Sexism is real, it's not going away.
A woman's cleavage will always be something she has to use and get over,
a very difficult balancing act. Not impossible to overcome
but an issue to embrace.
Which is why I am singing some songs of love about
women wine importers.
It's not that there aren't plenty of worthy women out there,
I think that they are just not as quick to grab the spotlight.
They don't bang their chest as hard. Few of them have hired publiscists.
Even fewer have written their own books. Their ego might be more reasonably reigned in and humbler. But please know that women have been and are quietly building a better wine world.
Who are snug in my not exhaustive list? Becky Wasserman. Martine Saunier
(who sold her business last year). Jeanne -Marie Deschamps.
Jenny Lefcourt. Newest comer Camille Riviere.
Amy Atwood. Katell Pleven.
I'm going to try to get to all of them
in short order, but first up? Katell Pleven!
Katell and Dario Princic when Jeremy Parzen and I were having lunch last year at Vini Veri. Taken by Dr. J.
Brooklyn native, Katell Pleven is currently the owner of The Vine Collective with Larry Goldenberg. The portfolio is full-service, serving many palates. Embedded into the selections are heartthrobs, including Domaine Julien Meyer, Domaine Grosbot-Barbara (Saint Pourçain), Domaine des Miquettes (Saint Joseph). In Italy? Praesidium (fabulous Abruzzo), Lusenti (Emilia-Romagna), the great Dario Princic (Friuli V-G), Carussin (Piemonte), La Porta di Vertine (Chianti). All of these have been included as recommendations in The Feiring Line. Katell's passage to wine was a little delayed, as she was convinced she was not going to be in the wine biz, but the stage biz.
By industry standards Katell had a good bit of success as a working actress, having done film, Saturday Night Live and soaps. "The soap operas paid well, but the craft of acting wasn't really required in that medium. I had to admit to myself that this wasn't what I had dreamed of as a young "wanna be" professional actor. "
In her transition from acting she gravitated to restaurant work. She started to buy wine was for a now defunct Manhattan restaurant called Espace and later Steak Frites. "I had no idea what I was doing back then, but I had good teachers. Now this was mid to late 90's and my Skurnik salesperson was Theresa Ryder." She said Theresa was a great teacher and encouraged her to take study at Wine and Spirit Education Trust. There she met and tasted with Raimundo Gaby (who teaches currently at Culinary Institute of America), Molly Battenhouse and Lisa Granik.
Doing this interview made me go back to reread East Coker. It still feels right.
For a further union, a deeper communion Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning.--T.S. Eliot