Amy Troutmiller, founder and CEO of Common Fuel Consulting, is a career beverage professional with experience spanning 25 years and multiple facets of the wine industry. She began her career in hotels and restaurants, working up to operations management and senior director roles with chef Eric Ripert, Kimpton Hotels and The Ritz Carlton. She then transitioned to import and distribution, founding a mid-Atlantic regional wholesale company and acting as sole-executive for a National importer and distributor.
Nowadays she works full time in her consultancy, specializes in business development for the wine trade; helping wineries, distributors and brands with everything from early-phase guidance to market expansion and revenue growth.
What made this show particularly intriguing to the hosts was that Amy resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband, young son, a small fluffy dog and her wine collection. And we rarely get to have someone from the East Coast wine industry on the show. We talked with Amy about the differences between the East Coast and West Coast wine scenes.
What are the attitudes towards supporting local wine businesses on each coast? How does the availability of various wines differ on each coast? How do state-by-state regulation affect what she can offer her own clients across the country? She also had a lot of insights about vintage sensitivity and how it is shifting, due in part to the pandemic and tariffs having an impact on availability, supply and demand.
Early in her career, Amy was a founding member of LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails), a classic cocktail society dedicated to breeding, raising and releasing cocktails that are endangered or even believed to be extinct into the wild. It was fun to hear about how her time as a mixologist dovetailed with her experiences working with wine, beer and spirits.
During the show, Amy shared one of her favorite wineries with us, Acorn Winery, in the Russian River Valley, while we sipped one of their wines. Their production remains small, at about 2,000 cases each year. Their wines are made from grapes they grow themselves at Alegría Vineyard in Healdsburg. Every wine is a field blend, following the ancient tradition represented in the mixed planting that is their original 129-year old vineyard.
Their wines are made by co-fermenting multiple varieties. We tasted their proprietary 2016 Medley® blend during the show, made up of Syrah, Muscats, Cinsault, Zinfandel, Dolcetto, Cabernet France, Sangiovese and dozens more varieties. At fewer than 300 cases made, this was a real treat to sample, with its lush aromas and mouthfeel, offering notes of dark cherry, pomegranate, raspberry, baking spices, chocolate, plum and many other flavors, all smoothly integrated and balanced. We’ll have to visit ACORN as the pandemic recedes…
Rounding out the show, we asked Amy about her ambitions and goals for Common Fuel Consulting in the future. And we loved hearing how much enjoyment she gets out of helping other businesses grow and succeed. Tune in to learn more about Amy and her many talents in the beverage and hospitality industries.
Find Amy at:
@vino on Instagram
Find Acorn Winery at:
@ACORNwinery on Instagram