The Mark Wine News The Mark Wine News - 10th Anniversary Issue - Page 14

RAISE A GLASS AS GOOD AS IT GETS M A AGGIANO’S LITTLE ITALY’S NNA KRONE When you think Italian-American cuisine, it’s very possible that “Maggiano’s Little Italy” comes to mind. Quickly your brain drums up images of red tablecloths and large bowls of pasta. And wine. Anna Krone, Director of Beverage says that even folks who normally drink beer or spirits order a glass or bottle of wine when they dine at Maggiano’s. “I actually interviewed customers and they all said ‘it’s an Italian restaurant so I drink wine but normally I drink other things,’ and I love this,” she adds. Of course there is still the challenge of getting them to try the lesser known Italian wines and varietals. But if anyone’s up for the job, it’s Krone. Maggiano’s has more than 50 stores in cities from Boca Raton, Florida to Bellevue, Washington. They opened their original location at the corner of Clark Street and Grand Avenue in Chicago back in 1991. Maggiano’s headquarters are in Dallas, and that’s where Anna Krone, her husband Ryan and their two daughters, 5 year old Olivia and 2 year old Adelaide (who they call Lady), are settled in. 12 MWG: Anna, please tell us a little bit about yourself? AK: I was born in Bryan, Texas (College Station; I’m an aggie by birth) and I grew up in Houston. I met my husband Ryan working at a restaurant called Cuba Libre. The first time we met, I told him I was going to marry him. We originally had grand plans to travel and live abroad. He got his PHD in Political Economy at UT Dallas. We thought we would live in Central or South America. He wanted to save the world and I just wanted to have a glass of wine. Of course then we had kids and reevaluated our plans and we love it here. We still love to travel, it’s just different now than before. It’s not Costa Rica and the Sherry Triangle in Spain anymore. MWG: More like The Magic Castle than Castello di Monsanto? We get it. AK: And really, for the past few years all of my free time has been wrapped up in wine studies. MWG: With your passion, we’re guessing wine was part of your upbringing? AK: Absolutely not. I was raised in a Baptist household in College Station, Texas (near Houston) and I didn’t even have a sip of alcohol until I was 21. MWG: Wow. That’s crazy, especially for someone who is so enamored and educated with and about wine. THE MARK WINE NEWS