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Melissa Giges |


I started working in hospitality during a summer in college while majoring in music in Washington, DC. My first restaurant job was as a singing server, and I was hired because I could sing. I knew nothing about waiting tables. Except for cheap bottles of Pinot Grigio downed before going out with girlfriends, I knew nothing about wine. My love for wine began in my mid-twenties as a server in NYC, when I had the opportunity to try wines that I couldn’t afford. Since then, I’ve had various roles in restaurants, wine bars, and for wine distributors, educating others on wines and food pairings, and continuing my education in wine while sharing and talking about it with colleagues and friends.  


My biggest accomplishment was leaving my job to travel around the world for eight months with my partner, Jacob, working at different wineries & breweries. We cared for olive trees & conducted wine tastings in Sicily, harvested grapes in Northern Spain, and brewed beer in Germany. We ate and drank our way through Bangkok and Hanoi, and made our way to Victoria, Australia, working the vineyards in the morning & selling wine memberships in the afternoon. We toiled in the vineyards on the South Island of New Zealand, and then continued on to South America, touring Colchagua and the surrounding wine regions in Chile. We climbed Machu Picchu in Peru, and finished our eight month trip with a beach vacation in Bocas del Toro off the northern coast of Panama. I currently reside in the LES of Manhattan with my partner and our new puppy, Zamora. (Our blue-eyed Husky/Lab/Beagle mix named after our favorite city in Spain). 

When I'm feeling like I want to indulge:

  • Caviar & Champagne (and sometimes chilled vodka)
  • Bubbles & Oysters
    A cheese plate + ALL the accoutrement + a crusty loaf of bread
  • Cannoli’s from Veniero’s
  • A fancy bar of dark chocolate from the freezer paired with a luscious red wine
  • A big bowl of simple homemade pasta with the finest table wine

Memorable Bites From the Neighborhood

  • Thai Diner Egg Sandwich - Thai Diner
  • Papaya & Pig Ear Salad and Lemongrass Pork Bun Cha -Hanoi House
  • Korean Big Bird Bun - Nowon
  • All egg sandwiches - C&B
  • Everything - Atla
  • Dry-rubbed baked wings - Marshall Stack

When I'm Not Drinking Wine:

  • Walking the NYC bridges
  • Hitting a punching bag
  • Shopping at the USQ farmers market
  • Cooking at home
  • Listening to music at Rockwood Music Hall
  • Eating cheese (with wine)

A Few Things People Don't Know About Me:

  • I sang the National Anthem at Giants Stadium
  • My original songs have aired on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” “Bad Girls Club,” & “The Real World,”
  • I like to dance to music first thing in the morning
  • I thrive on taking leftovers and repurposing them
  • I love dive bars – Narragansett & a house whiskey all night long
  • I’m hoping Chopped will call for a couples’ throw-down

Countries & Regions I'm Drinking From Right Now:

  • Goriška Brda, Slovenia
  • Colchagua & Maipo Valley, Chile
  • Toro, Spain
    Campania (& ALL the other regions), Italy
  • Beaujolais, France
  • South Island, New Zealand (Chardonnay & Pinot Noir mostly)



Melisssa's Picks

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Melissa Giges - Convive Wine and Spirits