Lisa is passionate about wine and holds the WSET III Advanced Certificate (Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London). Lisa is a student of wine. She is pursuing the Certified Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers with rigorous on-going studies to continue gaining knowledge about the world’s wine producing regions, elements of wine service, and several tasting expertise.
How did you start Wine with Lisa?
As far back as I can remember, our kitchen was filled with aromas of Italian Red Sauce on Sunday mornings when I would help my father prepare traditional family dishes. Our cabinets were lined with large jars of olives, capers, rich olive oil, Italian cookies and cannolis from Central Grocery in New Orleans. This is when my love for food and wine was born but for many years it just simmered under the surface. I am part of the Delta Italian story. This is real documentation of Italian immigrants that migrated to the Mississippi Delta in search of a better life. It’s a bitter-sweet part of history that brought my family to Mississippi, then Louisiana. My family name is “CASCIO” and because of this part of our history, I am here today.
This crazy, wonderful mixture of Sicilian Heritage, Louisiana Cajun and Mississippi Delta taught me to live my life out loud. I My love for food and wine has been an integral part of my life from the beginning but my first calling was to get a degree in Pharmacy. I spent many years helping people improve their health but when I was not working I was known for my flair for casual gourmet cooking and wine pairing parties.
After a move to the Texas Hill Country right outside of Austin, my passion for grapes and wine was ignited to a new level. Not only did I have great friends to cook fabulous food with, I had wineries and vineyards around our area. We spent many evenings sipping wine at sunset on those gorgeous vineyards, participated in wine education and events and even participated in a Grape Stomp that was photographed for a Texas magazine.
I knew then that I wanted to learn as much as I could about wine and help others have this same passion for combining delicious food with the right wines. In order to have a solid foundation of wine expertise I earned a WSET Intermediate Certification and now the Advanced Certification WSET.
Now that I have discovered my “inner wine spirit” I have decided that wine will be my “second act” career. I am on a mission to help others embark on an adventure with food and wine to experience that same joy I do from great pairings.
For many people this adventure may begin as strolling through the sometimes overwhelming rows of corked bottles at a wine store. I want to make choosing a great wine easy and fun. Knowing about the grape and where it comes from often makes it easier to decide which pairs best with your special event whether it’s a themed dinner with friends or enjoying a glass relaxing on the deck or under the trees at dusk listening to music.
For others this adventure may include working with me to host wine dinners & pairing events with friends. At these pairing events my client would learn essential information such as how to distinguish between a California Pinot Noir, Oregon Pinot Noir and French Burgundy, for example. Knowing this will make a huge difference when pairing with food.
Lisa’s unique take on wines and wine pairings can be guaranteed a fun gathering. Lisa will channel her “inner food and wine spirit” to educate and entertain you and your guests. Her flair for food and wine is the KEY ingredient to a successful event your guests will rave about for months.
Each grape, like each of us, has a story to tell. Where it comes from, how it is grown, the climate, the soil all give the grape its unique identity. In the wine world we call this terroir or how a grape expresses its place. My life adventures have given me my own unique story share and of course you have one too. Please join me on an adventure to learn the story of the grape and in the process you just might find a story of your own.
As long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for cooking and eating paella. My Sicilian and North Delta Louisiana Heritage mixed with a touch of Cajun has inspired me to create an authentic paella with a Southern twist to share with friends and family. There are many varieties of paella and I encourage you to try recipes from different regions of Spain and pair with the many beautiful Spanish wines available to us today.