Wine Media and Events Specialist
A Cork in the Road, LLC uses wine as a platform for connecting with wine lovers, enthusiasts, novices, professionals, travelers, etc.
Through wine events, classes, and social media adventures, we help people develop skills to explore their own tastes in wine.
Writes articles and creates digital media for wine stories, adventures, and education
Customizes events for private clients both in-person and virtually
Wine vs Beer Data
Researches and analyzes data insight from a signature "Wine vs Beer" event format
Interviews people who are shaping the Southeast wine industry and beyond
Founder of A Cork in the Road, LLC / Host of "The A Cork in the Road" Podcast
Born in Minnesota, Kelly holds a Masters in Exercise Physiology and completed a study abroad program in Argentina during her undergraduate studies in Kinesiology. While pursuing her career in public health, however, she simultaneously fell in love with wine and has since accumulated 10+ years of wine industry education and experience.
From 2011 - 2013, she worked for a South African winemaker while managing a winery in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia learning all aspects of wine production and tasting room sales. Since then, her interest in the people, places, and history of wine has taken her biking to wineries in Mendoza, exploring tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma, learning about Gamay vines in Beaujolais, meeting with producers in Northern Rhône, studying Pinot Noir in Burgundy, and discovering the diversity of microclimates in the Willamette Valley.
After founding A Cork in the Road, LLC in 2018, she contributed to publications about North Georgia wine country, designed multi-course wine pairing dinners for restaurants, hosted 3 seasons of the "A Cork in the Road" podcast, and partnered with retailers to create unique education experiences. She continues to share the joy of all things wine through custom tastings, virtual classes, and Wine vs Beer adventures.
The Power of Partnerships
Listed below are a few of our ongoing partnerships allowing us to work collaboratively with other brands and businesses.
Southeast Wine Educator
Ross Knoll Vineyard in Sonoma County
A Cork in the Road, LLC's newest partnership is with Diane Carpenter, a SommTV Board Member and a Somm Films Executive Producer, who is bringing together a stellar team of wine professionals to support her Ross Knoll Vineyard project. This opportunity will bring us closer to our roots in wine production, and it will be so fun to be able to share these thoughtful small-production wines as part of what we can offer at events and tastings. Shipping direct to your doorstep is available to CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK, ILLINOIS, FLORIDA, VIRGINIA, and GEORGIA.
The Ross Knoll portfolio currently consists of a Rosé of Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley and a White Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley with a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon on the way. Fermented in a neutral oak barrel with low pressure pressing immediately after picking for no color from skin contact, the White Pinot Noir is the "unicorn" of Ross Knoll's production thanks to winemaker, Justin Seidenfeld, crafting a textured, unique, and elevated white wine made from a red grape.
Wine Pocket Handbag Designer
P. Sherrod & Co. in Atlanta, GA
Partnership with P. Sherrod & Co. began in Atlanta, GA when Donna was planning a fashion show for her line of leather handbags in the fall of 2018. She found Kelly by searching online for a wine educator who could pair wines to several ensembles for the show. At the event, Kelly selected wines based on the style of each look to serve to guests as each model walked the runway. It was a sold-out success and sparked ideas for further collaboration.
Kelly recognized a need among wine lovers for a more practical yet stylish way to carry wine bottles between events, and Donna had the skills and resources to facilitate a design and manufacturing process. Their teamwork guided each wine-loving detail and business decision that has led to the launch of their co-branded specialty handbag for wine lovers.
The Fall Collection is sold out for online orders, but our retail partners in Georgia and California still have some inventory available. The Summer Collection will launch in July 2022 along with several pop-up events around Atlanta.
Join us for a ticketed wine education and exploration experience - follow @acorkintheroad for all updates and event announcements
We are heading back to the theater at the Epicurean Hotel in Midtown of Atlanta for another entertaining night of blind tasting exploration in partnership with Joe Herrig, Director of Education for Georgia Crown. We've designed this line-up specifically to help you discover some new go-to grape varieties. Each round of blind tasting will include a wine from a more commonly-known grape variety next to a wine from a similar yet lesser-known grape variety to contrast styles side by side without preconceived ideas of what is in the glass. Each ticket includes tasting 6 wines and a cheese/charcuterie spread. Plus, attendees who choose to dine at one of the onsite restaurants after the event will receive 10% off food.
Join us for the 3rd class of our Wine Education Series! This time, we will compare stylistic differences between the characteristics of wines from Napa and Sonoma. We will be tasting blinded comparisons across three rounds of same-grape matchups featuring Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love exploring California as much as we do, this is an event you don't want to miss! We've partnered with Vivian Jago of Empire Distributors to design this educational tasting flight. Light bites are included for each guest.
Join us for a guided multicourse dinner menu of wine, beer, and food pairings! Using the unique format created by A Cork in the Road, LLC, this beverage showdown will deepen your understanding of the flavors, smells, and styles of beverages for food pairings. Guests will sample wines and beers throughout several rounds of food pairings while collecting data to determine which beverage pairs best with each dish...will WINE or BEER win? You won’t want to miss this beverage battle!
The "A Cork in the Road" Podcast highlights people who are shaping the Southeast wine industry and beyond.
Or search for "A Cork in the Road" wherever you get your podcasts.
To honor incredible people and share inspiring stories, this podcast shines a light on those who are inspiring education and truly setting the bar in the industry. This series goes behind the wine so you can meet the distributors, retailers, educators, beverage managers, etc. who are shaping the wine market.
We are currently producing ~3 episodes each month. Recent guests include:
All episodes from Seasons 1-6 are also still available.
Share and write us a review. You can also support the show directly on Anchor's platform.
Events and Bookings
Custom events are available upon request. Some virtual tasting options are available for booking directly through the Telesomm App - to see the virtual classes on the App, click here, enter your email on the app, and then find the "Kelly" profile.
Wine vs Beer Data Dinners
Custom Corporate Client Events & Wine Pairing Dinners
Palate Training and Wine Structure Workshop
"PINKies Up" Rosé Exploration
How to Navigate a Local Wine Shop
Discover Small Producers of Sonoma Valley
Discover Small Producers of Virginia
Discover Small Producers of Willamette Valley
Old- vs. New-World Blind Tasting
California, Oregon, or Virginia Wine Travel Planning Consultation
Available for reporting assignments and media bookings