The Da Toscano wine director sat down with our columnist to discuss dealing with hurricanes, racism and now a pandemic. No one would blame Madeline Maldonado for giving up on wine. She’s had to overcome hurricanes, racism and now a pandemic in order to become one of New York’s top sommeliers. And what may be the most amazing part of her story, is that she has never lost her sense of joy or empathy. Years working in the hospitality industry hardens many, but Maldonado experiences seem to have only made her more committed to creating a welcoming and supportive community for her customers and colleagues. Read on for my conversation with her about how she’s persevered and continues to fight for her place in the wine world.