I spotted this bottle of wine at the deli around the corner from my house. What prompted me to buy it was the importer – David Bowler Wine. I had a not-so-great experience with them and needed to see what I was missing.
Over ten years ago, David Bowler Wine held my one chance of working in the wine industry. It’s a tough world to break into especially if you don’t know people and have no formal education. With my measly WSET Intermediate Certification, I applied to endless jobs hoping someone would hire me. A few employers called me back but those calls amounted to nothing. Except for the call from the Office Manager at David Bowler Wine. She responded to my application for an Assistant position at the importer’s office. It was exactly the type of wine job I had been hoping for. The Assistant role would have been basic office work with the possibility of growing within the company as long as I proved myself worthy. I jumped at the chance for an interview.
David Bowler is honestly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He was smart and easy to talk to, and for some reason, he and I got along so well together. It was the same way with the Office Manager; she was incredibly bright and we just clicked.
After meeting with the Office Manager and David, I knew I had it. I couldn’t believe my luck. The Office Manager emailed me asking for my references, which I happily forwarded right away. She called me back letting me know my references were superb, and they were set to make an offer but the Sales Manager asked to meet with me briefly before sending the offer letter. We set up the interview for later that week.
When I arrived for my second interview, the Office Manager said she was excited for the Sales Manager to meet me. She brought me over to him, and I introduced myself. He didn’t even look up. I knew right then that he’d be the one to crush my chances. For whatever reason, he just didn’t like me even before meeting me. He avoided making direct eye contact the entire interview. After asking me just two questions, he dismissed me. I left the room completely defeated.
The Office Manager grabbed me by the arm and whispered she’d be in touch really soon. She gave me a huge smile and a nod. A few weeks later when I hadn’t heard anything, I emailed her to find out what the verdict was even though I already knew. She replied with a short one-liner that they decided to continue searching.
I applied to other jobs but didn’t get any bites. A few months later, the Great Recession hit. I decided to put my wine education on hold because classes were a lot of money and I needed to pay for an expensive Long Island wedding while fearing for my day job. I never returned to WSET and regret it every day.
While I’ll never know why that Sales Manager rejected my application, I can only assume he didn’t like my background. I was more than qualified for an assistant position, so obviously something else left a bad taste in his mouth. Perhaps it was because I was a woman. Although the wine industry is changing, gender inequality is still a huge issue. And certainly over ten years ago when I had my interview, things were even harder for women.
Or maybe there was some other reason he didn’t like me. I’ll never know. But back to the wine.
La Flor y La Abuja, The Flower and The Bee, is 100% Sousón. It’s a grape I’ve never had or at least never really paid attention to if I have had it. I scoured the internet trying to learn more about Sousón but there isn’t much information out there other than the Wikipedia page and a few blog posts. Apparently, Sousón in a grape native to Portugal; however, this wine is from Spain. La Flor y La Abuja Sousón 2015 is medium-bodied with higher acidity and a pretty ideal red for a cold and rainy spring day. I’ve bought this wine several times since I first discovered it because it’s a great find for the price – it’s only $15!
Even though I’m a little upset (read: extremely bitter) about my missed chance at David Bowler Wine, I need to seek out more of his imports if they’re anything like this wine.
And just to further convolute this blog post by bringing up yet another subject in a mere 842 words, I read that La Flor y Abuja is a biodynamic wine. I’m obsessively focused on eating mainly organic and non-GMO foods yet I never give pesticide-laden wines a second thought. Shame on me for that. It’s high time I seek out organic or biodynamic wines, and I will share my findings since so many of you are on the edge of your seats to read my wine musings.