By: Larissa Dubose, Resident Wine Educator
Welcome back Wine Friends and soon-to-be Wine Connoisseurs. I’m glad to be sharing the second of four reasons of why I Looooveee Wine so much! Check out the first reason, Wine Is My Passport, here.
I’m a strong believer and have witnessed the power of Wine knowledge. Culturally, many people of color were not exposed to Wine growing up. Whether it was for religious purposes, lack of access, income, or interest. Personally, my parents didn’t drink at all when I was growing up. My interest in Wine started to take shape during my time in the restaurant industry, and piqued as a Sales Representative for a liquor and Wine distributor. The exposure I’ve been given in the industry has been unparalleled – I’ve learned and soaked up so much information through sales meetings, completing education courses, working the market with renowned Winemakers and educators, sitting in the same room as Master Sommeliers, and trips to California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys.
The consistent thing that I’ve seen over the years, especially in the Wine space, is that I am usually the only person of color in the room. The lack of diversity was and is very evident! But the love I have for my career and the desire to increase my Wine knowledge pushes me to not only share what I’ve been given access to, but to help those seriously interested in getting their foot in the door.
Wine knowledge is a bridge. Just a little bit gives you access to other parts of the world. It also puts you in a position of control and power in business settings. Two places that business deals happen are on the golf course and at restaurants while breaking bread. Envision this: You’re hosting a client at a fine dining restaurant for dinner, and the Wine list comes, what do you do in that moment? Do you give it away to someone else at the table? If you do, then you potentially gave your budget for the dinner away. In that moment, you could very easily miss a more authentic conversation with the clients, as Wine is one of those common interests in the business world – much like sports and travel. Especially among those of great influence including business executives, doctors, lawyers, politicians, athletes, and entertainers. These skilled professionals have the Wine collections and cellars, because like art, Wine is a symbol of prestige. When we at The Lotus & The Vines say we want you to have a seat at the Worldwide Wine Table, these are some of the people sitting there. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be too! Cheers!