Casey’s wine journey started in Kerikeri, followed by Auckland, Dubai and now Victoria. She launched the Travelling Corkscrew 8 years ago to document her wine journey and we’re thrilled to find out more about her wine ventures in the following Q&A.
Tell us a bit about the Travelling Corkscrew and Grand Cru Digital
My initial love for the wine world is thanks to my parents. They visited one of the local wineries in Kerikeri (Cottle Hill Winery) so frequently that the lovely owners, Barb & Mike, asked if I wanted an after school job. I did a wide range of tasks around the vineyard and winery with a lot of time spent in the labelling room. I actually earned the title ‘Labelling Queen’!
After high school I moved to Auckland to study my Bachelor of Communications degree, majoring in PR. Whilst at uni I worked part time at Glengarry’s which is where my love for wine really bloomed (I also had turned 18 by this stage, so wine was a heck load more fun without parent supervision!).
Once uni was done, I travelled and it was when I was working in fine wine sales in Dubai that I started the Travelling Corkscrew wine blog in 2010. At the time I was selling wine to very wealthy people and I wanted an outlet to share my knowledge with your everyday wine drinkers too.
My company in Dubai put me through my WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) 2 and 3 certificates which set me up with plenty of knowledge that I used on a 9 month backpacking trip around Europe. My now husband (aka Mr Spittoon) and I travelled, tasted a ton of wine and I wrote about it on the blog.
Since moving to Australia in 2012 the TC has really flourished and built up a great community of wine lovers with the blog averaging 10-15k visitors per month. The blog is a fun and approachable view of the wine world which travels with me through my wine and life experiences.
The blog is no doubt the reason I started working in the digital marketing industry and it has since led me to starting my own business, Grand Cru Digital. It had to have a wine influenced name of course! Grand Cru Digital helps small businesses (wine and non-wine related) with their SEO and Google Ads.
I feel extremely lucky to have found not one but two passions in life. I love what I do which I’ve been told is quite obvious (right down to my shoes).
If you were a wine, what wine would you be?
Definitely a tannic wine that benefits from being decanted. I am most comfortable behind a computer (or in the cellar), which means it can takes me a little while to open up to people.
However don’t mistake me for someone who is too serious. When it comes to wine, I love to have fun.
What’s your go-to wine right now and which wine are you saving for a special occasion?
It really depends on my mood, who I’m with, the weather, and my budget! However I can never go past a bottle of nice oaky Chardonnay or dry bubbles.
My husband started off a bad, or good depending on how you look at it, tradition of having a bottle of Cristal 2004 Champagne on our wedding anniversary. So that would be our very special occasion choice (or another 2004 Champagne as that’s the year we met). If it’s another occasion then a nice bottle of Champagne, albeit a bit cheaper is the typical go-to.
Wine & dine, what’s your favourite match?
Something I only discovered earlier this year is Chablis and goats cheese – they are a match made in heaven! I also love Sauv Blanc and fish’n’chips, Champagne and oysters or popcorn, Shiraz and curry, bacon butty’s and sparkling red…. I could literally go on and on. I am definitely not afraid to try new matches and I love to cook.
Share a fact about yourself that only a few know
I created my blog (and my website for Grand Cru Digital) by myself. I am a bit of a geek in that regard. I love learning about websites and how they work. This also means my web host has had to fix numerous things I have broken!
Also I have a teetotaller brother and my best friend doesn’t drink wine, she loves her beer!
Things you still want to do – what’s on your bucket list?
Wine travel to everywhere I haven’t been! High on my list at the moment is Tasmania. As we have only recently moved to Victoria and are now so close to Tazzy, I really want to get over there.
And I still feel like I need to help get the word out that people shouldn’t worry about what others think about what you drink. I still find there are too many people listening to ‘wine snobs’ and being made to feel inferior or intimidated when it comes to wine. Which ultimately holds them back from discovering the amazing wonders of the wine world.
Dead or alive, who would you like to share a glass of vino with?
My family. I know it’s cheesy, but seeing as I am living away from New Zealand it’s my family I miss the most. Sometimes a wine over FaceTime just doesn’t cut it. A night of family, wine, food and plenty of banging hits by Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash and Brian Adams would suit me down to a tee.