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Meet Naushad Huda of I Like This Grape in Laguna Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Naushad Huda.

Naushad, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I got curious about wine about 7 years ago and wanted to learn about it. However, I realized very quickly that there was blog, no digital resource such as videos or podcasts, no influencer that I could turn to that was relatable to me – a 32-year-old who embodies a typical modern consumer.

I wasn’t then, and still wouldn’t today pick up Wine Spectator, Enthusiast, or any of the handful of old school magazines in the wine world to learn about wine. The typical sommelier at the restaurant can’t make wine relatable to me and when I walk into stores I see a wall of black bottles with varying prices. Wine can be intimidating and daunting.

So, 3 years ago I started to research what was going on in the wine world. The market size is there, $60B in retail sales in ’16 and of all the wineries I met with each of them had the same challenge – how do we sell to millennials and get them into wine? My professional background has been in digital strategy helping brands such as Yamaha and Kellogg’s think through the opportunity and need to use technology + creativity to grow their brands and revenue. I co-founded a digital brand agency XTOPOLY which was acquired by a global, public software powerhouse based in Finland (Vincit) last summer.

I took the what I learned of the opportunity in wine, my own appreciation for wine (self-described wine geek!) and combined it with my professional background to start I Like This Grape, Voice of Modern Wine Culture. Our mission is to make wine relatable to today’s modern consumer. The way we do this is through original Content (all digital + live wine experiences) and by giving young, uber-cool. well educated sommeliers – who I think will be the future faces of wine – a platform to be heard and seen. Think of what we’re doing for wine and sommeliers the same as what Food Network did for food and Chefs.

Has it been a smooth road?
1 – having certain people acknowledge the change in how and who are today’s and tomorrow’s consumers for wine.

2- showing people the importance of understanding the change in how people buy products today and get their information versus how this was done just 5 years ago has dramatically change

3- balancing this passion project that has legs with responsibilities to family and my ‘real job’!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with I Like This Grape – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Something we’re proud of is our ability to experiment with new ideas in wine with no expectations. For example, on April 12 we’re launching the first event of our SOMMX event platform in Laguna Beach.

SOMMX is a series of themed wine experience events hosted and lead by unique sommeliers intended to evoke multiple senses and delight attendees through food, wine, performances, art, and special guests all centered around culturally relevant themes.

The first one in Laguna Beach is themed: “Kanye West’s Music Interpreted Through Spanish Wine” – it’s a guided journey of 5 original paintings by a local artist that were inspired by 5 of Kanye’s songs. The paintings then inspired the food on the plate, and all of that inspired the wine for that course of food – all this is done without tables and chairs for only 100 guests in a chic event space hosted by a celebrity sommelier from the UK!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love is wide spread range of ideas that are fresh and untamed driven by eclectic founders who know no limits.

What I find most challenging about the city is the geography and lack of transportation which can sometimes prevent collaboration.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 200 Spectrum Center Drive
    3rd Floor
  • Website:
  • Phone: 949-441-4832
  • Email:
  • Instagram: /ilikethisgrape
  • Facebook: /ilikethisgrape
  • Twitter: /ilikethisgrape
  • Other:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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