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*this is a guest post by Natasha Foy.  I met Natasha just recently by watching her application for the Murphy-Goode winery marketing dream job.  I really liked her submission and thought, you all need to have a look and a read.  So let’s jump right into Natasha’s post and I will give you the details as usual at the bottom:

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The question has been posed – Why wine? To answer, I need to go back to my first wine drinking experiences.  When all of my friends were downing shots and drinking warm beer from a keg, I was drinking wine.  Not good wine, but wine nonetheless.  My best friend and I dubbed the boxed stuff that we smuggled from a family gathering as “Chateau Chablis”, not because it was white, but because it tasted like my boyfriend’s dog who was named after the chardonnay region.

We shuttered ourselves in her brother’s bathroom – I can still see the brown and silver butterfly wallpaper – and toasted to living a life “less average”, to making something of ourselves and to swimming against the stream when necessary.  We sealed our pact with a swig of what tasted like nail polish remover – a moment that I will never forget in sense or sentiment.

A couple of years later while studying abroad in Italy, I had many wine epiphanies.  Perhaps the most significant was days after I arrived in Rome.  I walked into an enoteca and sat down at the bar, still a little nervous about being twenty years old despite being in Europe.  Behind the bar were long low butcher block tables covered in plates of antipasti: marinated squid piled high, croquettes, chunks of parmesan and other cheeses, bruschettas, olives and tasty things I had never seen before.  I fumbled through my rudimentary Italian and told the bartender to please prepare me something of his choosing and a glass of whatever he recommended.

He quickly arranged and placed several small plates in front of me.  I bit into a lightly fried risotto ball with a little piece of ham in the center as I waited for my wine.  It arrived with an explanation that Frascati, the bartender’s choice, was indigenous to the hills outside of Rome in the Lazio region, and that is was un vino Romano propio – a typical Roman wine.  Indeed, Frascati has been made and enjoyed in and around Rome for thousands of years.

My next bite was a triangle of toast thinly smeared with smoky lard.  I was apprehensive, but hey, when in Rome.  It melted (quite literally) in my mouth and I washed it down with a generous sip of the Frascati.  The wine hit my tongue, the noise of the bar turned into an indistinguishable hum, and if my life were a movie, the camera would have captured a close-up of my eyes opening wider, right before panning out to the edge of the planet.

To say that my mind was blown by the fruity effervescence that I had just imbibed would be about accurate.  I realized, in that moment, the history of the place I was in, the significance of being there as I crossed into adulthood, and of course, the sheer pleasure of food and wine.  For a fleeting Big Bang moment – I got it.  The taste evoked the response, but it also defined my experience.  To this day, when I drink Frascati wine I cannot help but to be transported back to that time.

Wine is the background music in my movie and sometimes the main character.  My relationship to wine evolves as I do, and serves as a marker for my life’s most important moments.  Why wine?  Why ever not?

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Natasha, when I read this, I want to hop on a train to Italy and find your roman bartender and experience my very first wine… about 20 years older than you were at the time (yes, could this be a way to handle a mid-life-crisis — I wonder?)((Not that I am going through a mid-life-crisis–NO, please don’t think that!))(((Ok, I will shut-up now)))

Thank you for sharing the music in your life, Natasha!

I bet you want to see that video! I present to you Natasha Foy, social media savvy queen ready to catch a ride to Sonoma:

Wanna go vote for Natasha?  Then head on over here and did you know that you can vote for more than one person?  YES you can!

You can catch Natasha here: