This month’s Good Influencer talks about her blog, vintage clothes and the best wines to gift for the holidays.
Arielle Meads wears a lot of hats — literally and figuratively.
As the voice behind @Pourstyles, Arielle shares her passion for all things vino and vintage clothes with her followers, along with decorating tips, restaurant recommendations and the occasional cat picture.
A trained ballerina who formerly danced with San Diego Ballet, she now spends her days as a fashion stylist, marketing director and wine aficionado, while showcasing her eclectic and unique style (think Stevie Nicks meets David Bowie, with a little Jack Skellington mixed in for good measure) and wine knowledge to her blog audience.
With the holiday season upon us, we caught up with the certified sommelier to talk wine gifting and how to be “bougie on a budget.”
Where are you from and where do you live now?
Born and raised in San Diego! Originally from Point Loma, now living in Old Town.
How did your blog, Pourstyles, come about?
I worked as a professional ballerina and musical theater performer for the majority of my 20s … but as my performing career was coming to a close, I started searching for other passions of mine (even though I still get hired for gigs from time to time!). It’s always been imperative to hold an artistic career, so I really started digging deep into what else I was truly passionate about. Mind you, this internal journey was coming to fruition over a glass of viognier. I started to realize that I was always that girl who brought a bottle of aged cabernet to house parties, and became best friends with the bartender conversing about terroir and the history of bold Italian reds. Thus, Pourstyles was born. I really created the blog to learn about wine. Drink wine, write about said wine, make wine friends, etc. I created the name Pourstyles as a pun for drinking wine and dressing up for “pour” people. Being on an artist budget, it was important for me to share a “bougie on a budget” lifestyle. You can still drink amazing wine and look fabulous without much in your pocket!
How did things change after starting your blog?
Since Pourstyles has taken off, I now work in the fashion industry as a stylist and marketing director, and have received my level 2 sommelier certification, giving my little blog a lot more credibility. Pourstyles went from a dream to a hustle to a full-time career in two years. Since my blog and other marketing ventures, I’ve started an events company offering interactive wine tastings in the comfort of your own home guided by your own personal sommelier, Pourstyles!
Where do you find your style inspiration?
My style is inspired by so many things: rock ’ ‘n’ roll, Halloween, European architecture and eclectic muses like David Bowie and Iris Apfel, just to name a few. I’m inspired by the art of pattern mixing: incorporating combat boots with a baby doll dress, and comically oversized earrings. I was lucky to grow up in a very fashion-forward and artistic family. My mother was in the fashion industry and introduced me at a young age to the beautiful world of Chanel, Sonia Rykiel, Alexander McQueen and Anna Sui. I am known to wear a lot of clothes at one time. I’ve always been extremely tiny and I guess the more clothes I wear, the bigger I feel! I’m a big believer in oversized everything. More is more and less is a bore!
What are some of your favorite local boutiques?
I have two favorite boutiques in San Diego. Le Bel Age in Mission Hills (@lebelageboutique) really nails the Halloween meets glam meets rock ’n’ roll style that I’m so very into. I am also a frequent shopper of Mimi & Red (mimiandred.com) for my denim, graphic T’s and slip dresses that I rock on a daily basis. Both boutiques are woman owned and operated, and I always try to support fellow girl bosses.
Let’s talk gifting wine. What’s an affordable bottle of wine that makes a great gift this season for:
Your boss: This always needs to be a little on the fancy side, but not too “in your face wine snob.” I’m going to choose an aged cabernet that is ready to drink tonight, or in five years. Robert Renzoni Vineyards in Temecula has a beautiful 2013 cab that makes a beautiful and delicious holiday gift (robertrenzonivineyards.com).
Your best friend: Bubbles, of course! Thornton Winery in Temecula is known for using the traditional Champagne method for their sparkling, so I always recommend a bottle from Thornton for a bubbly gift (thorntonwine.com).
Your random cousin: Red blends are always a safe bet. You get a little tannin, a little fruit, a little of this, a little of that. You really can’t complain too much with a blend. Carruth Cellars does a Unicorn blend that is fully equipped with stunning packaging, as well as a high-end taste (carruthcellars.com).
Your in-laws: We want to impress mom-in-law but also want to keep things simple and tasting fresh. One of my favorite varietals is chenin blanc with its pink grapefruit flavor, crisp acidity and herbal notes. Gianni Buonomo Vintners has an outstanding 2017 chenin blanc that is available for purchase and taste in Ocean Beach (gbvintners.com).
Which bar or restaurant has the best wine program in town?
It’s so hard to choose my favorite wine bar in town, because so many amazing ones keep popping up! But I have to say, The 3rd Corner in Ocean Beach is my true ride or die. You get to shop for a bottle of wine, which is great for label nerds like me, and bring it back to your table. Plus, the food is incredible. I highly recommend the brie appetizer, scallop entrée and a bottle or two of some French pinot noir (the3rdcorner.com).