February Take 5

Sommelier Olena Kilson is co-founder of locally based Chien de Vin, a wine club for animal lovers that donates part of its proceeds to animal rescue groups. Translated from French as “wine dog,” it’s a pairing of her two passions: business and animal welfare. Aside from knowing the difference between Beaujolais and Blaufränkisch, she also speaks Russian and Ukrainian and can ride a unicycle.

What’s Valentine’s Day like in Ukraine? Are there any customs they do there that we don’t do in the U.S.? “The holiday was adopted in Ukraine relatively recently – early ’90s – and today looks very much like its American counterpart.” List ten things the world would be better off without. “Nickelback. Beauty pageants. Homeless animals. Mosquitoes. Household chores. Bad grammar. Rice cakes. Parallel parking. Hangnails. Last call.” If you could witness any event from history… “The launch of the Voyager probe in 1977. It is a time capsule of humanity, traveling the farthest away from us that any object has ever traveled.” A concierge wine club that shares its proceeds with animal rescues sounds pretty amazing. How did this concept come about? “One of our two rescue dogs needed serious surgery before we got him. The surgery was expensive, but now Hubble is healthy and happy. Every animal should be so lucky.” What advice would you give your sixteen-year-old self about falling in love? “Trust your judgment. Take risks. Don’t make your parents worry.”