Expert Staff Picks

Emily HoltEmily Holt – Certified Bourbon Steward

I am from Corbin, Kentucky. I moved to Louisville in August 2017 to attend law school after graduating from the University of Kentucky. I enjoy trying new food and beverages. When I find a unique flavor combination I usually have to buy it, my latest purchase being Spider Monkey, a serrano pepper and ginger agave spirit. I also particularly enjoy sour beers and white wine.

Recommendations:

Beer: Anything by Upland or Funkwerks. I really like trying all of the new beers we get in, so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite.

 
Bourbon: I really like Kentucky Spirit, especially our store picks. Early Times BiB is probably my runner-up because it is delicious and a great price.
 
Wine: My favorite white wine is the Custard Chardonnay because it has a lot of butter and vanilla. My favorite red wine right now is probably the Confidencial red blend.

Emily Meadows – Manager/Spirits & Specialties Buyer/Executive Bourbon Steward

I have been working in the store off and on since we opened in 2008 and have been here full time for the past 4 years. My current role is to find new spirits to bring to the store. I want to see if I can find the not so common item and bring them to our customers. Red wine and whiskey are my drinks of choice now. Give me a good cab, or a grenache, or anything on the 90point rack and I will be happy. Mezcal is what I will be drinking for the summer, probably the Bozal Cuixe.

JJ ValentineJ.J. Valentine – Certified Bourbon Steward

I was born in Mayberry (Mt. Airy, NC) and I came to Kentucky via Nebraska and never knew much about bourbon. Since being in Kentucky I’ve learned the great history of America’s Whiskey. I love tech and gaming. Not many know that I actually met my wife on World of Warcraft! We’ve been married for eight years now.

Recommendations:

Bourbons: Old Fitzgerald Bottle in Bond. This wheated bottle in bond bourbon is my popular drink. I’m a huge fan of wheated bourbons and bottled-in-bond due to the history of the Bottled-in-Bond Act.

If I’m feeling special I will drink one of my Old Weller Antique store picks. My favorite by far is my bottle of OWA Westport Whiskey & Wine that had a dump date of 6/23/2015, which was my 40th birthday. That’s MY birthday bourbon drink.

Beer: High West Barrel Aged Ballast Point Victory at Sea which is an Imperial porter with coffee and Vanilla aged in High West bourbon and rye barrels.

Wine: Tarima is a Monastrell from Jumilla, Murica, Spain that absolutely enjoy. Fresh raspberries, floral and full bodied. I highly recommend.

Jenn Buck – CSW, Certified Bourbon Steward

I started my wine journey during my study abroad year in Avignon, France. When I wasn’t in class, I taught English to a winemaker in Beaumes-de-Venise and his family. I was paid in wine and day trips out to the vineyards which was a plus. When I got back, I took a break to finish my MA in French language and culture. I also started working part-time in a local vineyard’s tasting room. After that, I was offered a full-time teaching position, became a customer of Westport Whiskey & Wine and now work there! I became a CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine) in April of 2018 and am taking the theory portion of the CWE (Certified Wine Educator) exam in December 2019.

Recommendations:

Domaine du Possible Tout bu or not tout bu: It’s such an awesome and interesting Grenache/Mourvedre blend from Southern France. It’s organic and undergoes a partial carbonic maceration. It’s soft and easy to drink but makes you look forward to each sip as it changes in the glass. 

Felino Cabernet Sauvignon any vintage: One of my all-time favorites in the store. It’s my go-to wine whenever I just want something delicious to drink that doesn’t hurt my bank account. It’s earthy, leathery and has hints of tobacco that beat many other Cabs at higher price points.

Domaine de Bordenave Jurancon Sec: Such a good dry white wine! I use it a lot in the classes I teach at Westport because you would never think to buy it. It’s made from Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng so not everyday varietals. It’s the perfect blend of fresh, fruity and honey flavors and aromas. Probably my favorite white wine in the store right now.

Daniel WeberDaniel Weber – Certified Bourbon Steward

I joined WW&W in 2014, after having shopped here for years. I figured if I was going to hang around the store regularly, I might as well be paid for it. I love whiskey, primarily bourbon and craft beer. I love helping folks in the Tasting Room discover new favorites they’ve never tried before. A CPA by day, I am enjoying Westport as my “fun job.” I am married to Deirdre, with two children, Patrick & Nora.

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