Joanie Karapetian is Italian-American by birth, an Italian-wine peddler by trade. And her hobby is ItalianWineGeek.com, the blog site she launched in August to share her endeavors, tastes and travels as a manager for importers of the wines she holds close to her heart.
As the regional manager for Banville & Jones Wine Merchants, Karapetian teaches the sales force about what they import and how to sell the wines to restaurants and wine shops, including Las Vegas Italian favorites Carnevino at the Palazzo and Ferraro’s. This day job gives her blog a unique perspective, as she tells readers about new wines in her easygoing, bubbly style, as if she is introducing old friends to one another. It’s easy for wine blogs to get monotonous with descriptions of terroir and flavor and tasting notes, but with Karapetian it comes off as more conversational, with a tone of real excitement that makes readers truly want to try her pairings, such as Schiopetto Friulano with fresh seafood from Bartolotta.
Based in Huntington Beach, Calif., she comes to Las Vegas to introduce new labels, and doesn’t just keep her business on the Strip and limited to her clients. She’s been able to write about her favorite bartenders and cocktails at Carnevino, as well as express her thoughts on how the new downtown hot spot Le Thai should have a wine list.
Officially, Karapetian began her blog to help promote wine producers, restaurants and wine and food professionals she works with, but she’s enjoying its unexpected evolution. “It’s a very nice bridge between being my professional self and enjoying my creative hobby of writing about wine and Italy.”