Welcome to the Table!

Welcome to the Table
… And a bit about what we’re doing here anyway.

Ciao! Welcome to our new site. If you’re here, you probably know either or one of us; thanks for checking it out. If you don’t, and are curious, bios and details here, and equal thanks for visiting.

For this Official First Post, here's a background story. And for some reason, the telling of the tale sends my head straight to … Estelle Getty and The Golden Girls. Yep. As Sophia Petrillo (who, coincidentally, spent loads of time around the table with her friends) used to say:  “Picture it…” 

Manhattan, September 2015. Nikki and Bridget. The night was warm. A coveted patio two-top at Bar Boulud was ours. A smoky Fiano di Avellino was frosting our glasses, snacks (some delish spreads and anchovies) en route. 

By all appearances, it was a standard Friday … except it wasn’t. Tension – and a shared sense of it to boot – was through the roof. 

Nikki and I had met to chat about our upcoming WSET research papers: a.k.a. the 3,000-ish words on “The Gin Renaissance” that we hoped – feverishly – would mark the end of the grueling six-unit, six-exam Diploma curriculum that’d subsumed the last three years of our lives. With the finish line potentially within reach, we’d also gotten together to talk about a writing collaboration that could take place once (once!) we’d reached the other side.

As anyone who’s been through an advanced wine education program can testify, you get to know your classmates REALLY well when your idea of ‘normal’ involves multi-region tasting groups, theory reviews, literally a million flashcards, and more than a few 2 a.m. panic sessions about things like Bianco di Custoza and Brandy de Jerez.

Among the wonderful friendships that developed during Diploma, ours was one of the best. Two thirty-something writers, shared obsessions (besides wine: food, travel, quirky history and science topics, a passion for spreadsheets, similar ambitions and neuroses …) it makes sense that we hit it off.

In true awesome-connection style, the perpetual “same boat” phenomenon played a role too – that thing with your favorite people where you have your own eye-contact language, or one gets in touch exactly as the other is thinking about the same. Or, stuff just happens to both of you at the same time … 

This particular September Friday, for both of us, Stuff. Was. Happening.

First, there was our June 2015 test – the famously tricky Diploma Unit 3 “Light Wines of the World” exam and all-consuming study-time beast that’d gobbled up the first half of the year. The outcome was key to our wine school fate, and we each thought we’d passed, but ultimately, our scores, and the answers to related questions like, “hey, can we start a fun website, or are we sentenced to another six months of studying?” were anyone’s guess. It’d been months with no word from WSET and trying not to stress about the unknown – until that afternoon. Finally, news: exam results were in the mail, due to arrive that week.

Naturally, (when it rains it pours?) this bombshell wasn’t the only major circumstance in play, for either of us. Or, by this point, even the most important. Nikki and her husband, Greg, had been talking about moving to the Bay Area, and it was officially happening. “And sooner than we thought!” For me, after a challenging job search, feedback from a promising second interview – and an opportunity that would also involve a huge change of scene – was due to arrive any day.

Needless to say, uncertainty, excitement, and, yes, a little bit of dread, were coming on strong. And thus began the collaboration conversation. 

“Ok, so, what’s your favorite thing about wine?” 

We knew that whatever our new project was, once we got there, we wanted to focus on wine (obviously!). But also, somehow, food – why not combine Nikki’s culinary degree, and my random food background with all of this beverage knowledge we’d been amassing? 

Clearly, the Internet has no need for another food site. Not to mention, wine, depending on how it’s approached, can be … not the most universally interesting topic. 

So, back to that favorite-things question, and a mutual confession that still makes me laugh: wine textbooks aren’t our jam. Do our inner geeks relish all of the technical info we’ve spent years learning? Yes. Is it cool to know everything that makes up a good bottle? Sure. But, at the end of the day, the thing we love most, some of our best ‘wine’ moments, involve exactly what we were doing at that very moment: eating, drinking and enjoying. Factor in our shared tendency to use wine as the segue to the right food pairings, or to even better connections, and, well, here we are. 

Many months, separate coasts and impactful job changes later, we’re happily back at the table, and excited to share with you. Cheers!



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