I just returned from a sales trip to Kentucky and Ohio. It was fun.
Iâ€™m a California girl at heart, raised with Catholicism (slightly lapsed now). So, it is a wonderful experience to go to other places with different sensibilities than Iâ€™m used to on a day to day basis.
It doesn’t take long before you realize itâ€™s the ability to enjoy fine food and drink that can bring it all together.
Day 1. The Kentucky Derby. Itâ€™s a big deal. Bigger than Christmas, Iâ€™ve been told (by more than a few).
My more complete understanding of Louisville began with schooling on pronunciation. Iâ€™ll admit, with some embarrassment, to not even being able to spell Louisville or Kentucky.
I didnâ€™t realize how much trouble I was in until I was sitting in a bar at Midway Airport, Chicago, next to a University of Kentucky alumni.
You know, just trying to make some small talk about sports on TV like any good road-warrior, when the topic of final destination came up in conversation.
So far, I think I had impressed him, not only with my knowledge of NCAA womenâ€™s basketball, but with the book on the starting pitcher for the Cubs in their rainy, cold home-opener. I was obviously in-formed.
All was lost when he heard me say I was going to â€˜Looy-ville.â€™ He told me a few of the other interesting, shall we say, pronunciations. (I stopped counting at twelve.) Hey, my nose is bleeding here! Iâ€™m not going to let a Tennessee native who went to Lexington, Kentucky for collegeâ€¦ well, he did open my eyes.
The person I really owe it all to though is my ride-with salesperson, Tim Stratman of Vanguard Wines. A native of Louisville, Tim was able to make the fog disappear.
â€œLou-wa-vul. Say it again with me,â€ Tim says, â€œlou-wa-vul. Got it?â€
Itâ€™s hard on a Californian, so I understand any trouble you have with it, but once you get the proper pronunciation, you begin to get it all. I had such a blast.
Thanks to all. Tim, for a great sales day that was a bunch of fun as well.
Evan Comer, of Prospect Party Center, you are a very good and humble taster with a great selection of wines.
Will Pullem, of Theater Square Market Place, great location and great store full of everything.
Justin Horn and Bill Derham, of Liquor World, it was fun tasting with you both and thanks for your support.
And a special thanks to old friend Michael Bonadies of 21C Museum Hotel and his beverage director at the hotel restaurant, Proof on Main, Benjamin Smith, and general manager, Brooks Reitz, a couple of great cocktails and delicious meals! – Mia