We are Nicole & Krysta, The Grape Witches.  We are obsessed with flavour, story telling and natural wine. We throw monthly natural wine events and educational seminars big and small in Toronto. Join us.   

Somms on a Boat// Lindsey King

Somms on a Boat// Lindsey King

We know that we announced that Guy Rawlings would be on the boat cooking for you on August 20th as our chef, but we haven't yet told you about our master chef!!

Meet Lindsey. You might know her from her ariel-like mane, her tight hugs that make you feel okay for the first time in your life and her extremely talented design skills aka why grape witch posters are no longer hand-painted in the back of Nicole's car. :)

We love Lindsey so much. Not only is she ceaselessly energetic, funny and playful, she is also thoughtful and emotional. A good, silly human striving for real moments in a pool drinking natural cool-kid chardonnay, on a carpet looking up bible references when we decide we need to have a bat mitzvah party, or waiting for pasta while deciding which 90s songs best represent our favourite natural wines. What we mean is, she's special. 

She is a fixture at each and every GW party forever and always if we can help it and we are so proud of her for running the beautiful list at Lake Inez, a very good restaurant in Toronto's east end that you should probably go to. More from our senior master chef below. xo

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name // Senior Master Chef Lindsey King

job// Lifeguard at Lake Inez and Teen Wine Witch at Paris Paris 

what do you most love about choosing nice wine for nice people? // Wine is like music. Maybe you don't know why the music is good, you may not be able to name it's complexities and intricacies, maybe you lack the vocabulary for the exact things you are interpreting but you do know that it feels good and that it does something to you, takes you somewhere, enhances the moment, punctuates it, carves lived experience more deeply into your memory. Wine is a little time capsule that marks festivity. Remember when we stayed up until 9AM on New Years Eve half-dancing half-napping drinking Nova 7? Remember when we drank that liberated Garnaxta when I had that brief obsession with making vegetable pies and a sauce I was then calling "gastrique"? Remember when we drank the Pardas Sumoll out of obnoxious Burgundy glasses in bed and didn't speak much but did feel and learn so much from one another and really it was doomed from the start but ultimately it was worth it to explore? I like to share wine in the same way I may share an album or song that makes me feel so intensely. I think this could be said about many beverages or art forms really but it feels to me particularly romantic with wine. 

favourite wine style of the moment // I have a few answers I'm sorry there is so much variety out there and I have so many ~moods~ that need to be suited with different things! Of course my ultimate favourite style will always be Burgundy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay because I am an old old maudlin woman who will never recover from the intensity of true first love. I have been pretty into a few California projects which feels a bit funny to say because all the new oak and big Robert Parker smoking wines give it a bad name. Arnot-Roberts, Birichino, Edmund's St. John, Sandhi and Scholium Projects all make some pretty special wines that wink and flirt with the old world but manage to retain their own flair. I also love mountain wines, or mountain elixirs. Lean and tart and fresh mineral confused stream waters from the Jura, Etna, Ribera Sacra... I want to add more to this but it's already too long. Okay wait I have to say I love Envinate because I love wines with the spirit of a cheerleader who is also a strong poet and dresses a little outlandishly makes you wonder if you really can have it all in this world. 

greatest misconception about your job you would like to set straight // Some friends and family won't take me to dive bars anymore or if they only have light beer in the fridge they think I'll be deeply unhappy with it. I'm still chill! I'm still relaxed! I still like these things! Take me somewhere with questionable hygienic practices who cares!!! Not me! I am care free and definitely not a hypochondriac! 

greatest misconception about your job you would like to remain deliciously obscured// I'd like to keep everyone thinking that attending a tasting with wine agents is a lavish experience where I become a true hedon being fed grapes and drinking full glasses of beautiful wine and getting party drunk in the middle of the day and someone is fanning me and I'm saying things like 'what a stunning year for Volnay!' and 'sublime acidity!' and then afterwards I say 'ten cases of everything!!' Does anyone think this? Did I just go to a sweet sweet fantasy by myself?

the title of your autobiography // The Old Woman and the Sea - naturally this may change tomorrow but this is how I feel today. 

greatest boating experience you have had up to this point// When I was roughly ten my father bought a well lived-in tempest cuddy cabin that certainly hit all the marks of a mid life crisis purchase. He is quite superstitious about boats and as I'm sure you are well aware, it is incredibly bad luck to rename a boat so for three summers we proudly toured the waterways of Port Severn in a stinky and cumbersome boat named Vay Kay Shun. It was delight and dismay delicately woven together and always fraying at the edges. 

favourite wine to drink surrounded by water while floating// I literally drank Rajat Parr’s Santa Barbara Sandhi Chardonnay in a pool at 2AM yesterday and it was nothing short of pure magic. I discovered that I can tread water in the deep end with my legs whilst drinking from the bottle with my free limbs. I was oddly proud of this very special water choreography. 

outfit inspiration for august 20th// Fitzcarraldo because I could see myself descending into boat-related madness wearing an all white linen suit. 

Writers on a Boat/ Claudia McNeilly

Writers on a Boat/ Claudia McNeilly

Somms on a Boat// Madeleine Hayles

Somms on a Boat// Madeleine Hayles