Posted by: Jeffsayyes | October 31, 2009

Interview with Marnie Old – Presenter at Cook. Eat. Drink. Live.

Marnie Old is a “nationally-renowned sommelier, author and wine educator.” She will be presenting at the Cook Eat Drink Live event next weekend (November 6-8) in NYC. I recently got the chance to ask her a few questions about drinking, living and the event she will be featured in. Here is the entire transcript of our interview…

Your Author, JO, written at 2am: Hey Marnie, thanks for doing this. I wanted to throw a few questions at you before I go to the C.E.D.L. event – to be featured on my site, as some added value to the usual blog rehash of an event listing. I’m up pretty late and hungry, so these questions might be a bit loopy, but that’s usually where weird creativity comes from. let’s see what happens…

First of all, I don’t know a thing about wine. I have strong sentiments towards solids, but pairings get lost in thought. I’m just starting to get into Russian beers because they are really cheap at my Trade Fair supermarket and they taste great, so maybe the gates are opening to liquid. My point is: go easy on me.

Answer whatever you like, ambiguous questions are up to your own interpretation:

JO: Where were you born and why did you choose where you currently live?
Marnie Old: I was born in Evanston, IL, but my parents were only there 2 years while my dad completed grad school. I grew up in Winnipeg, MB and was the only one in my family with dual US / Canadian citizenship. In senior year of high school, I started seeing a guy who happened to be an American from Philadelphia. After I graduated, I moved down here thinking it’d be good to see the world a little. Well, that was 1987. I’m still here and we’re still together. I love Philadelphia, and think it’s probably better appreciated by those who grew up somewhere else. People here have a built-in inferiority complex, since they’re wedged between Washington DC, the capital of the country, and New York, the capital of the world.

JO: Is there anyone at this event that you are excited to meet? or food/drink to sample?
MO: On the beverage side, I’ve admired Kara Newman’s work and am pleased I’ll get to meet Ted Allen. Food-wise, I’m curious to see what Joey Campanaro has up his sleeve and always love the good eats from D’Artagnan’s Ariane Daguin.

JO: Your date orders wine for you both. What does he order for to gain your respect? To make you chuckle to yourself ? To share your sheets?
– Respect: Something French. Not high end, just French.
– Chuckle: Sparkling reds like Italian Lambrusco or Australian Sparkling Shiraz – they’re tasty, but have a wacky vibe.
– Share Sheets: Something spectacular. The kind of wine that makes you wish the night wouldn’t end.

JO: What’s your latest imbibing discovery?
MO: Roter Weinbergpfirsich Likor – a kooky fruit liqueur I stumbled on in Germany last month. It’s made with a weird local fruit that translates as the ‘red vineyard peach’. The fruit is apparently rock hard and therefore not edible, but has the most absurdly vivid flavor – wowza!

JO: Your tastes have probably developed over your career, are there any beverages that have suddenly taken you which you weren’t a fan of in the past?
MO: Sure. Those weird and wonderful spritzy whites from Basque Country in Spain would be a good example. If I’d tried Txakoli Getariako before I got into wine, I’m not sure I’d understand that its sharp acidity are designed to balance saltiness in food.

JO: What do you hope your audience will walk away with from your presentation at Cook.Live.etc.?
MO: I’m planning to give a quick intense demo of one of the key principles behind wine and food pairing. We’ll show how and why wines taste different with salty vs. sugary sauces. I hope it’ll give people a sense of confidence in choosing wines moving forward.

Thanks, Marnie Old, for your graciousness, forthrightness and the time you took out of your schedule to shed a little insight for the readers of this website. I wish you all the success in the world.

The Official website for the event
Marnie Old’s official website
My favorite Philadelphian, Holly Moore

Event info:

What: 2009 Cook. Eat. Drink. Live.
When: November 6-8, 2009. Friday 6-9PM, Saturday 2-6PM, Sunday 2-6PM
Where: The Tunnel/La.Venue, 608 West 28th Street, NY, NY
Agenda: Interactive food festival featuring tastings, chef demos, wineries, cocktails, popular restaurants, and opportunities for early holiday shopping.
Tickets are $65.00 per day and can be purchased online ( or by phone: 888-695-0888.

Enjoy a taste of the good life and kick-off the holiday dining and entertaining season in NYC! Cook Eat Drink Live is a three-day modern food and wine event at The Tunnel & La.Venue (608 West 28th Street), featuring a large sampling of ultra-premium gourmet foods and spirits, plus appearances from some of the city’s premier chefs. Indulge in samples from your favorite Zagat-rated restaurant and shop for the favorite “foodie” in your life.


  1. At some point in my life I have seriously considered becoming a fromager.

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