Traveling Places To Taste Wine: An Interview With Linda Prussen, The Wine Diva With a Dog

by Kelvin Teo | Last Updated: October 29, 2020

Please Introduce Yourself.

Linda Prussen
Hi, my name is Linda Delmonico Prussen. I’m married with three adult daughters and a wonderful malti-poo named Powder. He’s the dog in Wine Diva With Dog.

How Did You Venture Into The World of Wines?

When I was a little more than four years old, my dad and my uncle made wine in my grandmother’s basement in Brooklyn. They’d pour samples into small grape jelly glasses and let us try it. The experience didn’t start me writing about wine, but it did start my appreciation of wine, not only as a drink, but as something you pour love into.

I taught gymnastics my entire adult life, but I always had a passion for writing. In my 30s, I started writing a few freelance stories for my local paper. Eventually, I progressed to larger regional papers and through my writing career, I won almost a dozen press awards. From that point, I consider myself a journalist.

I love being a journalist, it’s like being a student or an investigator every day. You meet interesting people and ask them all sorts of questions. You are always learning. The stories I wrote were on subjects including politics, sports, religion, the environment, education, music, culture, and the arts. I also had a hometown column in my local paper.

The journalism industry changed a great deal when people started to get most of their information online. Many lost their jobs. I was a freelancer and I saw freelance assignments drying up.

You Now Write For a Wine Blog. You Were Also Published in Places Like New York Daily News Before. Could You Tell us What it’s Like To Be a Wine Writer?

In my spare time I’d go to wine tastings in New York City at Union Square Wines. Prior to Covid-19, USQ Wines would host tastings most Saturdays. They were free and winemakers and vineyard owners and distributors from around the world would pour dozens of wines each weekend, and they’d educate you on where and how the wine was made. It was like armchair traveling and tasting at the same time. I’d imagine the places they’d talk about. I never dreamed I’d get to visit them.

I read a fun wine book by renowned wine writer Natalie MacLean, Red, White and Dunk All Over, and I was inspired. With the freelance market dwindling, I decided to try writing a wine column and pitching it to my local paper. I’d write it for free and it would be targeted for the everyday consumer. It would be approachable, no talking down, or making people feel inferior because they lack knowledge of wine. It would give them some suggestions on wines to purchase and some fun facts they could share with others about the wine. To my delight, it caught on. Once I had a big enough body of wine columns, I pitched my column to the New York Daily News, and they accepted it!

Suddenly I was being invited by the organizers of different wine regions to visit their vineyards on press tours. I was finally seeing places I fantasized about. During the most magical trip I was on, I stayed in a castle in France, Chateaux Pitray. The hosts were a Count and Countess. The wine was Cab Franc — and the experience was unforgettable.

What is Your Favorite Wine? And Why?

My favorite wine is sparkling wine. As Winston Churchill said, “I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.”

On a regular salary however, I cannot always afford actual Champagne. But that’s okay! While Champagne must come from the Champagne region there are so many wonderful and affordable sparkling wines from all over the world and I never tire of trying them.

Do You Agree That Proper Wine Storage is Essential to Keep Wines in Their Best Condition? And Why is That So?

To be honest, because I write for the average wine shopper and as someone picking up a wine for dinner; to bring something for the holidays, to host a party with or buying as a gift, most of the wines I write about don’t need any long term storage.

What’s The Best Piece of Advice You’ve Received on Drinking Wine?

Not sure it’s advice I received, but advice I can give, “Drink what you like!” Don’t let anyone tell you what you “should” like. We all have different palates. Embrace your unique palate and enjoy wine.

What’s Next For You?

Right now, I’m writing my wine column, What To Drink Right Now, for the online website and I absolutely love it! I’ve started adding some video to my columns and have been sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Coming from print, I’m still a bit new to the video technology, but learning is fun — and I’m always still learning about wine.

You can find Linda on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Kelvin Teo founded Filled With Wine™ because one summer night, he noticed that his glass of wine tasted funny. It was only after he discovered that he stored his bottle wrongly that he realised the importance of proper wine storage. Since then, he has taken the art of wine drinking seriously and is now on a quest to help fellow wine lovers achieve the best drinking experience possible.