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Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Blog post by Maria D., a Kindness Investor from Washington, DC.

Photo: Maria D.

Meet Alex.  She’s a vibrant, young woman, full of life and energy.  She’s lived in Australia, Oregon, Chicago, and attended undergrad at Northwestern.  Alex has a passion for grapes, which is what has led her to her current gig as Director of Marketing and Communication for Washington Wine Academy, based out of Arlington, VA.

But it wasn’t a smooth transition – she was an unemployed, “freaking out” new graduate “loafing” around Oregon and came to VA on a whim to take a wine certification class after working at Winestyles in college.  Her instructor at WWA saw something in her that he wanted to snatch up, and hired her back in April 2010.

Alex’s gamble of moving out East from Oregon seems to have paid off as she loves her job – wine, people, events, what’s not to love?  Which brings us to her $10.  She knew immediately how she’d be spending it: “mmm, a giant coffee and a breakfast sandwich” while working her company’s event this weekend, a 1K Wine Walk.

When I asked her if she needed anything, she quickly responded, “No thanks, I’m perfect!  Well….(she hastily recanted) I could use an extra day before Monday!  Can you guys help me with that?”  Probably not…but thanks for your infectious smile and boundless energy, Alex!

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photo: Reed

I live nearby a cozy wine bar called Veritas at the corner of Connecticut and Florida.  The other night I was meeting a friend there for a drink.  We grabbed a table in the outside terrace and were greeted by our personal sommelier Fred. 

Now I am a bit of an accent junkie.  I love trying to figure out where people are from based on their accents.  On top of that I have a bizarre condition that makes me want to imitate the accent of the people with whom I am speaking.  Ok, it’s not really a condition, but we seem to make everything else a condition or disease, so why not this, right? 

Fred moved the US from England about 10 years ago. (photo: Reed)

Anyway, Fred had an interesting accent.  Sometimes I thought he was British other times I thought he was Africa or maybe he was from the States…who knows? I was perplexed.  It turns out he is originally from the United Kingdom.  “I’m guessing you’re a Manchester United fan,” I told him.  “He grinned widely and said, “Absolutely.”  As for the accent he says, “The more I drink or the more I watch football (and he’s not talking NFL), the more the English accent comes out.”

The Royal Palace...this is possibly where the $10 ended up. (photo: Reed)

He brought us our bottle of wine and I asked him if he would accept my $10.  He readily agreed.  I asked him how he was going to use it and he said, “You see that place across the street?”  I turned all the way around to see the Royal Palace, a questionable looking “gentlemen’s club” that from the outside oddly resembles a Chinese take out joint.  “It’s going right there!”

He laughed a little and disappeared back inside.  I couldn’t tell if he was serious or joking.  A while later we went to pay.  We couldn’t find Fred and it seemed as if he had left for the night.  Or maybe he seriously took off across the street to the Royal Palace!  What category would I put that in?  “Something for themself” or “Gave the money to someone else?”  Hmmm…I’m guessing the latter.

Fred apparently cut himself pretty bad. (photo: Reed)

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I walked by the Best Cellars wine shop in Dupont today and saw the following sign out front.

So I went in to see what the deal was.  The shelves were almost completely bare.  I was promptly greeted and learned that Saturday would be there last day open – assuming they still have wine and accessories to sell. 

I was sad to see this shop close.  After searching the internet some, I found some reports that the landlord has received a much higher offer for rent from a cell phone company.  Although I totally agree with a free market, I am personally disappointed to see Best Cellars leave and a cell phone store take its place.  We have several cell phone stores in walking distance from the Best Cellars location and I have been to three of them and had terrible experiences at all three.  Not that we are short on wine shops in the neighborhood, we have plenty, but the staff at Best Cellars was always very friendly and took their time with customers who had trouble understanding and explaining what kind of wine they liked.

Anyway, I thought who better to give my $10 to than one of the three nice employees who were losing their job this Saturday when the store closes. 

Enter Ali, Lindsey, and “Lodogg.”  And Lodogg made sure to let me know that there were two “g”s in Lodogg.  I gave them $10 to split…and they said they would buy one of their highly discounted bottles of wine and toast to the last days working together.  Lucky for them, they all have other jobs…but they worked here for supplemental income (and I am guessing awesome discounts on wine!)

Lindsey, Lodogg, and Ali toast to their final days at work

All three of them hope to find new part-time work in the wine industry.  I will post this on the Lend a Hand section in case someone knows of some job leads for them.

If you are in the neighborhood, stick your head in and say hello (or good-bye) and grab some wine and accessories at a great price!

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I spent my Saturday mostly shoveling the walkways in front of my building and doing things around the house.  I decided to go out in the evening to try to find a recipient.  It’s hard to get someone to stop and talk to you when the weather is like this, so I decided to stop in to a little wine bar that is next to my place called Veritas.
 

Veritas DC: Corner of Conn. and Florida

I like Veritas and recommend you check it out.  It’s a small laid back place, perfect little escape during a snow storm.  I tried a flight of Spanish red wines which was highlighted by a Beronia “reserva” from the Rioja region.  It was excellent…it was a little spicy with a velvety texture that coats your tongue.  

I was seated next to a group of three young professionals.  I asked the one closest to me if she would accept my $10.  Patti declined, but said that she would do something with her own $10.  She was heading back to see her family in New Jersey soon and said she would use $10 to pay for other people’s tolls.  Excellent!

I still had to give my $10 away though.  I asked her two other friends.  They talked amongst themselves a little and then decided that Lauren would accept it.  

I move down to speak with her and find out a little more about her and what she will do with the money.  The bottom line is that I didn’t learn much about these folks.  My questions were deftly deflected to questions back to me for the most part.  I learn that the three of them are in journalism…so they are used to asking the questions.  I did find out that Lauren was 31, lived in the Dupont Circle area, enjoyed boxing (I kept my distance), and yoga.  

She was not sure what she would do with the $10.  She said she would somehow “pay it forward.”  We talked about somehow putting it in a protective sleeve and leaving dropping it on the ground with her email on the $10 so that someone would follow up with her if they found it.  She agreed to email me later and let me know what she did with it.

Lesson for the day, don’t try to ask journalists questions.  They will flip the tables on you :).  Maybe they will check out my site and give me some suggestions for improving it and reaching more people.  Heck maybe they will be inspired to write about what I am doing.

I’m off to watch the Super Bowl now… I have no real passion for either team, so I guess I will go with the underdog, the Saints.

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