Wine Biography

Mary Bruce Leigh began pursuing a career in wine while studying abroad in Strasbourg, France.  My first visit to a winery was a revelation to the fact that wine is even more than a delightful beverage—it is a story, many stories, with accompanying history and culture.  From that moment, I began studying independently—researching wine regions, tasting local wines while traveling around Europe, and simply paying more attention to what I was drinking.

I was lucky enough to be able to go professional with my hobby and passion: my first job in wine was as a Wine Consultant for a local chain of wine and spirits stores, Chalet Party Shoppe, in Elkhart County, Indiana, where I was finishing my bachelor’s degree.  A few years later, after taking some time to travel through some of my favorite wine regions in Eastern France and Northern Italy, I settled in Winchester, Virginia, to work for a wine importer, Kysela Pere et Fils. 

I worked in their home offices doing Importing Logistics, then moved to Washington, DC, to work as a Sales Representative for the same company.  In December of 2008 I started a new job working for Ace Beverage, the oldest wine and spirits store in Washington, as a Wine Sales Consultant.  Family owned and operated since 1934, Ace has a broad collection of wine and spirits, particularly French and American wines, and specialty spirits from around the world. 

Though wine is still my first love, my new friends in Washington, including some of the city’s best bartenders, have gotten me interested in the craft bartending scene that’s experiencing a wonderful resurgence, in the District and elsewhere.  I love mixing classic cocktails, and creating my own.  I also love to cook, drawing particular influence from Julia Child, and loving the general flavor profiles of French, Indian, and Asian cuisine. 

Washington is a great place to live, especially for someone who loves food, wine, and cocktails.  I look forward to sharing some of my experiences, and hope you enjoy them.  Cheers!

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