I have a confession to make. For someone who's running about town as the Bed-Stuy Somm, it bears noting that I'm not actually from Bed-Stuy. I grew up in East New York. Close, but not the same.
Probably the second thing I learned from Scott was that people can drink what they like, price, quality, and trendy grapes be damned. It's the sommelier's job to help her or his guests have an incredible and enriching experience by helping them find and learn about what they like.
I dig this philosophy. To me, it means that wine and spirits is not just for the upper and upper middle classes; booze is a solidly proletarian experience, much like the heart and soul of Bed-Stuy.
Probably the third thing I learned after wine school was that the wine and booze business has a rep for being pretty stuffy, pretty white, and historically male. This flies in the face of the groovy philosophy above. How can wine and booze be for everyone -- from the bourgeoisie to the bros, to the brothas, and all their homies -- if EVERYONE isn't represented in the business?
Well, that did it, in my mind. It was time to change the world. I decided to start in my world, Bed-Stuy, where the wine, crime, food, and community, vary block-by-block. (Besides, East New York Somm didn't have the same ring to it. But I've got your back, Boulevard.)