Do you like wine? Do you like wine but feel like you know nothing about wine? You’re not alone, according to Tanisha Townsend of Girl Meets Glass. Tanisha has been leading wine tours in Paris for the past five years, and during this time, she noticed a pattern in the questions she was getting from her clients. Lots of people were interested in wine, but they didn’t know where to start when it came to learning about wine. To address this discrepancy, Tanisha recently launched Wine School Dropout, a podcast for people who like wine, but know nothing about it and want to learn. Naturally, I subscribed right away. Tanisha also happens to be one of my favourite people in Paris, so I recently called her up to find out more about her latest endeavours.
Girl Meets Glass began ten years ago when Tanisha was in grad school in Washington, DC. “I always say that grad school drove me to drink,” she jokes. At that time, wineries in nearby Maryland were starting to take off, and she became fascinated with the process of making wine. In 2009, she started The Grape Vine, a blog that mostly served as a way for her to keep track of her notes from the various wine tastings and classes she was attending throughout the year. She quickly realized that there wasn’t a lot of basic information about wine available, and that people often had more questions than answers. So she decided to do something about it.
In 2014, Tanisha moved to Paris, and The Grape Vine officially became Girl Meets Glass. No longer just a blog, Girl Meets Glass offers wine and alcohol tastings all over the city, as well as day trips to regions such as Champagne and the Loire Valley. Tanisha also offers trip planning and concierge services, speaks at conferences, and is a guest lecturer about the art of wine. And now, she can add podcast host to her ever expanding resume.
Earlier this fall, Wine School Dropout made its official debut, meaning you no longer have to be in Paris to attend one of Tanisha’s tours. The first season will consist of eight episodes, with a second season already in the works. And if you think you need to be a wine expert to listen in, think again. “There are a lot of people who are interested in learning about wine, but they don’t know where to start,” Tanisha says. “I want to give these people the basic information they need to feel more confident about going into a wine shop or ordering at a restaurant. I want them to feel like they can ask questions without feeling self conscious.”
For this reason, the first season focuses mainly on the basics of wine, but Tanisha tells me that she has plans for further seasons focusing on specific wine regions, grapes, and food pairings. “Eventually, the information on the podcast will get more specific and specialized,” Tanisha promises. “But I want the audience to come on that journey with me. Season one starts with the basics, but by season eight you’ll have all the information you need to make your own decision about what you like and what you don’t like. I don’t want to just tell people what I like.”
Wine is for Everyone
Despite its popularity, wine can still come with a stigma. It’s elitist. It’s not for everyone. You have to be an expert on wine regions to be a true consumer. All of these are not true, insists Tanisha. “Historically, Kings and Queens drank wine and monks made the wine, so it wasn’t accessible. But now it is. Wine is delicious, so drink what you like. Even if it’s from the bottom shelf or from a box.” Bottom line, according to Tanisha? Wine is for everyone. I’ll raise a glass to that!
Wine School Dropout is available HERE.
To join Tanisha on one of her wine tours in Paris, please click HERE.
Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. If you’re looking for wine tours, definitely get in touch with Tanisha. But if you’re looking for history, join one of Laura’s signature tours to learn the story of a city.