Thursday, November 11, 2004
MY BAD…Got an interesting e-mail from my friend (I hope she’s still my friend), Jane Piper, owner of Piper Environmental. It alerted me to something that I guess we’re all capable of doing—unconsciously, even unintentionally: wiping out people or groups by the statements we make, or don’t make. I would like to include it here for the readers’ illumination as well as my own feeble act of restitution.
“In the October 14-20, 2004, issue of the Monterey County Weekly, the following was written in a column:
…Happened to be in the lounge the other night celebrating Joe Mendez, owner of Piper Environmental (a company that helps wineries and breweries keep their tanks clean) with his reprieve from back surgery. John, longtime sommelier and regular guide for Joe and wife Jane’s journeys through the joys of wine, had chosen a couple of magnificent bottles, and we were sitting around eating a couple of hundred apps…
“Without a doubt, Raymond Napolitano, writer of the published paragraph above, knows full well that I am majority owner and started Piper Environmental Group, Inc. Note in the above paragraph he doesn’t use my last name, Piper, which would have indicated to readers that Joe Mendez was NOT the owner of the company. What does this mean to me as a woman? It means that MY work, MY skills, and MY accomplishments, are discounted, diminished, belittled, devalued, and not even socially recognized within the community I reside. I cannot even begin to think of reasons why he would write the above in the manner he did.
“Can you imagine the outrage if this had been reversed?
“Can you imagine it even occurring in the reverse?
“Ray, on a personal note, that article inflamed me and about 20 other woman I know. To me, it is outrageous to write or insinuate the above. The story itself was cute and appreciated: Yes, we were celebrating Joe’s reprieve. In the future, I ask that you leave out any business information which is not the truth.”
To Jane, the other women I offended, as well as any other folks who read that and felt the same way, I sincerely apologize. These are indeed difficult times for many historically undervalued groups in our society, women of course being at the forefront, so increased sensitivity to what we say and how it is composed is certainly necessary. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
MY GOOD (KINDA)…Well, one woman whose success I’ve lauded and applauded over the years is Julia Child. It’s still hard to accept her passing, all the more reason why this Monday’s (the 15th) fantastic Julia Child Tribute Dinner at Highlands Inn will be so special. What, under any other circumstances, would be a fabulous multi course dinner—each course being prepared by a different top name chef, gorgeous wines chosen to compliment each course—becomes, because of the joyful and loving feelings by everyone about Sweet Julia, a transcendent affair of spiritually guided magnificence. There might be space still available, I don’t know for sure, but to not try to be there will leave you feeling empty and alone. Call 622-5445 and use whatever persuasive methods you have at your disposal to procure a place at this event.
DINNER AND A MOVIE…On Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th at Osio Theater in Monterey, prior to both evening shows of the highly acclaimed movie Sideways, a complimentary food and wine tasting will be offered with paid admission. The wines on Friday Night will be provided by Silver Mountain Vineyards. On Saturday night Clos La Chance will be pouring. Both wineries have tasting rooms near Monterey Plaza Hotel. Check it out.
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS…Don’t forget to run around the Peninsula this weekend as the Great Wine Escape Weekend goes through its annual fun and games, all in the name of Bacchanalian devotion to those cute little berries hanging from all the gnarly looking vines around here. From the opening gala at Monterey Plaza tonight (Thursday) through the closing extravaganza at Spanish Bay on Sunday, this weekend becomes a Mardi Gras of grape-guzzling goodness for fortunate locals and visitors flocking to our wonderful paradise. Check out montereywines.org.
As you enjoy the Great Wine Escape Weekend, undoubtedly you will encounter someone from Paraiso Vineyards, one of my favorite wineries, owned and run by the delightful Smith Family. Be sure to ask them about their upcoming Holiday Extravaganza on November 19th and 20th. If you’ve ever been to any of the events at Paraiso, you know it’ll be grand. Cheers.