The Wine Princess Bride
For you ladies dreaming of casting off your office jobs for the romance and glamour of a life spent skipping through the world’s most beautiful vineyards, your odds diminished by one last week. On Sunday, August 28, Keith Wallace, a prince of the Philadelphia wine world, took a princess.
Wallace, who founded The Wine School of Philadelphia, married former attorney and current sommelier Alana Zerbe, and the pair is, as we speak, living your dream. They’re honeymooning at vineyards in Rioja and Basque country (and will soon learn Spanish to enhance future trips), planning wine vacations to China, and readying themselves for a national promotional campaign on behalf of the book they co-wrote, Corked & Forked, which (naturally) is about your two passions: wine and food.
And if all that isn’t oh-so-divine enough for you, the newlyweds spend their time working together at the school’s new digs in a posh Rittenhouse mansion, and courted each other by cooking elaborate meals, hosting fabulous dinner parties and crawling through what Wallace calls “crazy-bad neighborhoods” to chase down the best Vietnamese, Thai, Ethiopian and Korean food in Philly and Washington, D.C.
Don’t despair that strangers are living your fantasy life, though. Instead, let Zerbe be your inspiration. After all, the petite blonde was once just like you: A corporate lawyer in D.C. who earned a master’s in international human rights law and joined the non-profit sector to work on issues surrounding human trafficking and slavery. Her hobbies were as average as her career. You know, volunteering at a winery in Virginia, traveling to the wine regions of Europe and acquiring what her new husband calls “a limited (and expensive) knowledge of Burgundies, Barolos, and Alsatian wines.”
Finally, you can certainly re-create the run-of-mill way she met her husband (the one who awarded her a sommelier certification and a job in the wine industry). Just RSVP to a party hosted by a prominent food critic, become intrigued by another guest’s Evite response, which, according to Wallace, was “unbelievably horrible … involving Gandhi, a green tea smoothie, and his British overlords,” and marry him. Soon you’ll be claiming the jetsetting wine lifestyle you deserve.
Or if that fails, you can always spend your time flirting with the bartenders at Bar Ferdinand.
Wine School of Philadelphia [Official website]
Corked & Forked [amazon.com]
Photo courtesy Wren and Field Photography