Ok so we didn’t actually ask her 21 questions, but we did get the inside scoop from Tara Carney herself on her life as a wine lover, educator, and Maslow 6 employee. From first impressions, Tara’s friendly spirit and clear passion as a wine enthusiast is contagious. After our interview, it’s clear that there are many things that drive her to work with what she loves most…wine.
It all started in San Francisco, with a generic bottle of red wine at a Halloween party in ’94. This night led someone with a dislike for alcohol to convert to all out wine lover. “It was a bottle of Gato Negro, that I bought for 5 dollars at a corner store.” That was the night Tara discovered wine. “A lot of people say I’ve got the wine bug, and it’s kind of true. I guess you can’t avoid it,” says Tara.
She had always been a lover of the food industry, working in bakeries, delis, and restaurants at the age of 14. Due to her interest in the food industry combined with her brief stint in office work, she realized she needed stick with something lively. Wine was her calling. “Wine is such a social thing. People drink it, talk about it, grow it. It’s a never ending cycle of learning.”
Tara just completed her exam certificate through WSET, wine spirits education trust, at a UK certified wine school. She is currently working towards her diploma, starting a two-year intensive program through WSET at the International Wine Center. In her studies of wine she has encountered many different wine personalities, but the common denominator is simple: a passion for the grape juice. “Making something good and sharing it,” says Tara. “Its an innate passion that you have that drives you to be a part of the wine business.”
She truly realized her passion for food and wine working at Paloma, former Top Chef, Camila Becerra’s restaurant in Brooklyn. There, Tara got the privilege of creating a wine list for this small but well-known restaurant. Working closely with the chef and pairing wine with food became adventurous to Tara. However, tragedy struck Paloma as the restaurant burned down and was forced to close.
After a few months, she found Maslow 6…
“Maslow 6 is so inclusive and there’s a lot of room for creative freedom,” says Tara. Watching Mollie (Maslow 6’s Sommelier extraordinaire) is a great inspiration to Tara and the other staff. As Tara says, “Maslow 6 gives us the platform to hone our skills. Keri gives us the freedom to work on what we want.” At Maslow 6, they not only sell wine from many different distributors, but they host educational seminars and classes. So Tara makes a point, there is a lot learn from.
As for her future plans, Tara will be going to Bordeaux this fall for the harvest and learning vinification at Chateau La Gatte, which she is very excited about. Beyond that it’s clear that whatever it is, it will definitely involve wine.