Ringing in 2022 with Bubbly

As we all prepare to wish 2021 farewell and toast to the new year, The Grape Nation has the perfect episodes to help you master your knowledge of the champagne you’ll be sipping on. Host Sam Benrubi’s weekly wine journey features entertaining, informative, and “un-snobby” conversations with experts on this bubbly beverage.

Happy New Year!


Episode 171: Philippe Andre, US Brand Ambassador, Champagne Charles Heidsieck: Philippe Andre grew up around fine dining at his parent’s upscale restaurant in Evanston, Illinois. He worked every job in the restaurant, eventually hitting the floor and creating a wine program, becoming their first Somm in 18 years. After almost a decade at the restaurant, Philippe left the family business to pursue a career in wine, first traveling to Oregon, stints at Hart Davis Hart and Moet Hennessy with Southern Glazer. Philippe is now the first Brand Ambassador for Champagne Charles Heidsieck and runs the Grand Cru and consultancy.

Episode 114: Rita Jammet, La Caravelle Champagne: Born in Saudi Arabia to an Iraqi family, Rita Jammet grew up in Lebanon and Switzerland. She received a degree in Economics from the Univ. of Geneva working with her dad upon graduation. She met her French husband Andre with deep ties to hospitality and wine, exposing Rita to a life of restaurants, wine, and Champagne. Rita is co-owner and Chief Bubble Officer of La Caravelle Champagne.

Episode 163: Ariel Arce, Niche Nice, Air’s Champagne Parlor, Tokyo Record Bar and Special Club: New York City’s own Ariel Arce is the proprietor of Niche Niche, Airs Champagne Parlor, Tokyo Record Bar, and Special Club. Ariel is a thought leader, tastemaker, influencer and has been tagged as “The New Guard of New York Dining.” She has created a convivial, laid back and affordable neighborhood hang with a focus on wine, Champagne, education, music, and creative food. Ariel Arce has been referred to as the Champagne Queen or Empress and has a book “Better with Bubbles”. We’ll talk about the new book and life during the pandemic.

 Episode 142: Zach & Jen Pelka: Siblings Jen and Zach Pelka would make any parent proud graduating respectively from Stanford and Wharton. Zach with a background in finance and startups is now a consultant and the CEO/Founder of Champagne Campaign. Jen started in the kitchen as a stage with Daniel Boulud. She worked her way out of the kitchen to do research for Daniel, worked with Daniel and Thomas Keller on the Bocuse d’Or, did stints at OpenTable, Gilt Taste, and Tumbler before starting her own PR and marketing firm Magnum PR, aimed at the hospitality industry. Jen still had a hospitality itch to be scratched and opened The Riddler, an award-winning Champagne bar in SF and recently opened a Riddler in NYC. Jen and Zach are about to release their own Champagne, Un Femme.