Wisdom From the Wine Lady

Terry Pommett It doesn’t matter if Wendy Koder is out at the fish market or out on her kayak: wherever she goes, almost everyone recognizes her as Wendy the Wine Lady. It’s a moniker that Koder has earned through three decades of educating Cape Codders about wine. The Upper Cape resident has worked in almost every aspect of the wine business, from a sommelier at Cape restaurants to a wine broker to a teacher at Sandwich Community School and other off Cape community colleges. These days, Koder handles marketing for Cotuit Liquors in Marstons Mills and Empire Wine & Spirits in Kingston. She also hosts wine classes and wine dinners through her own business, Wendy Talks Wine (

How did you get started in the wine industry?

After my youngest daughter was born, I started working at a very fine restaurant in South Carver, Mass. The woman who was purchasing the wine for the restaurant and writing the wine lists left. The owner handed me the wine list and said, “Here, you’re going to order the wine.” I didn’t know anything about wine; I didn’t even drink wine. Because I wanted to do the job correctly, I read everything I could and constantly went to trade wine tastings and seminars. I began to find wine very intriguing.

Have you seen wine styles evolve over the years?

Yes, definitely. There’s more good wine made in the world than ever before. Now, you can get a wonderful wine for $10 a bottle. I also see that winemakers are smoothing out tannins and tweaking wines to cater to the American palate.

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Ann Trieger is a freelance writer living in the Boston area.

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