Meet Our Founders

Jorge's Story

My name is Jorge Lazaro Diaz, but call me George.  It works for all my friends.  I'm one of the two Casual Winers co-founders and author of, "A Casual Winers Guide to Picking Wine You Love Every Time".  

A while back, my daughter Sofia and I discovered wine.  We were visiting Bologna, Italy and stopped at a tavern called Tamborini.  It was at a that tavern where we first tasted a local red  wineTre Rocche and fell in love.

Let me tell you my story, which you can read in more detail in my book. You can click here to get Sofi's version of the story. 

“Wow!” I thought. I've never had or seen another bottle of that wine, but that's where it all started. We enjoyed that bottle with a woodblock of prosciutto and formaggio they served with it.

That and the rest of the wine we had that trip got me started.  I started trying different wines and got to know them little by little.  I read. I spoke to friends, visited wine stores, took notes and joined wine clubs.  I discovered by drinking a whole lot of wine.

It led me to wine finds from all over. I tasted lots of them, took a lot of notes and, more importantly, shared them with loved ones including Sofi.  There’s nothing like wine, food and conversing at the table with the people you love celebrating relationships.

I personally appreciate an earthy, savory red and don’t really care for anything bubbly. I like my reds oaky, with a little bit of fruitiness (think plum blackberry, and  cherry).  A hint of spice, tobacco, chocolate or coffee is nice too. (If you can't relate to this, no worries. We're gonna help you learn it.)

You’ll frequently see me taking home a strong California Cab. I'm happy with my favorite Spanish Tempranillo or Italian Sangiovese. My absolute favorite is a Montepulcciano d’Abruzzo. Click here for some more on that. I like a well aged Chianti Riserva. These all go well with steak and a lot of the stuff we Cubans eat for dinner.

Sofia's Story

I am Jorge's daughter and currently a medical device sales rep. I too discovered my love for wine while on a family trip to Bologna, Italy visiting my sister Gabriela. While at Tamburini, I asked Dad (aka Jorge), “Can I drink wine while I’m here?” (I was under age at the time.)  To my luck, both Mom and Dad said, “Yes!” That was the beginning of my wine drinking adventure. I even considered becoming a sommelier.

Since then I have developed my love and appreciation for wine. Dad and I would search our local wine stores and places like Publix, Total Wine, and Trader Joe’s. We created a game where we would both pick a bottle and taste test them at home. I was really good at winning this game! (My secret was picking the coolest looking label. It worked every time.)

I eventually left for college in Alabama where I needed to be a little more conservative with my purchases. Much to my surprise, good wine selections were available in my price range. You can get some inexpensive wines for a pretty good price.

I eventually left for Bologna, Italy myself for school like my sister and I returned to Tamburini 5 years later. Unfortunately, the wine I first tasted, Tre Rocche, was not available anymore.

While I was studying abroad in Italy, I broadened my appreciation for Italian wine more than anything. I learned that in Bologna even the most inexpensive wines were a great hit. My friends and I in Italy would make a game to see who could buy the cheapest wine that tasted the best! (A little like the game I play with Dad). 

After graduating from college, I wanted to keep on learning about wine so I joined a few wine clubs. What I learned was that the wine clubs were great for tasting different wines, but they were not informative or educational. So, when Dad came up with this idea to launch our own wine magazine (more like a wine discovery community) I was all in!

My main priority was that it needed to be a fun and educational wine resource.

I prefer a rich full body red. Pretty much a wine that has a plum, berry, chocolate, spice, or earthy taste to it. I will always go for a Cabernet Sauvignon. Based on a taste test I took, I also learned I like Pinot Noirs and big, bold Zinfandels. Even though I haven't had many Zinfandels, I'm excited to try some more on this journey with you! 

I will enjoy  white wines every now and then. I prefer a zesty white wine, so white wines that have a hint of lemon, lime, grapefruit, passion fruit, or grass. Specifically, I like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigios. Also, from this taste test I learned I should also like Albariños and dry Riesling.

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