Simone is a multi-credentialed wine, multisensory, and aesthetics expert.
While Simone has made wine the center of her academic life and her livelihood, she says she has never lost sight of the fact that “Wine should be fun. It’s grape juice, fermented, that’s it. It’s something that should bring joy. Always.”
Ms. Spinner thinks of the pandemic of 2020 as an opportunity to participate in a self-guided writers workshop resulting in a pivot turning a delightful hobby into a long-desired career as a wine writer.
As a contributing writer, she published wine-related articles, tasting notes, and wine and travel guides in The SOMM Journal, The Tasting Panel, Wine Country International Magazine, Carpe Travel, The Vintner Project, Medium, University of Colorado, Denver, CLAS newsletter, and for her many clients. She is a former contributor to Denver’s 303 Magazine Food & Wine section; her popular column was called Chasing Grapes.
She appears as a guest on Wine Woman Radio Hour, Best Served Podcast, Chef or Death Podcast, CBS Denver News, Wines of Italy Livestream, and the University of Colorado YouTube Channel.
Simone teaches The Only Thing You Need to Know About Wine is What You Like Master Class Series at UC Denver and the Get into the Glass educational wine series to wine curious professionals, oenophiles, and neophytes through her company, Wine Rocks & Chasing Grapes, LLC. Spinner skillfully demystifies wine, making it fun through an interactive approach.
Simone writes delightful trade-ready and consumer-friendly wine taste/smell notes and food pairings for her clients that aim to increase awareness and sales. She features her Three Minutes for Wine wine taste/smell video notes on her YouTube channel, Chasing Grapes with Simone.
In addition to her courses, she often appears as a guest lecturer at corporate events, conferences, team-building seminars, dinner parties, book clubs, wine tastings, art shows, or other gatherings. For more serious wine lovers she conducts private acquisitions and cellar appraisals. Spinner is developing a unique adventure and wine tourism program partnering with AmaWaterways and Anything But Here Travel and Tours, exploring the world of wine and taking curious oenophiles along with her, which will launch in 2021 with tours exploring Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.
Ms. Spinner’s first book was published on August 27, 2018. Denver Food: A Culinary Evolution chronicles the Denver food scene from early nomadic Native Americans to the James Beard award-winning chefs of 2018. Spinner is writing two books about her life with wine and food; he is titled Lessons From the Lisbon Coast, detailing her recent year in Portugal. Her third book will be called Chasing Grapes about her life in the international wine industry. She is the senior editor for her blog: Lessons From the Lisbon Coast and Twitter feed: French Wine Girl Travels.
In 2017/2018, Simone FM Spinner completed the first year of her doctorate: From Grapes to Wrath, Wine in the Age of Climate Change, a research project that explores the aesthetics of wine along with the effects of climate change on global wine culture while with the Lisbon Consortium at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in a network with the University of Copenhagen and the University of Giessen. She continues to conduct fieldwork, research, and work on her dissertation and has applied for a new program to begin in 2020. She is redrafting her dissertation as a wine-audience consumer book with an anticipated release in 2022. She sits on the Colorado Association for Viticulture & Enology board as an education and legislation committee member and teaches a university course about wine, culture, and climate change for the University of Colorado, Denver.
Spinner wrote her master’s thesis at UC Denver in which she developed the concept of aesthetics as it relates to wine using an interdisciplinary lens. In her original thesis, The Culture & Aesthetics of Wine © she explores aesthetics, flavor chemistry, neuroscience, art fundamentals, and cultural studies to contemplate the aesthetics and art-worthiness of wine as an object and as an experience. Simone produces ExtraSensory Immersion Experiences for art museums, galleries, symphonies, and other cultural sector venues.
Ms. Spinner also holds a BA in Wine—more specifically the Study and Enterprise of Wine. She created the degree while studying at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Ms. Spinner also holds thirteen wine credentials including Court of Master Sommeliers-America Certified Wine Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, Spanish Wine Specialist, and Sherry Specialist. Simone is the sole 2020 Women of the Vine & Spirits Foundation Wine & Spirits Education Trust diploma scholarship recipient with a 2021 completion expectation.
Spinner’s dedication to education proves beneficial for other students as well. Her achievements at MSUD helped to develop the Beverage Certificate offered through MSUD’s Hospitality program. In addition to designing programs for the University, Spinner is a former Affiliate Professor for Metropolitan State, teaching courses for the Beverage Certificate, such as Wine Fundamentals and Wine Business.
Early in her career, Spinner was a professional, trained, classical ballet dancer and Pilates instructor. She also worked as a lighting designer and production manager in the music business for many years and still misses “painting with light to music.” She lives in the Foothills west of Denver with her prised Shiba Inu dogs, Oscar Wilde and Zen Zen: the unabashed loves of her life.