Wine drinkers, beef jerky ad Britney Spears
|I met Rebecca Chapa at the Snowdrift bar, a curvy, ski chalet-style bar/restaurant in San Francisco. Upon entering I almost tripped over the ceramic Bambi that guards the cone-shaped fireplace. I quickly learned Rebecca’s a real pro. Her extensive wine resume includes studying under Kevin Zraly of Windows of the World, acting as wine director for Jardiniare and working as a contributing editor for Wine & Spirits Magazine. As if that’s not enough, she’s also owner of Tannin Management, where she teaches bitter-free classes on wine. Read on as Rebecca, who’s also studying to be a Master of Wine, talks about West versus East Coast wine drinkers, beef jerky and Britney Spears.Wine X: Beer? No wine?
Rebecca: Well, I’ll start with beer then maybe have a wine later.
Wine X: Really? You can mix drinks like that?
Wine X: I thought that wasn’t a very good idea.
Wine X: Well. I think I’m going to have the Chilly Willy. (Maker’s Mark, sweet vermouth and bitters). Sips drink. Whoa! This is strong.
Wine X: So, let’s say you’re at this party and there’s box wine… would you drink it?
Wine X: A backup.
Wine X: After having lived in New York and now in San Francisco, do you find there’s a preference on each coast?
Wine X: People out here are more educated about wine?
Wine X: No, please do.
|Wine X: Exactly. When was that “moment” when you knew wine was your calling?
Rebecca: I started early. I went to Cornell University and studied wine there. I took all the food and beverage courses I could. I wanted to take the courses where I got something for free. I was in school, I was starving, and I wanted to learn about wine and then drink it. In New York you’re allowed to take wine courses when you’re 20 as long as it’s for educational purposes.Wine X: I knew I should’ve studied there.
Rebecca: And because I was in the Hotel School I was able to take wine classes on Wednesday afternoons with 800 people. Mostly seniors.
Wine X: That’s a lot of Dixie cups.
Wine X: That’s kinda like bringing your own pool stick to a bar.
Wine X: Exactly.
Wine X: I had an epiphany with mushrooms once, but it’s probably not what you’re talkin’ about.
Wine X: Like a musty, spongy flavor?
Wine X: Right.
Wine X: Let’s talk about snowboarding.
Wine X: How long have you been doing it?
Wine X: You go a lot?
Wine X: (looking around) Are the bars in Tahoe like this? I’ve never been to Tahoe.
Wine X: Speaking of which, I’ve never snowboarded, so it’s a good thing we met here. I would’ve been on my ass the entire time. Hard to take notes that way.
Wine X: Speaking of favorites…dig this segue…what’s your favorite kind of wine?
Wine X: What are three good adjectives you’d use to describe pinot?
Wine X: Not even gonna go there.
Wine X: Are there any overused adjectives that you don’t like to use to describe wine?
Wine X: What if someone says it smells like manure?
Wine X: Other than snowboarding, what other things do you like to do?
Wine X: Really. Karaoke?
Wine X: Uh-huh. Which Britney song do you sing?
Wine X: The dance?
Rebecca gets up, places palm over palm, and makes a heart thumping action.
Wine X: You go, girl.
We laugh, notice our glasses were empty and go to the bar to have another round.
“In my wine classes I encourage people to say whatever they think it smells like, because they’re right.”