GUY FIERI AND JIMMY SMITH OF CA’ MOMI
Okay, maybe they don’t look all that much alike. But add the ‘tude and TV personality Guy Fieri and Jimmy Smith, national sales manager for Ca’ Momi wine in Napa, could definitely be brothers.
We’re featuring this wild and woolly pair in honor of the Family Winemakers of California tasting happening in Pasadena on Tuesday, March 15. They had an open-to-the-public event in Del Mar on Sunday, but we had to miss it. However, we will be there on Tuesday, at the trade-only event, to check out what’s new and exciting. Or at least interesting.
We met Smith at last year’s event, and Anne was struck by his resemblance to Fieri – the celebrity chef who started out doing Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network, and went on to host Minute to Win It, on NBC. Then, in January, Anne caught up with Fieri.
Neither of the guys are terribly worried about having a doppleganger.
“Well, let me send him some of the bills, then,” Fieri joked.
Smith just suggested that he actually looks more like Billy Idol’s father.
Both get asked a lot about wine, but Fieri said that folks mostly want to know what he likes and Smith said folks are looking for the next big thing.
“In general, the question I get more than anything from anybody is what’s hot? What’s new?” Smith said.
Fieri said he mostly gets asked what his favorite wine is, but that’s a little hard for him to say .
“I get into favorite wineries more than I get into favorite wines,” he said. “And if you really believe in your winery, then you’ll have a chance to move yourself through different varietals.”
One of his current faves is Bonny Doon Vineyards and while he didn’t say much about the wine, he does love the label on Le Cigare Volant, Bonny Doon’s seriously good Rhone-style blend, particularly because of the notation that in France, a law was passed in the 1950s that outlawed alien landings in the vineyards.
“Such and eclectic imagination of wine,” Fieri said.
Smith – who is doing a lot of public tastings and so can be expected to be asked about trends – says that a lot of people are asking for sweet wines.
“It’s amazing how many sweet tooths have appeared and reared it’s ugly head,” he said, adding that while he does like sweeter wines, he doesn’t like the really, really sweet ones.
Smith also noted that there’s a big difference in how younger wine drinkers approach wines.
“They ask a lot of questions but they don’t ask detailed questions,” he said.
Most 20-somethings want to know where the winery is and what the wine tastes like, whereas the 40-plus crowd is asking the real geeky stuff and are more selective about what they drink.
“It’s a wine tasting. The point is to try the stuff,” Smith said, which the younger drinkers do. “It’s real interesting to see the dichotomy.”