As the holiday season kicks off, we can’t help but be filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the place we call home; for the work that we get to do; and the people who make it all possible.

In that spirit, we thought it only right to take some time over the next few weeks and give proper thanks to some of our sponsors, partners, and supporters who helped fill 2017 with fantastic films, friends, and festivities.

Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet

Putting on a newportFILM event requires a special blend of teamworrk. That’s why for our screening of “A Fine Line” during the Newport Wine & Food Festival, we turned to Maria Chiancola from Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet to find the perfect wine to pair with a film exploring why only 6% of head chefs are female. Maria curated a thoughtful selection of California wines produced by female owned & operated wineries.

We caught up with Maria recently while she was in California preparing her own vintage to explain her process. “Because the film was celebrating a female chef, I wanted to select wines that were made by female wine makers here in California,” she said. “I chose Amy Butler of Ranchero Wines, Nicole Abiouness of Abiouness Wines, Sam Sheehan of Poe, and Angela Osborne of A Tribute to Grace.  All of these women are part of a generation of winemakers who have learned from their mentors, to be true to place and to themselves. The wines are made from grapes sourced from Mendocino to Santa Barbara, but they share a commitment to quality, and they achieve that by controlling the way the grapes are grown and sourced and by the hands-on production that small batch winemaking allows.  Many winemakers are committed to the same philosophy, but female winemakers still are fighting for equality–so I am going to help them showcase their products.  The wine speaks for itself, they are balance, beautiful nuanced wines that will enhance any meal.”

It goes without saying that if you’re struggling with your holiday wine pairings this year – or would simply like to expand your palate – you’d do well to stop by Newport Wine Cellar & Gourmet to have Maria and her team lend you their expertise!