By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
If you're active in social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, you may have noticed that one of New York's best-known wineries, Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars, has become extremely active on them. That's the work of Erin Flynn, who joined Dr. Frank in May.
Erin is a Finger Lakes native but didn't stay home to work in the wine industry right away.
After earning her bachelor of arts degree from Nazareth College and as Master's degree in management from Keuka College, Erin moved to Washington D.C. to work in politics and as a lobbyist.
As you're read below, that just wasn't meant to be.
And now, our seven questions…
What event/bottle/etc made you decide that you wanted to be in the wine industry?
I am one of those people who thought I knew what I wanted to be in life only to discover that I was meant for a different purpose. Believe it or not, I began in politics. After my undergraduate education, I moved to Washington, D.C. where I was first a legislative intern for Senator Chuck Schumer and later a registered lobbyist.
I guess some things in life are just meant to be. As a native of the Finger Lakes, I was passionate about the region and its wines and discovered that I lost a part of myself when I moved away. Two things were the straws that broke the camel’s back leading me back to the Finger Lakes. First, I fell in love with my husband who is also a native of the Finger Lakes and second, the hustle and bustle and dirty political atmosphere of D.C. caused me to reevaluate where I wanted to be in life.
My gut instinct told me that the skills I developed in politics could be translated into a career in the Finger Lakes. On a whim, I decided to “go for it” and heard of a marketing opening at Swedish Hill Winery. From there everything fell into place and my skills blossomed in the marketing arena. Now I have translated those skills into my current position at Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars.
What (and where) was the first bottle of wine you remember drinking?
The first bottle of wine I remember drinking was a Rioja while studying abroad in Valencia, Spain. I am still intrigued by La Rioja and hope to one day take a trip through the region.
Which of your current wines is your favorite and why?
Right now, my favorite wine is our newly released 2010 Gewürztraminer. 2010 was an outstanding vintage in the Finger Lakes and this wine is a brilliant example. Rieslings, gewürztraminer and grüner veltliner are just some of our specialties here at Dr. Frank. Our 2010 Gewürztraminer is loaded with aromas of basil, tangerine, orange blossom and candied bananas.
What has surprised you most about being a member of the New York wine community?
The collaborative nature of the Finger Lakes region in particular has surprised me. I feels good to be part of a community that is working towards a unified goal. For me, that feeling is magnified by working at historical Dr. Frank Wine Cellars. I am still in awe working here daily and seeing how Konstantin’s legacy has played out in the New York wine industry.
Other than your own wines, what wine/beer/liquor most often fills your glass?
Mostly, I’m a wine lover through and through, so that is almost always in my glass. When I’m not
enjoying Finger Lakes wine, I’m partial to Chilean wines. My favorite liquor is whiskey and that
probably has something to do with my Irish heritage.
Is there a 'classic' wine or wine and food pairing that you just can't make yourself enjoy?
I have yet to meet a wine and food pairing that I don’t enjoy. Even if I don’t like particular style of wine, I appreciate that wine’s attributes. I’m a real foodie, so I will eat almost anything. Add a glass of wine with that food and I’m a happy camper.
Wine enjoyment is about more than just the wine itself. Describe the combination of
wine, locations, food, company, etc. that would make (or has made) for the ultimate wine-
The ultimate wine drinking experience for me is sitting down with my friends in the Finger Lakes wine industry who are equally passionate about wine. Recently, I started a wine tasting group for female Finger Lakes wine professionals. We try to meet once a month and feature a different wine each time. Each person has to choose a region and then we blind taste through all of the bottles.
My rule of thumb is that we have to include at least one bottle of New York wine in the tasting. As a group we have learned a lot — particularly how our regional wines compare to other wines in the world.