Twenty years ago living Santa Fe, in various places passed daily there were signs, posters, tee-shirts, and bumper stickers declaring “Santa Fe, a City Different”. When first arriving there after living in a Colorado ski area for a number of years, Santa Fe did indeed seem a “City Different”. But this visit, on every level, Santa Fe was a “City Wonderful”.
Among the “city wonderful” traits, is the relaxed way that friends not seen in years, pick up exactly where the last visit ended as if we had dinner together just last week. It is phenomenal how wonderful each of our closest friends there is and such an honor to sit around wonderful dining tables chatting as glorious sunsets unfurl their magnificent colors that are proof-positive the light and vivid colors of Santa Fe are mesmerizingly different from anywhere else on earth.
Then there’s the “different” of walking into a independent wine shop and chatting with the sales person about some of their unique selections and realizing we are on similar sommelier continuing education paths. Then finding a beautiful bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc; a wine read about but never sampled. Perfect! Purchased the Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc and a lovely Gigondas and out the door to more friends’ home to enjoy a fabulous lamb dinner. When checking out, the sales person deducted a trade discount normally offered only to local wine professionals. Santa Fe, a city wonderful!
That dinner was precious! Catching up with more friends, listening to one play cello beautifully, learning of another’s daunting health challenges, hearing more life stories from folks we love dearly while we all enjoyed amazing wines from new friend and fellow wine professional. One of the gifts of being a sommelier is watching sheer delight spread across faces as a new jewel of a wine slips down the throat. Truly this is like watching one of those amazing Santa Fe sunsets unfurl over those beautiful mountains.
Santa Fe; a City Wonderful.
… a very savvy lady said those words to me earlier this summer when I delivered some wines from a recent tasting to her.
She invited me in for tea and a chat. She has a peaceful, wise demeanor that puts one at ease and her home exudes this same peaceful, calm. This invitation to get to know her better was a most welcome treat. We chatted about kitties, hers had recently passed away; adult children, re-nesting, relaunching, and careers. Yes, definitely a winding conversation that women understand best because we usually see all of life as at least somewhat interconnected. It was a lovely afternoon.
Over the course of the conversation, we chatted about Pairing to Perfection, continuing WSET sommelier classes, and how to use these wonderful classes to grow Pairing to Perfection into a viable business. She came up with this idea that I’d heard of but at the time didn’t know how flexible or easy it is to launch. She said simply, “You need a successful Kickstarter”.
After mulling this over for a few weeks, I’ve done it. I have a small Kickstarter going right now that is designed to fund the next 2 units of classes, exams and travel expenses to get to the WSET exams. The reason for asking for this is two-fold. One is that the more I learn and the more the classes and growing expertise are documented, the easier to attract people who value the training and engage Pairing to Perfection. The more important reason is gaining skills for planning events, hosting wine tastings, conducting staff training, creating wine lists and pairing menus improves skills learned “on the job”. They are all part of creating well-planned events whether dinner in one’s home or a major fundraising event or opening a restaurant. Basically, together they are a sum of the parts present in genuine hospitality. Hopefully those services enable the client to do what is the heart of Pairing to Perfection, to offer gracious hospitality to family and friends in an all too rushed and busy world.
If you would like to support this Kickstarter, you can find the information at https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/p2p. Many thanks!
“Builds Determination” possibly the greatest understatement of all time for each vintner in Napa & Sonoma since 3am PDT yesterday. If any group of folks can set mind, time and effort to setting things right to get vineyards back in shape and figure out the impact on harvest, it is definitely the vineyard managers and wine makers in two of the finest, most famous AVA’s in the world.
One of the great privileges of spending a while in the wine and hospitality business is the opportunity to meet talented, hardworking people who dedicate their all to growing incredible fruit and turning each year’s vintage into wonderful wine year after year. My admiration for these friends and icons of fine wine is immense.
Since waking to the tragic news of the 6+ earthquake in Napa and Sonoma, the reality of the damage and impact right at harvest has been stunning. If only I wouldn’t be underfoot by going there to help! In a cat’s eye blink, I could be packed and on my way to help with clean-up. Realizing desire and experience are vastly different, I’m not expecting a call, but will continue to keep lots of folks, their vineyards, caves, and harvest in my thoughts and prayers.
… just about exactly three years ago, this website launched with a dream of launching a little wine consulting business while working toward becoming a Certified Sommelier. Having enjoyed a number of years working for a fabulous charity wine auction, yet another move to a new city, opened the opportunity to explore new ways of using the wine knowledge gained under the tutelage of several wonderful people such as Dr. Frank A. Nesi and Richard Brown and the myriad winemakers, winery owners, wine consultants and master sommeliers they introduced me to and who helped us launch A Night for Sight.
After investigating what would work in our new “hometown,” wine and the ways to integrate a new way of delivering food & wine pairings, an acquaintance suggested that I meet Tessa Leung, visionary proprietor of Sontes. We had a coffee at Jaspers and realized that we have complimentary philosophies surrounding, food, wine & hospitality. She generously took me on as a sommelier. There could be no better training than to be mentored by Tessa with her many talents and epic palate… even more important is her love of her community and support of local artists, students working hard to achieve their dreams, and each guest entering her restaurant.
Now how to grow today? Oh yes! Introducing Pairing to Perfection’s brand new logo, created by talented Laura Swenson Larson of Design Tartare.