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Meet John Paul Kaminga: Wine Manager at Blanchards

02 June

Name: John Paul Kaminga

Store Name and City: Blanchards, Jamaica Plain, MA

Your Role: Wine Manager

What do you love about working with wine: The people. I have made great friends through wine and as a retailer I get to meet so many types on the job: farmers who make wine, 'flying' winemakers, all sorts of business people and every type of customer from amateur to connoisseur.

What do you love about Rioja: The huge variety of styles would be one thing to love; between those who look to the past for inspiration and those who have novel visions there are so many flavors to be found in the wines of Rioja. Another thing to love would be access to older vintages; no other region in the world has so many wineries that hold back wine for late release.

What’s your favorite current wine trend: I love education and although increased access to information is a trend in virtually every aspect of life, I am particularly aware of it when it comes to wine. I can't really quantify this but I feel like my average customer asks more, and better, questions now than they did a few years ago. I love when people ask me questions that open my mind, questions that lead me to an answer I've never given before, and I feel like this happens more and more.

What’s your most memorable wine moment: I can't really say there is one answer to this question, but since we're talking about Rioja let's say it was the time I met Maria Jose Lopez de Heredia and tasted through a huge line up of her wines going back to 70s; wines like those are tattoos, they never leave you.