Erika Szymanski : Connoisseur



Erika is driven by discovering connections and knowledge that can contribute to seeing the world a little differently. And most days, wine is in the mix somewhere. In fact it was right there from the start.
When Erika was growing up in the States, her trusted (not to mention important) job at energetic age of 4 was chief destemer and crusher for the family’s small volume of grapes. But it wasn’t until she was about 11, while reading a French book called The Taste of Wine, that the wine spark was really ignited.
In perfect consolidation of her childhood and academic backgrounds (Erika holds two masters degrees, in microbiology and writing), she is now halfway through her PhD focused on improving techniques for communication between the wine industry and related science. “A lot of research is aimed at trying to improve the process or benefit the industry, but the way we communicate right now is handing the science to winemakers and just expecting them to do something with it. This ignores the possibility of the two sides sharing information for the benefit of more robust science and better wine”.
Erika’s expertise and gift for writing has recently earned her first prize in the Born Digital Wine Awards Investigative Article of the year category. The piece was written in response to poorly informed media about an archaeological discovery of ancient grape seeds; she wanted to set the record straight and help readers understand the more realistic scientific implications, but in a humorous way.
“I think the thing that fascinates me most about wine, is when you start looking you will always find more. The more you know about something the more spaces you have in your head for seeing things, and the more you see of something the more joy you can find in it. And so for me talking about wine science is all about finding more joy”

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