Every so often in life we get introduced to a person who changes the way we see the world, and Alex Elman is definitely one of those people.

Alex has made a career of professionally tasting and evaluating rare and fine wines. Her talent for finding these exceptional, authentic wines has brought her international recognition. But, aside from her unique talents, what sets this Woman You Should Know apart from her competitors, is that Alex is also blind. Self-described as “The Blind Wine Chick”, Alex lost her vision at the age of 27 due to complications from juvenile diabetes. She may have lost her vision, but that life-changing setback clearly didn’t stop Alex from pursuing her passion for wine. Soon after the loss of her vision, she discovered that her palate had become even more sensitive and heightened, a side effect, but one that just fueled her thirst to continue to explore flavors even more.

Born in New York City to an American wine loving father and a Brazilian chef for a mother, Alex spent much of her childhood living in Brazil, France and New York. Her early exposure to these diverse cultures, foods and wines played a large part in the development of her now very refined and famous palate.

After college, Alex worked at Perrier-Jouët Champagne in France. She continued in the wine business upon her return to the States working for her stepfather trading wines, and then learning about some of the lesser-known labels while at the renowned Sherry-Lehmann wine and spirits company in New York. Recognizing that these smaller labels were much more compelling and “honest” than many of the larger labels, Alex found her true calling.

Alex Elman Wine LabelIn addition to her intricate knowledge of fine wine, Alex is also known for her extraordinary sense of identifying what the consumer market is looking for. Armed with that knowledge and self-determination, in 2009, she launched her private wine label, Alex Elman Wines, a small production of handcrafted, artisan, organic wines from sustainable vineyards. The brand’s inaugural portfolio, which received rave reviews, was released in November 2010 and includes four wines from Argentina. Alex’s mission with her label is to continuously offer a class of wine that represents the best of New World wines at a great value (price ranges $12-15 per bottle), and it seems that she is well on her way to fulfilling that mission.

We can’t help but love the company’s label that features Alex in a fabulous red dress in a vineyard, accompanied by her Seeing-Eye dog Hanley, and has the name of the wine written in Braille. The label is the perfect complement to her incredible achievements. Today, you can find Alex traveling the world with Hanley by her side, always in search of the perfect wines to add to her brand.

Wine is usually associated with celebrations, and Alex Elman wines are just that, a reflection of a woman who has embraced life and celebrates it one sip at a time. You can listen to Alex’s take on things, in her own words here.

Alex Elman Wines are available at independent wine stores and Whole Foods.
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