Nov. 18, 2022

A Sommelier's Guide to Pairing Dogs with Wine with Michele Gargiulo | The Long Leash #68

A Sommelier's Guide to Pairing Dogs with Wine with Michele Gargiulo | The Long Leash #68

Is there anything more lovable than a French Chardonnay? Perhaps only a Golden Retriever! Certified Sommelier Michele Gargiulo teaches us how to pair lovable shelter dogs with delicious wines.

How do you pair wine with something that’s not food? Our guest today says it’s simple: compare the personalities and traits of both. And yes, you can pair wine with dogs!

Michele Gargiulo, certified sommelier, wanted to sprinkle some joy into the winery world, which she says takes itself far too seriously. In her book Pairing Paws, Gargiulo discerns the distinctive personalities of various vintages and a multitude of mutts … and makes a compelling argument for which goes with what.

Sound weird? Maybe. Not everyone thought this book was a good idea. Gargiulo’s personal story about writing and publishing her quirky and fabulous book started out as a romantic adventure tale, but soon turned tragic when her boyfriend died. Gargiulo credits her dog, Riesling, with keeping her moving and bringing love and light back into her story.

Episode Links

Pairing Paws by Michele Gargiulo

Azores Wine Company Arinto dos Açores White to be paired with Maltese

This episode is sponsored in part by EverPup and BarkBox.


0:00 Introduction

1:26 Pairing Paws the book

11:19 Pairing dogs with wine

15:49 How do you publish a book?

22:31 What it REALLY means to be a master sommelier

24:02 Making the wine world more accessible

26:24 Surviving the loss of a loved one

30:16 Outro

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Michele GargiuloProfile Photo

Michele Gargiulo


Michele got her start at the Culinary Institute of America. She was the tutor for the wine class for over a year, while finishing her bachelor’s in business management. After graduation, she got her first job as a Sommelier at Savona in Philadelphia. She worked there for four years, hosting weekly wine tastings and monthly wine dinners. During this time, she started working for Angel’s Envy as a Whiskey Guardian, where she worked for three years. From Savona she moved to Steven Starr’s Barclay Prime. Shortly after, she started working at The Four Season’s Jean Georges in Philadelphia. The COVID 19 pandemic hit, with her there just over a year. Michele moved down to South Carolina to manage a restaurant while the North East was shut down. During the lock-down, Michele wrote her book: Pairing Paws: Dog Breeds and Their Spirit Wines. She is now the Wine & Beverage Director at the Fearless Restaurant Group, overseeing 10 restaurants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, an Executive Bourbon Steward through the Stake and Thief Society, a Certified Sake Advisor through the Sake School of America, a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators, and a Diploma Student through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.