The Grapes & Grains Team

Meet The People Behind The Bottles

Jamie Matzdorf

President, CEO, Chief Bottle Washer

I moved to Defreestville in 1987 when I bought a home just a stone’s throw from Grapes & Grains. I raised my daughter here and have gotten to know many of you and your families over the years.

I caught the “wine bug” just about the same time I moved into our new home, and started learning everything I could about wines from around the world. I started keeping a little wine cellar, and, well, things just sort of snowballed from there! Having enjoyed fifteen years serving your needs here at Grapes & Grains, I look forward to another fifteen years to come.

I am a Wine and Single Malt enthusiast with an appreciation for Small Batch Bourbons, Tequilas, and Craft Spirits.

Ron Greene

Senior Wine Consultant/AKA The Wine Doctor

Affectionately known as the Wine Doctor, Ron came to Grapes & Grains upon his retirement from a distinguished career working for the State of NY.

Our chief wine and whiskey geek, Ron has been serving Grapes & Grains customers for more than 13 years. He brings an encyclopedic knowledge of wine from around the world, and he is our go-to-guy for all things bourbon and tequila-related. Many of you know him from his years of providing you sage advice on fine wine, but Ron brings a lifetime of interest and a wealth and breadth of knowledge about wine, bourbon, tequila and gin as well.

Jennifer Schroeder

Staff Mom

Jen joined Grapes & Grains two years ago after several years at Harry Doakmajian’s Wine-Skill Wine and Liquor. Known as our Staff Mom, she brings many years of experience in wine and liquor sales, and customer service to Grapes & Grains.

You will find her here most weekdays; if you do, you’ll leave with a smile. Jen is an enthusiast of New York State Wines, gins, and cordials and draws upon years of helping Rensselaer County customers with their wine and liquor purchases.

Chris Fleshman

Chris started at Grapes & Grains four years ago. He has a fondness for big reds, but also appreciates all there is to learn about wine and winemaking. Chris is an accomplished home brewer, and has pursued his curiosity about distilled spirits and wine since he’s been with us. He knows our huge inventory front to back and if you can describe what you’re looking for, he’ll find it for you.

Joshua Galbo

Josh has been with Grapes & Grains for nearly four years. You will find him here a couple of evenings per week, ready to dispense good advice on a wide variety of subjects, including wine, spirits, Phish, and his beloved Indianapolis Colts. Always ready with a smile and a helping hand, we know you’ll be pleased with his recommendations.

Kristin Shaw

Kristin joined us four years ago. As an ex-newspaperman, I’ve always had a soft spot for others like me. Many of you may know Kristin from her years as a reporter for The Courier and The Independent. Many more of you will know her from growing up here and raising her family in Castleton. You’ll find her here most Thursdays and an occasional Saturday. She’s a Pinot Noir fan. If you’re looking for a smoking good Pinot Noir at a price that won’t kill you, talk to Kristin.

Sarah Heitzman

We call her Princess Mini. Sarah knows where every small bottle of wine and liquor is hidden or stored at Grapes & Grains and keeps them shockingly well organized! She is a wine and spirits enthusiast, and attends the Finger Lakes Wine Festival every year to acquaint herself with the ever-growing number of delicious wines being made in New York’s premier wine-growing region.

Katie Merrill

Katie is our world traveler, having recently returned from an extended trip to Europe, where she sampled wine, cider and spirits from the countries she visited. A recent graduate from SUNY Albany’s Graduate School, she is well-versed in living on a tight budget and can help you select great value wines and spirits that won’t break the bank.

Brian Ping

Brian is the newest member of our team, joining Grapes & Grains from “The Grocery” in downtown Troy where he specialized in customer service for more than two years. He is a dedicated “foodie” and a whiskey and wine lover. Brian has a knack for customer service. He is an excellent listener, and if you place yourself in his hands, you’ll leave happy and satisfied.

Amanda Rock

Amanda has been serving Grapes & Grains customers for more than two years. You’ll find her here during evenings and weekends. She has an infectious enthusiasm for her job, our customers and wines from Italy, Spain, and California. She will help you find just the right bottle and you’ll head home with a smile.

Contact Us

  • Grapes & Grains Wine and Spirits
  • 279 Troy Road Rensselaer, NY 12144
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mon-Sat 9am - 9pm
    Sunday 12pm - 9pm

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