Blogger Recipient: Nicole Ruiz Hudson

I’m thrilled to introduce Nicole Ruiz Hudson, a food and drink writer and educator currently living in Oakland, California.

She’s happiest nipping, sipping, and hiking her way through new places. Above all, she loves how wine makes friends.

Her excitement about meeting so many wine writers and content products from around the country (and world) is palatable as we approach the conference – wine and friendship? This is a perfect pairing!

She grew up around the hotel industry and has lived all around the U.S. as well as Valencia, Venezuela.  After graduating from Harvard University, Nicole worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles until thoughts of food and wine got the better of her.

Upon moving to New York City, she made the switch and went to culinary school at the International Culinary Center, following it up with a WSET Diploma and Certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. That’s quite a pedigree!

She spent three years in the Tasting Department at Wine Spectator in New York, and is now extremely excited to be back in California. You’ll now find her part-time at Bay Grape in Oakland.

You can also find her recipes with wine pairings regularly on There are also more food and travel adventures on her own blogs,, as well as her latest project,

We are looking forward to meeting you Nicole!

Please stop by and say hello at

Somms Table (facebook)


Nibbling Gypsy (facebook)





Donor Profile: Dallas Wine Chick, Melanie Ofenloch

Melanie_Times_Ten_400x400Melanie Ofenloch, The Dallas Wine Chick, has a philosophy – no wine snobs allowed.  While her profession is marketing, and she recently laucnhed her own consulting business, her passion is drinking wine.  She doesn’t consider herself a wine expert – just an everyday person with a love for the grape, a few annual Pilgrimages to wine regions and at the end of each year, an ugly Visa summary to prove it (her words not mine)!

It took Melanie a long time to realize an everyday person (especially her) could write a wine blog.  She admits that she’s not a sommelier, winery owner, wine marketer or wine expert. But, how many of us are experts? Wine is a product that should be discovered, shared and enjoyed.

Her wine roots are humble.  Growing up, Melanie was given a glass of Uncle Louie’s homemade wine, which was quite an experience – and not a good one.  In college, she shared Gallo pink blush jugs with college roommate for weekend parties.  When she was newly married, Melanie and her husband discovered inexpensive Italian wines together.  She took her first trip to Napa, to realize what a great wine could be and found that wine would become a journey of discovery.  Learning about wine has been wonderful, but Melanie believes that experiencing wine is the fun part.

Editor’s Note:

Melanie is an important part of our Scholarship Committee, and we appreciate her contributions on the committee and her donation!  Even after taking the plunge in to self-employement (gee, wonder what that’s like heehee) she has been instrumental in working with the Ethnifacts team to get the Diversity Grant funded, and has helped with PR activities that are essential to the scholarship.  Thank you Melanie for being an enthusiastic part of our team!

Please reach out to Melanie at @dallaswinechick and check out her awesome blog!

Go go Vino with our Corporate Donor – Hello Vino

Hello Vino LogoHello Vino, the app that helps you choose wines, is one of our corporate donors and has generously provided the souvenir GoVino glasses which you’ll be holding in your hand at WBC! 

As a product designer, developer, marketer, and web agency business owner from San Francisco since 2002, founder Rick Breslin started Hello Vino in 2009. Hello Vino is an app for “non wine snobs” who want to match foods with wine for any occasion.  User reviews, customer ratings, photos, wine tasting preferences, food and wine pairings, wine label image scanner, and location based recommendations are just a few characteristics of this wine app highly rated by the New York Times, Mashable, and NPR. Rick Breslin


Thank you, Rick and the Hello Vino team for your support!  Please find one of the Scholarship Committee reps to get your souvenir GoVino, courtesy of HelloVino!

Editor’s Note:  Check out Hello Vino on twitter, and their app page here!  Available for both iPhone and Android, Rick and the team are avid blogger fans and have many blogger provided reviews available on HelloVino.  Want to know what  your friends are drinking?  Check it out!