Blogger Pamela Pajuelo shares wine tips, tasting notes and reviews – all in a way that’s mean to make the world of wine less intimidating to consumers. (Photo/Courtesy Pamela Pajuelo )

Food blogs we love: Señorita Vino

Who’s blogging: My name is Pamela Pajuelo and—don’t take this the wrong way—I grew up drinking wine. My parents are Peruvian and there are some Italian branches in the family tree, so there was wine on the table for everyone at holidays, birthdays, First Communions and anniversaries. Right before I graduated college, I spent a summer working in Geneva, Switzerland. That’s where the whole food-wine-life connection clicked one evening during an al fresco dinner.

Today, I’m a public relations consultant, freelance writer and wine blogger. The idea for Señorita Vino came to me during Hispanicize 2011 when someone mentioned that there were no Latina wine bloggers. Unlike many wine blogs that focus on tasting notes and reviews, the goal of my blog is to make wine less intimidating and more accessible to Latinas and anyone who wants to learn about it. Wine has been around for thousands of years and enjoyed by people from all walks of life throughout history. It shouldn’t be any different today. In addition to my bachelor’s degree, I hold a certificate in Wine Education and Management from UCLA. I’m also a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and I’m currently pursuing a WSET certification.

Explain your blog name: I chose Señorita Vino because I thought it was approachable and as far away as you could get from the stereotype of a stuffy, pompous wine expert. When people see the name, I want them to envision a down-to-earth friend, sister or neighbor who is fun to hang out with, loves her food, and happens to know about wine but isn’t a jerk about it. I also wanted a name that would appeal to Latinas and non-Latinas alike. The great thing is that it’s generated a substantial male following, too.

Blogging since: April 2011

Blogging from: A tiny beach town in Los Angeles County, where the desk in my home office is piled with wine reference books, wine region brochures, and yes, the occasional wine bottle. I do use a spit cup when I taste wine for review purposes, so it’s not as wild as it sounds. And I always have red wine stain remover within easy reach.

Wine blogger Pamela Pajuelo

Wine blogger Pamela Pajuelo

 Most popular post: Readers tend to favor posts about wine bars, wine regions and wine shops that earn the “Snob-Free Wine Zone” designation, as well as posts covering wine basics. A recent piece featuring seven quick facts about Cabernet Sauvignon is an example.

What you’ve learned about wine while blogging: I was a science geek growing up, so the whole life cycle of the vine and the biological aspects of winemaking fascinate me. I’m also amazed by the Latin influence on winemaking. The first vines in California were planted by Spanish missionaries, the oldest winery in the Americas is in Mexico, and Argentina and Chile are universally recognized as world-class winemaking countries.

Why is sharing your knowledge about wine so important to you?  I grew up in a home where wine was used in cooking and served during family celebrations, so it was a part of everyday life. As an adult, I noticed that many of my Latina friends seemed interested in wine, but had this perception that wine was only for an elite group of people who either knew a lot about it or had to spend lots of money to acquire it. Wine is such a natural fit with Latin culture—our love of food, family and friends—that I feel compelled to dispel the idea that it’s somehow unattainable or something to be feared. You don’t need to have this encyclopedic knowledge to appreciate a bottle of wine—all you need is a glass, a group of good friends and your go-to snack, whether it’s cheese and crackers or guacamole and chips.

Where do you get inspiration for your posts? It can be anything from a new wine I’ve discovered to a wine region I’ve visited, or a wine-related news item. Last year, a study found a connection between red wine and weight control, so I had fun with that (goodbye gym, hello Merlot!). But it was really an opportunity to educate my readers about some of the heart-healthy components found in red wine.

What have you learned from blogging? Blogging can open doors professionally. For writers or aspiring writers, blogging is an opportunity to find your voice, stretch your creative abilities and exercise your research, interviewing and editing skills. It’s also a hands-on way to learn about social media.

Where else can we find you online? I’m a contributing writer for Latina magazine’s TheLatinKitchen.com. I spend way more time than I should on Twitter, and you can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

What are your favorite food blogs? I love The Glutster for its intelligent writing, Peru Delights for the classic Peruvian recipes I grew up with, Comiendo en L.A. for the tips on local Latin American restaurants, Presley’s Pantry for the clever videos, Nibbles and Feasts for the drool-worthy photography, and LatinoFoodie for the variety of the foods they feature.

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