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Leah Mojer

Wine 101

Folks who know me here on Nantucket know me for two things:  0verseeing the world of cheese at Bartlett’s Farm, and slinging margaritas at Millie’s in Madaket.  While I have loved working at both establishments for the last three years, and miss them terribly, I have embarked on a new journey into the world of Wine. 

Having spent my youth running around (literally) my family’s upscale restaurant in central Massachusetts, I have been immersed in the dining world for as long as I can remember. Eating grilled squid and escargots at age five was no big deal. Neither was working every New Year’s Eve through high school when all my friends were celebrating without me. It was the way it was. So of course when it came to college I chose Culinary. I know for certain this path has been the right one for me, although nailing down a “career” somewhere has proved tricky. My resume reads like a Johnson & Wales course catalog, Sausage Making, Beer Sales, Wedding Catering, Cheese Mongering, Bartending…. I find myself, searching, constantly for more knowledge, even at the detriment of looking like an employee that flies the coop once a year has gone by.

All these different jobs, but I was still missing knowledge about wine.  Sure I can navigate my way around a wine section, only sometimes choosing for the label, but to actually know about a wine, or a certain region, to know the magic between different varietals, to know the husband and wife team behind the bottle. That’s special.

Before I go further, it’s also worth mentioning that I am an avid and ferocious collector of vintage and antique picnic ware.  So last year, while at a Christmas party over pink bubbles and spanakopita, when I mentioned to a group of women, some I knew, some just met, that I would love to work at currentVintage to learn about wine, one said, “Beth is one of my close friends, and you should TOTALLY go talk to her!”

So here I am, five months later, the cheese buyer and newest wine & vintage student at CV and loving every minute of it.  The stories and the new smells, the grapes I keep misspelling, the inaccurate wine “facts” I’m finding I have been giving all these years to friends and family, tasting wine by spitting it out. It’s all so new, so vast, hard to remember, and utterly fascinating.

Learning that some sauvignon blanc needs food to be enjoyed, and that Champagnes are best friends with triple crème cheeses.  These little marriages between food and wine are what drive my day-to-day curiosity, and every new pairing I discover seems more exciting than the last.

Experiment! The only thing that can happen is you hate it. At least the wine is drinkable!  I will continue to forge on, unafraid of making mistakes. They happen. That 30-dollar Riesling I told my step mother was dry? 8.5% ABV...(the opposite of dry). The tiny Champagne producer’s name I spelled wrong and posted on Facebook? Oops. The perfectly impeccable Chardonnay I hated when everyone else swooned? Who cares!  I see it like this: the information is just that much more memorable, for the next customer I get to enchant.

Leah Mojer works full time as the cheese and beer buyer at currentVintage.

Comments

Peter B. Brace's picture

Wow, Leah, I really love how you write! And I love learning more about you. I hope you keep up with these posts.