2014 ($15)

St. Supery 2015 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($35)


March Madness Wine TV Viewing Guide

Jessica AltieriComment

Wine and March Madness is here on Wine Channel TV. Join Wine Channel TV host and former NCAA hoopster, Jessica Altieri for your favorite wine and hoops pairings.

The 2017 NCAA men's basketball tournament is just around the corner, with the First Four beginning Tuesday, March 14.

Selection Sunday, when the field of 68 is filled by the tournament committee, is Sunday, March 12. 

Below is a look at the full schedule, locations and TV information. 

What: 2017 NCAA men's basketball tournament

When: The tournament runs Tuesday, March 14 through Monday, April 3, 2017

TV: truTV, TBS, TNT and CBS

Live stream: March Madness Live app


First Four

* Tuesday, March 14 and Wednesday March 15 @ University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio

How to watch: truTV

First and second rounds

* Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18

KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. 
Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis. 
Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. 
Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah

* Friday, March 17 and Sunday, March 19

Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. 
Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.
BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. 
Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. 

How to watch: CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV

Sweet 16 and Elite Eight

* Midwest Regional: Thursday, March 23 and Saturday, March 25 -- Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. 

* West Regional: Thursday, March 23 and Saturday, March 25 -- SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. 

* South Regional: Friday, March 24 and Sunday, March 26 -- FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn. 

* East Regional: Friday, March 24 and Sunday, March 26 -- Madison Square Garden in New York

How to watch: TBS and CBS

Final Four and National Championship

* Saturday, April 1 and Monday, April 3 -- University of Phoenix Stadium, in Phoenix, Arizona

How to watch: CBS

Bad Bottle of Wine - Here is Your Cheat Sheet

Jessica AltieriComment



A brownish hue (this one is easy)

Take a good look at the color of your wine when your pour it in a clear glass. If your red wine has a brownish hue, it's past its prime, and a deep yellow or brownish straw hue in your white means it's probably oxidized. How about if you get some fizz in the glass, but it's not your favorite bottle of sparkling wine? It's had a second fermentation after the bottling, and this bottle should be dumped.

The simple smell test

Give your wine a good swirl and take a good long sniff. Musty, moldy, vinegar, sauerkraut or rotten egg smells are all signs the wine has gone south. Dump it.

The sip

Sip that wine, finally! Do you like it? If so, great! Try to point out the things you love about it, like the aromatics you're able to identify. If you hate it, remember why. A vinegar taste similar to that awful aroma you may have picked up is a sign to dump it. Picking up a really, really sour note on your sip, or just no more luscious fruit notes at all (aka flat wine)? You probably left that wine open waaaayyy too long...why did you have leftover wine anyway?!

Bad spot for storage

A wine bottle that's warm to the touch probably wasn't stored properly. Invest in a wine fridge -- it's worth it! Or store your wine in a dry, cool place like your basement. The kitchen is the worst place ever because of the varying temperatures. Don't do it!

Shut Up and Spit

Jessica AltieriComment

What better way to learn about Zins than from the Godfather of Zinfandel? Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery talked shop with me at the Walgreens flagship store in Chicago. This is no dusty pharmacy with bad lighting. Bottles of Cristal and imported cigars stood watch as Joel talked with me about his first tasting session—at age 10 with his parents the high-powered chemists who gave him this timeless instruction: “Shut up and spit.” He did spit and did not get drunk, and that early chemistry helped create one of the smartest, most genuine winemakers around. Joel sets trends. He makes “no wimpy wines.” Wherever he goes, me and my wine glass follow!

Zesty, jammy, just screaming for BBQ ribs and bonfires outside, Zinfandel makes its mark on dusky autumn evenings. In the case of Zins, the older the vines the better the body. Girls, take note of that. These robust red grapes improve dramatically with age.

Are you a “Zin Bitch?” Not sure how to answer that question? On a typical blustery, cold Chicago night, Christian Tietje invited me to a Four Vines Wine Dinner, and the question came right along with his invitation. This Zin Rockstar not only produces amazing Zinfandels but he’s earned a following of self-proclaimed Zin Lovers who wear matching Zin Bitch shirts. I joined the jammy, spicy Zin Revolution that night. Christian and his “mother-trucker” partner Susan Mahler make wines as sassy as their zealous fan club.

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