What I believe to be true is that you should listen to no one. I believe that when it comes to all things in life, who and what you eat, drink, love, marry, divorce, or monopolize is no one’s damn business. In saying that, my life did change when great mentors affected me, and altered my visions. Mentors come in different disguises. I have been slapped silly by great minds, and fooled by charlatans that preached they had the best intentions. I have cursed myself for falling for the obvious evils, and cried when I recall poignant conversations with artists now passed. The outcome to all of this is that I have found a voice. Has it come from personal teachings, silly mistakes, or really great yoga classes? Hell yeah, and I am not shy to admit that.
Who can I thank? My ex husband. If you should see him in the street, or happen by him at a party, please never repeat what I am about to tell you. I was switching careers; ok, not switching but ENDING my first career without much of a direction. My husband saw something in me. He may have been blinded by love or the fact that I was young, ambitious, and could not sit still. His business partner was opening a restaurant and needed wait staff that was “wine savvy”. I was lucky enough to have traveled and experienced different images that New Jersey didn’t offer at the time. (Does this lovely state offer them now?) It sounded good; who doesn’t want to eat and drink for a living? One day, this business partner asked me to “organize” the wine room. Three days later I emerged with a new impression of what I was supposed to do. I just didn’t know how to do it.
I conned my way into a New York City Restaurant Group that was controlled by a Master of Wine. I didn’t even know, at the time, what it took to become a Master of Wine. All I knew was that this guy was a bit off his rocker, hated my guts, was annoyed that I breathed the same air; yeah, challenging. I didn’t give up though. Hours at work became dog years, and I still went home to read about regions in Italy, France, and wherever this “Master” told me I should embrace. I went to blind tasting classes, industry tastings where I was one of the only women (and in my early 30’s; not very popular), and picked up every book, magazine, or wine rag I could. I wrote tasting notes on napkins, asked countless questions, and made enough mistakes that ended up teaching me how to run a cellar.
I came back to New Jersey to have babies. That idea, and the marriage, didn’t last very long. When I came to the realization that I could be “ok” doing something on my own, I thought I would try my hand on the distribution side of wine and spirits. What I didn’t know is that this would change my direction and bring out my true talents. I started to teach; something I had no desire to be involved in, or thought I had any talent to do. I found large buying groups and developed them, realized what social media and marketing could do to a product, and played with the thousands of new “friends” (wines) that sat at my fingertips. I realized what the BUSINESS of wine was and I also realized how many people didn’t view distribution as a business. I spent long hours at countless dinners, made tragic mistakes that could have cost thousands of dollars, and met the most fascinating individuals on this planet.
That is the outline of who and the why. What makes me special? I’m the real deal. I don’t talk in flowery words. I look for questions and I’m not afraid to ask them. At times my wit can be annoying, but it is sure to make you laugh. I make many sexual connotations to wine where they can be slightly inappropriate. I don’t apologize even when my mother tells me I’m wrong. I am obsessed at making sense of something that makes no sense to the casual drinker. Food and wine pairings turn me on. And even after all of this, I am professional to the very end. I hope you find clarity, a zeal for all things foreign, and an abundant curiosity when visiting this website. Writing blogs, posting on Twitter and Facebook, or even this short bio motivates me to bring more insight to your palette and to mine!