The Sip

An archive of notes from 2015—2019

Sip Happens.

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I guess I made it to the blogosphere. Hesitantly. This was never my intention, you know. I guess I should you give you a little backstory before it sounds like I’m just slamming the world of blogging and throwing rocks at my own glass house or whatever.

After spending close to $150K on a master’s degree in Journalism from USC (spending is a loosely applied term; the debt lives on), I proceeded to enter the job market—a  market that had a gray cloud looming over every possible job opportunity, where blogs were the threat of extinction for traditional news, according to the traditional news outlets. Free content from nobodys without an expensive degree? Ha! I wouldn’t reduce myself, abandon sentence structure, and just give it away for nothing. My mom had taught me better than that. So I did what any post grad does and got a job: as a server. I quickly proved myself and graduated to bartender—a huge leap—at a spot that was respectably denying people things like balsamic vinegar and parmeasan cheese.  I had just quit a job in a clothing store and was sulking to a friend over lunch at a new Italian restaurant around the corner. When we asked the server to hold the onions on the Nicoise salad, he quipped, we don’t modify our dishes.

Really? Not even if I say you look like Tom Cruise?

I’m sure there was more to the philosophy than his shaky one-liner offered, but he was obviously a bad actor, so whatever, a salad with onions then.

Two weeks later I was using the same line, denying Los Angeles diners what they coveted most—modifications. I loved it. I clung to the principles of saying no even outside of my uncut pizza-slinging responsibilities. I said no to customers who hit on me, said no when people asked me if I was an actress (I have a degree, can’t you tell by my career path here?), and especially said no when my parents asked me to get out of the restaurant industry.  Well, mostly I just ignored their calls. In between all that naysaying, I started to care: about service and hospitality first, a people pleaser at heart reveling in the instant gratification of helping make someone’s meal good with my suggestion on a bottle of wine. And then about what was in the food, how it was made, where it was from and the stories it came with. Then there was the wine. Wine was a love affair that crept in slowly at first, my naïvette a great ally in my own discovery and also my own worst enemy, leading me blindly down a path I didn’t know I was carving.  Along the way there were a million stops, binge-watching True Blood after class, late night texting marathons, wine bar discoveries, aimlessness and wanderlust, lack of motivation and spurts of creativity, deep heartbreak, and legit happiness, all in nearly equal measure, and always with some glass of wine in hand, the one thing that would later serve as context for all of these moments in retrospect.  Ultimately, wine just became a part of the journey for me, to service and people, and then, back to writing. So here I am, conceding, and admitting how wrong I was back then to say no so readily (for the record I haven’t been wrong since), and fully aware how late I am to the blog party. But everything forthcoming will be fueled with old and new discoveries, all delicious and all of which I have always wanted to share.

All those sips have landed me here: drinking a glass of delicious Oregon Pinot (something I would have definitely said no to years ago when I was turning my nose up at domestic wine, the Italian dogma is strong), chatting with you about wine and life, and really, about how they are one and the same. 

The Sip is my collection of my tales, tastes and travels, with no shortage of great wine or unabashed opinions. It’s for all of us, who love life and wine both, without all the rules. Let’s do this. Or, really I guess, Pour This.

Also, this is what I’m listening to tonight while I blog/drink.