Meet Matt Ramos and Sean McGee, the creators of Millennial Wine Group. Their venture is taking wine education to the next level by connecting, interacting, and intriguing their followers. By breaking down the basics of wine, Matt and Sean make enjoying wine second nature.
Where are you from?
Matt: I grew up in Thousand Oaks, California and Sean is from San Francisco, CA.
How did you two meet?
Matt: I was down in Atlanta taking the Sommelier exam, and we all just got out of one portion of the exam. I spotted two guys who looked my age. Looking to blow off some steam and de-stress, I went up to talk to them. One of them ended up being Sean. We found out that we worked in fine dining restaurants less than a mile apart back in Nashville.
How did you become interested in wine?
Matt: My father has been a wine collector for a long time. He has a very extensive wine cellar, and I grew up around that lifestyle. Once I turned 21 he started sharing his wines with me. Having been in the fine dining industry for a while, I am naturally drawn to the wine-side of restaurants.
Sean: I initially became interested through my work at restaurants. I wanted to know more about the products I was selling. When I started to build a base of knowledge about the wines I realized how interesting it was and got bit by the wine bug.
How did you two come up with the idea for Millennial Wine Group?
Sean: Our friend runs a video producing company here in Nashville. We were helping him out and were discussing how nobody in a younger demographic was talking about wine. Immediately, we got the idea to create something for millennials to connect with wine via articles, blogs, and videos. Our product is not just for millennials, any generation can enjoy the information we are sharing. Millennials do, more than ever, make up a large majority of people who are drinking wine right now.
Matt: Going off of that, we wanted to bridge the gap between how the wine industry is being marketing to our generation. Our experience, knowledge, and age helps to fill that gap. We can explain to you that wine does not have to be an intimidating thing. A 23 or 24 year old can enjoy it too. We aim to create value for people when choosing wine.
What platforms are you using for Millennial Wine Group?
Sean: Right now, it is a YouTube channel that ties in with social media. The main goal of our content is to be both educational and entertaining. We give people quick ideas on bottles, cocktails, cigars, etc. Essentially, we are attempting to turn the beverage industry into a lifestyle rather than something intimidating. Millennial Wine Group creates a platform for people to interact via our blog, YouTube channel, and social media channels.
When did this first go live?
Sean: We started in mid-August.
What is your favorite wine?
Matt: That is one of the toughest questions. When I started studying for the Sommelier exams, I discovered a whole new world of wines that I never knew previously. I would say that my favorite wine becomes something I thought I would not like or something I have never tried. That opens up a whole new world of opportunity.
Sean: To put it really simply: French wine.
Have either of you visited wine destinations?
Matt: My parents now live in Napa and I try to make it out there 3-4 times a year.
Sean: Being from California, we have both done almost all of California’s wine regions. I recently explored some of Arizona’s wine regions and I also had the chance to visit wine regions in Australia.
What are some wine destinations you want to visit?
Sean: Definitely Europe. In particular France, Italy, and Spain.
Matt: In the near future, Willamette Valley in Oregon is next on my list.
What types of trends in the wine industry do you see happening right now?
Matt: I see a younger demographic consuming wine, specifically young professionals in their 20's.
Sean: Also, global warming is affecting the way wine grows now. Southern England is making sparkling wine, which never used to be a thing. With that, the style of wines are changing. They are more full-bodied, fruit-forward wines, and not so much lighter, delicate wines due to the climate.
What level sommelier are you?
Matt: We are both level 2 Sommeliers.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sean: I’m going to answer for Matt. He is a big golfer, and you can find him golfing once a week. He enjoys getting outside, being active, going to the lake. I, personally, love the craft cocktail scene. Through Millennial Wine Group, we want to touch on the craft cocktail scene in Nashville. We experiment all the time with craft cocktails at home.
With Sean as a current Kayne Prime team member and Matt as a former one, what is your favorite part about M Street?
Sean: They create a big platform for employees to be successful with ventures like ours. They provide a really nurturing environment for employees to be grow both personally and as a group. They have supported Millennial Wine Group and our passion by letting us film episodes there. They just have really helped us grow.
Matt: The educational courses they put in place and the opportunity to interact with people is incredible. Those opportunities ultimately led us to the idea of Millennial Wine Group.
Who are some of your wine role models?
Sean: Rajat Parr. He is a famous sommelier and now a wine maker who makes three different wines. He is an ultimate icon in the wine industry.
Matt: Brian McClintock. He used to be a baseball player and became a Master Sommelier. While he was playing baseball, he was also working in restaurants, so he is very relatable. He is a cool, young guy at the pinnacle of the wine industry.
What are your ultimate goals with Millennial Wine Group?
Sean: I want to see Millennial Wine Group be as successful as possible, and then diversify ourselves. Whether that be a wine label, a wine show, or something else, I am excited for our future.
Matt: The wine industry is constantly changing, so we never know what the trends will be like in say, ten years. We have to change with it.
With Millennial Wine Group on our radar, we will be sure to turn to Matt and Sean's expertise the next time we are looking for a robust red, a refreshing white, or a trendy craft cocktail. Cheers!
Where to find Millennial Wine Group: