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Summer 2014 Newsletter
We are excited to have lured Nicole Kosta from the Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco over to our team at DG!
Nicole joined us in April as our Direct Sales and Hospitality Manager, responsible for all aspects of our Direct to Consumer business, from the visitor experience and sales in our tasting room, to being our brand ambassador in the community, to expanding our network in California and across the country.
Nicole was born in Adelaide, Australia, not too far from renowned wine regions Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.
Becoming passionate about wine there in the heart of wine country, her
training and interest grew while working in fine dining and premier client events at the Adelaide Casino.
She graduated from University of Adelaide, with a degree in organic chemistry, but being too energetic to work as a scientist in a laboratory, she found herself back in the hospitality industry.
Working under Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon in Detroit, she
studied and obtained her
Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers.
outstanding dedication to her
wine programs, accolades and awards, wine education, and inspiration of not only her
staff but a regular following of wine advocates got her
was immediately sought after and recommended to come to the Forbes Five-Star Mandarin Oriental Hotel in San Francisco.
As Beverage & Events Director at the hotel she raised the wine program to be a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence award winner.
new role at Dutton-Goldfield Winery she
hopes to bring the intricacies of luxury hospitality to the tasting room experience and continue to educate and grow her
following of passionate wine lovers.
"The Sonoma Coast has always been one of my favorite wine regions for its amazing diversity of terroir and ability to make superior cool climate pinot noir, of which I am a collector, so working for Dutton-Goldfield Winery
was a natural and easy choice to expand my business knowledge and passion to the winery side."
"We've known and respected Nicole
for years, and are thrilled to have her on our team," says Dan Goldfield.
Please join us in welcoming Nicole
has been busy document life at DG through videos in the vineyards and winery, and posting them on our Facebook page.
Having grown up in Adelaide, Australia, ...
Having grown up in Adelaide, Australia, a region where vineyards tendril through the land, Nicole Kosta, Sommelier and Director of Food and Beverage at the Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco, has become metaphorically intoxicated by the tannic elixirs derived from the spherical little fruit known as the grape.
Kosta, a former world-champion dancer and scientist, took fair advantage of her stomping grounds.
Daylong fishing trips were a prominent part of Kosta's life.
father would often come home with a menagerie of finned dinner options.
"Between my two sisters, myself, my mother, and even the parakeet and the dog (I think), my poor father was surrounded by females," the spry South Australian snickers.
"I think I was inclined to be a bit of a tomboy because of that."
During one summer outing, Kosta
and a friend embarked on a fishing trip that resulted in catching 60 fish.
"We ate every one!
Mom cleaned them and dad grilled them.
It was the best summer," recalls Kosta
With a spatula in one hand, a glass of sparkling Shiraz in the other, and calamari on the barbie, Mr. Kosta
is the quintessential Aussie father-hosting barbeques, from quaint gatherings, to grand affairs that include nearby cousins and neighbors.
"We grill for pretty much any occasion, year-round," admits Kosta
"Dad would even grill under the veranda if it rained."
Kosta's parents, though not connoisseurs, have always had an appreciation for wine.
Where Kosta's dad enjoys Shiraz-cabernet blends, her
mother enjoys dry Riesling or chardonnay, and has "an affinity for bubbles" (sparkling wine).
The image of Bubbles from Finding Nemo, who's fascination is with, well … bubbles … comes to mind.
, herself revels in Semillon from Hunter Valley or Adelaide Hills.
Having developed an infatuation with America while travelling for dance competitions, Kosta utilized her career as an avenue to come back after college, accepting a job as a research scientist.
However, Kosta found the sterility of the lab environment countered her earlier, more fruitful experiences so much that she made an about face in her career, becoming a restaurant manager for a restaurant in Nebraska.
She later moved to Cleveland, Ohio to become the manager at P.F. Chang's-known for their extensive wine program, offering more than 50 wines by the glass-and from there, began developing her wine palate.
went on to work in Detroit, Michigan under Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, and never looked back.
is now excited about Mandarin Oriental's
From their offering of biodynamic (holistically organic) wines that complement the Mandarin's eco-centric attitude, to their international selection of 700 wines, pairing options for the Asian-influenced faire at Silks are endless.
Due to Kosta's penchant for libations from our northern Sonoma coast, it's no surprise that when Mandarin Oriental
began making its own wine label, they employed Hirsch Vineyards for the task.
"They made our '09 Pinot Noir, Ngima's Cuvee," says Kosta
, liberating a higher octave from her
accent yields to the sharp edges of California colloquialism as she
weaves a few Australian curves through her
"For St. Patrick's Day, the Mandarin
hosted a 'green' tasting where we served organic, sustainable wines.
In April, we are hosting an organic wine dinner."
Appropriated by friends as "Principle Wine Provider," Kosta's personal wine collection is vast-her abode is overrun by a libational anthology: bottles perched atop kitchen counters and cabinets, and having made Tetris-like homes in the overflowing wine fridges.
"Life is about learning and mentoring," says Kosta
Silks Restaurant Fact Sheet
Silks Restaurant Fact Sheet