Wine Media and Events Specialist
A Cork in the Road, LLC uses wine as a platform for connecting and communicating with wine enthusiasts, novices, professionals, travelers, etc. Through designing wine events, teaching wine classes, producing audio journalism, and creating social media adventures, we help people develop skills to explore their own tastes in wine.
Writes articles and creates digital media for wine travel and education
Customizes events for private clients both in-person and virtually
Designed and retails a leather wine handbag with an insulated pocket
Interviews people 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, expanding perceptions of Port in Portugal, and discovering the diversity of microclimates in the Willamette Valley.
After founding A Cork in the Road, LLC in 2018, she has contributed to wine and travel publications, designed multi-course wine pairing dinners for restaurants, produced 100+ episodes of the "A Cork in the Road" podcast, and partnered with retailers to create a wide variety of unique education experiences. She continues to share the joy of all things wine through custom tastings, virtual classes, and Wine vs Beer adventures.
Wine Pocket Handbag Designer
with 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 first Fall Collection in 2021 sold out, but now after launching several new colors, we have grown to establish retail partners in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and California as well as have inventory available for sale through Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
CONTACT US with interest in fashion event collaboration or wholesale partnership.
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.
Recipient of The Hue Society's
"2023 Podcast of the Year" Award
We are currently producing ~3 episodes each month. Recent guests include:
Episode 112 - Anthony Panzica, Beverage Director of The Porchetta Group
Episode 113 - Hailey Culmone, Certified Sommelier and Wine Consultant
Episode 114 - Jordan Smelt, Wine Director and Co-Owner of Lucian Books & Wine
Episode 115 - Steffini Bethea, Owner of Purple Corkscrew Wine Shop and Tasting Room
All episodes from Seasons 1-6 are also still available. Share and write us a review. You can also make a monthly contribution on Anchor's platform.
Join us for a ticketed wine education and exploration experience - follow @acorkintheroad for all updates and event announcements
Wednesday, October 4, 6:30-8:30pm
@ The Epicurean Atlanta Theatre
We are teaming up with Chef Pat Pascarella to showcase the art of making traditional Italian Gnocchi during a 3-course Italian wine dinner! In this interactive class, you’ll learn the methods behind kneading the dough, tips to perfecting the ridges, and how to pair with other ingredients for a completed dish! In addition to the 3 courses of Gnocchi, guests will enjoy 4 wine tastings expertly paired and presented by A Cork in the Road. Attendees who choose to visit one of the hotel's bars or restaurants before or after the event will receive a 10% off offer. During the month of October, proceeds from Epicurean Theatre October event ticket sales will benefit Giving Kitchen’s Dining with Gratitude campaign to help raise crucial funds for food service workers in crisis!
Saturday, October 14, 4:00-5:30pm
Join us up in the wine country of North Georgia at the gorgeous, new winery and tasting room facility of Limoges Cellars for our monthly education partnership series. October's lineup will feature sparkling RED wines! Guests will learn about the process of blind tasting while analyzing 5 wines to discover your favorites - some are sure to surprise you! It's not a trick...it's a treat. And you'll be the first to taste the newest addition to the Limoges Cellars lineup! A charcuterie and cheese spread will be provided to pair with your wines.
**Class participants will receive 10% off any bottle purchases the day of the event!**
Wednesday, November 1, 7:00-9:30pm
We are hosting Atlanta's screening of the latest film in the SOMM documentary series! If you love movies, culture, history, and wine...you won't want to miss this special event that will also celebrate the incredible Atlanta wine community and the talented Atlanta wine professionals in this city. There are 3 ticket options, but all tickets include a glass of "welcome bubbles" (Domaine Paul Buisse Crémant de Loire NV) and access to the screening. The "We Heart ATL Wine" ticket includes a $10 contribution to educational funds that support wine education and certification endeavors for Atlanta wine professionals, and the VIP tickets include a Red Carpet pre-screening reception at Southern Belle.
Wine Events and Education
We host and design wine events for retailers and restaurants - some of our most popular ticketed tasting and event topics include:
Wine vs Beer Data Dinners
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
U.S. Expressions of Classic Grape Varieties
Available for reporting assignments and media bookings
OR... LEAVE A MESSAGE
Custom event inquiries, media bookings, product review requests, etc.