Meet trumpet player Eric “Benny” Bloom and saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, the horn section for the worldwide, psychedelic funk band, “Lettuce”. While Lettuce has been touring the country and the world, Benny and Zoidis have been developing their knowledge and love of natural wines.
In 2014, Zoidis met up with wine super-heroes Peter and Orenda Hale, who opened Maine’s first natural wine shop in Portland Maine – Ryan’s home town. It was then that his love-affair with natural wines began. He loved that these wines from Europe and the U.S. were small batch, low intervention and soon he was sharing them with the band.
Those first few bottles put Zoidis and Benny on a quest for wines that had that same energy and rawness and that sparked a flame, much like music did for them. As they became more familiar with certain producers and importers of low intervention wines, it became a passionate hobby, both while at home and on the road. Trying new and exciting wines while on tour, and having the opportunity to meet different producers, importers and other wine lovers along the way, increased their knowledge, enthusiasm and their wine collections.
Soon, they were sharing their wines with friends all around the country and the demand for low intervention wines began to grow among their friends and fans. This exciting wine was so drinkable, and opened the door for people with allergies to sulfites to be able to enjoy wine again. One of those friends is Ben Baruch - creator of the artist management company, 11e1even Group (Big Gigantic, Oteil Burbridge, Twiddle, Eric Krasno) who discovered the immediate benefits of low intervention wines. He could now enjoy wine without suffering the effects of additives and he was sold. Ben decided to join Benny and Zoidis to became the third member of the company.
Lettuce’s presence in Colorado has grown over the recent years, playing Red Rocks, with the Denver Symphony and at several other great venues throughout the state. Now that they were spending more time there, Benny and Zoidis discovered that low intervention wines – those they had become passionate about were hard to get. Encouraged by friends and seasoned veterans of the Denver food and beverage world, Mary Wright & Mclain Hedges to start a small distribution company, they created “Benny & Zoid Selections” with the main goal of bringing exciting, low intervention wines to the state of Colorado.
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