Wine and Nessa Lilly go together like new oak to a freshly harvested California Cabernet. It just agrees with her. And how could it not? Having studied design in Tuscany, she fell in love with the romance behind the wine culture and her personal wine ideals and rituals that she brought home. Though her wine journey as found her expanding her palette to include fruit-forward California Chardonnays and reds, old world Sangiovese based Chianti wines will always have her heart. We had the chance to chat at the McManis Family Vineyards Dinner in the Notable Loft and she answered a few of our burning questions about her wine journey.
Tell me about your wine journey
“I probably started with the sweeter whites when I was in university and from there it just kind of evolved and I started drinking red in Italy when I spent a summer attending school in Tuscany. You could say I had a love affair with Chianti and the wine culture there really opened my eyes.”
When you picture your perfect day does it involve wine?
“Editorial work fills my days, but if I have a night that I’m not going to an event, I’m at home with my dog cooking with a glass of wine in hand”
Where is your favourite place to enjoy a glass of wine?
“In the kitchen or at the cottage when I’m totally relaxed by the fire and just hanging out.
What was your favourite wine of the night?
“I normally go for a Pinot or Merlot, something a bit lighter, but I loved the McManis North Forty blend tonight. I found it to be very smooth and that’s typically why I like Merlot, for that velvety texture on my palette. It’s so good!”
Would you drink wine out of a mason jar or out of a straw? How adventurous are you?
“Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to drink wine the traditional way, in glasses with stems. I like stemless wine glasses but I find my wine gets warm too quickly in them. I’m in love with the ritual of pouring wine into a proper wine glass I will never reach for stemless out of choice, and when it comes to Champagne, I’m all about the traditional coup glasses over the more modern flutes”
What’s your favourite food or meal to pair with wine?
“I’m dairy free so when it comes to cooking I find I get really good recipes from GOOP. Gwyneth Paltrow’s Chicken and Dumplings pairs perfectly with the McManis Chardonnay and it’s totally one of my regular weeknight go-to recipes.”
If you’re not sipping wine, what is your libation of choice?
“Specifically, the Aphrodite cocktail from Mamakas – it’s divine!”
Learn more about McManis Family Vineyards here