Downey woman launches wine label

DOWNEY - Maricela Avelar Scott is the youngest of five children (one brother, three sisters) and has been a self-employed hairstylist in Downey for several years. She has also written two books.

The first one, titled "How to be a Fabulous Aunt," if nothing else, endeared her to her many nieces and nephews as she recounted her many mostly happy experiences with them as well as cousins and a few close friends.

The second book was also autobiographical but built around her propensity to bake variations of Mexican bread. The book's title: "Mexican Bread: A Family Biography."

Both books are available, she said, at

In June of this year, to satisfy her urge to try to become a full-fledged business person (her husband, John, is retired: he seems to support her every move), Maricela decided to start her own private wine label.

"Who doesn't drink wine at one time or another?" was the question she asked herself. Then, "Who doesn't want more wine?"

After sampling many types of the Italian white wine, Pinot Grigio, to find one that suited her taste and one that others might also enjoy, Maricela settled on a particular vintage.

Pinot Grigio, she said, comes from the northeast region of Italy and is harvested and bottled at the Tribona Vineyards in the province of Di Pavia.

For her private reserve label, she chose a medium-bodied Pinot Grigio white wine with aromas of cherry and sweet fruit flavors, "with a smooth and light finish." She named it "MAS Pinot Grigio," using the initials of her name. MAS has special significance, she says, especially because it means "more" in both Latin America and Italy.

"My Pinot, which goes with appetizers and entrees, is a wonderful addition to any gathering during lunch, dinner parties, and cheese tasting. It can be enjoyed with meat or fish dish or just to share with friends at an informal gathering, weddings or charity events," Marisela says. "The Pinot's flavor and taste do not overpower any type of cuisine, whether Italian, French or Mexican, etc., and will in fact enhance their taste and our enjoyment of the meal. It is a very approachable wine that is as fun to share as it is to discover."

Priced at $30, it must be served chilled.

It is available, she says, through her distributor, Evan Vassilakis. She is currently in discussions with the merchandiser Total Wine and More to sell her MAS Pinot Grigio, even as she contacts restaurants in the Southern California area to feature her wine on their wine lists.

She knows how to promote her product through various media: Facebook, Twitter, blogs. A member of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she has promoted her Pinot Grigio at various mixers and been a guest at LA Talk Radio twice.

After this, she says, she's thinking of developing her own red wine label. And she's thinking of writing a third book.

Why all this activity? "Well," she says, "it's about re-inventing myself. I want to see how far I can go. And I'm not afraid of rejection. I don't give up."

********** Published: Oct. 17, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 27