Krista Bender, Paris – June 2023
I met Krista Bender in 2016 when she was needing advice regarding the apartment she was living in and had an opportunity to purchase it. It was a two-room, tiny, aerie at the top of a building near Notre Dame with a perfect view of the cathedral. Her friends were naysayers, but the moment I saw it I said YES to purchasing it. She’s never regretted it and never looked back.
At the time, she was a student to become a “sommelier,” which she worked hard at and achieved. As a result of her having purchased the apartment, we taped a House Hunters International episode together, along with her close friend and sidekick, Stanley Wong, who was able to attend Après-Midi with her.
Krista, after many months of training in France, is now a bona fide sommelier, and also a writer living in Paris and Hawaii. She has over ten years of experience curating fine-dining food and wine events, creating top-notch restaurant wine lists, and importing and selecting all of the best champagne that you simply can’t get anywhere else!
She wrote a memoir while living in Paris, Paris, My Beautiful Madness: A Hedonistic Journey in the City of Light. It’s the story that led her up to purchasing the apartment. Now she is already writing the sequel! As she explained in her presentation, the memoir explores not only her time attending the International Sommelier School in Paris, but also what it’s like to be living in the expat world coupled with the Parisian dating scene. This helped her uncover dark and discomforting truths about how she related to men. Drawing inspiration from Anthony Bourdain and Candace Bushnell, “Paris, My Beautiful Madness” details the highs and lows of a year of self-discovery, from dreamy brunches in Saint Germain des Prés to the grit of a Wine Cellar Confidential.
The audience was very intrigued by her knowledge of wine and the questions poured in. She clearly knows her stuff, evidenced by her brilliant answers. Stanley chimed in, as they both received an amazing education that will take them far. They have started their own business now to offer wine-related tours in France to those who want an education and appreciation of wines.
As a special surprise during the session, we tried desperately to air our House Hunters International episode, but were unsuccessful because the Internet connection couldn’t support the streaming. Legally, we can’t show it to the public, so you will not see it in the recording we made of the session—which was done in three parts and then edited into one recording for your purposes. So, even if you couldn’t be there, you don’t have to miss the session! Be sure to watch the video of the entire session.