Michele fell in love with the industry for the first time at The Culinary Institute of America. She explains, “Professor Michael Weiss made wine seem like a delicate art, one to be admired as well as sought after. I ended up with a perfect score in that class, and Professor Weiss asked me to become his teaching assistant for a year. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I have been a bar manager at a prestigious Italian restaurant with an exceptional wine program for over three and a half years now, but the liquor world really interests me. It’s as close to cooking as you can get in the front of the house, and it really is an art. Learning new ingredients always sparks my imagination. Learning where an ingredient comes from and the history behind it is fascinating. In this industry, turnover is very high, and I love to bartend whenever we are between bartenders.”
When we asked what keeps her passionate about her work, she answered, “I love this industry. We take care of people for a living, and we take care of each other. I love meeting new people in the area around me, and bonding over who likes to drink what. Passion is easy to keep alive when you’re surrounded by people who are just as passionate as you are. I am always looking to be involved in every aspect of this industry. I volunteer to help people with all of their events, and I enjoy putting them on myself.”
Michele remembers her initial experience with Angel’s Envy, “The first time I heard the name Angel’s Envy I thought, “Wow, what a cool name!” Then I tried the port wine aged whiskey and I was in love. That tiny, raisin-like quality adds a depth and a complexity that other spirits are lacking. The rye finished in rum casks also struck me as genius. The quality is easy to taste, and they stand up to every other brand in the market. The bottle shape is gorgeous, and the color of the cask strength is mouth-watering.”
When she’s not working, Michele gets as far away as possible. “I enjoy traveling a lot. I’m of the belief that it’s easiest to learn about a culture by experiencing it for yourself. I work hard, so throughout the year, I’m always planning some little adventure to keep me excited. While these trips I take might be considered educational, they also keep me passionate about what I do. It is important to remain humble, no matter how much you know (or think you know!); someone out there always knows more than you do. It is important to me to meet some of the incredible people who make wine and liquor possible.” Look for Michele at Angel’s Envy events throughout Philadelphia and be sure to say hello. You just might learn something.