It is with a very heavy heart that I say farewell to a
beloved friend and colleague. His life
was tragically taken too early and rather than sink into the doldrums surrounding
his murder, I want to honor this vivacious, hilarious, confident, smart, and passionate
Our paths first crossed (sometime in the late 90’s) when I
picked up weekend shifts at Esquin Wine Merchants while I was working for the
Washington Wine Commission. Our foundation
was gelled with an instant brotherly/sisterly bond and he watched my back, guided
me in what to do and what not to do. We frequently shared belly laughs (and those who knew him can attest to his infectious
laugh), Indian food, amazing beer and wine.
It became quite evident that I would need to practice saying no and
meaning it when Yancy would come to me on a regular basis proclaiming “OMG, Jen, you’ve
got to get this wine. This
shit is amazing!” His philosophy was to buy 3, 6 or 12 bottles of a wine you
really liked. Drink one immediately and
the others in some sort of aged procession based on the quantity purchased.
Fast forward and countless speeches under his belt of how I
needed to buy this one or that one. One
day he had come to me with the same old story and I replied with something to
the effect of “Zip it! I’m
not falling for this Yancy. I need to
save money”. His retort was “you’re
making the biggest mistake of your life.
You WILL regret not buying this wine and I won’t share any if you don’t
get at least one bottle.” We both
laughed and laughed because I finally stepped into the big leagues this time
and purchased three bottles. Weeks
later, like ‘em or not, the Wine Spectator came out and named this one of the top
three wines in the world.
Well as luck would have it, I still have a bottle in the
cellar. In the coming weeks a friend has
organized a few industry colleagues to gather for a little tribute and bring a special
bottle to honor our dear friend. I know
what I’ll be pouring. You can bet your
bottom dollar that I will toast my spirited cohort and recall many fond stories
as I relish in how precious our time really is.