Jeremy Charmak is a friend of EGGNation and Sales Manager for James Blake Wines (http://jamesblakewines.com). A wine consultant and wine educator, Jeremy entered into the wine business by pairing wine for local restaurants and transitioned into a wine seller for local wineries. He has helped hundreds of people make decisions on wine pairing with both individual dishes and entire meals, demystifying the wine tasting process and enhancing the entire meal experience.
Born in San Francisco, my parents had the habit of moving to a new town every five years, so the bulk of my growing up was in the rural Sierra mountain town of Grass Valley, CA. Through high school I worked in the restaurant business starting as a dishwasher and busboy, eventually becoming the Salad Cook for the once famed Dingus Mcgee’s. After High School, I moved with my girlfriend (and now wife) to Santa Cruz California. I landed a job at the Pasatiempo Grill. It is here that I first had my food wine pairing initiation. At eighteen years old, I first presented an item from the chef’s section of the menu for the Wine director to pair a wine with. The director recommended my pairing. Right there, the seed was planted which would not bud for another twenty years.
The wine bug really took hold of me after a night of Domino’s, dark chocolate, and red wine with friends where the wine characteristics where described to me. It was then that the idea of aging wine first hit me. Fascinated by the way wine varies with age, varietal, wine making styles, and region really sparked a passion for knowledge in me. I immediately sought out education from every media I could find. I received a last minute offer to dine at an Industry dinner from a local Sommelier. The invite came when the restaurant didn’t have enough people rsvp’d to the event. It was there that Jeremy discovered the magic of pairing wines from a real pro. None of the diners had any knowledge of what was being served for dinner. As a result many great wines missed their chance to shine with the appropriate food pairing. Jeremy later took over the industry dinners and worked with the chef to come up with a menu that gave the diners a chance to bring wines that paired well with the food. These dinners still take place and there is never a shortage of people interested in attending.