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Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah® 2015, as the dust settles

These wine barrel hoops are very symbolic for this year’s Dark & Delicious event, as I know I jumped through all of them. Did I come out unscathed? Good question.

Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah® 2015, as the dust settles, I continue to think about how multifaceted and a bit challenging this year’s event was…

  • One image is from the public, as a wine and food pairing event that has offered the most wonderful of foods in high abundance.
    • We were moving forward nicely, but had to put the brakes on a lot this year, in order to satisfy Alameda County.
  • Another image is from the wine companies who have been with us for years
    • They’ve dutifully come each year and supported us, because they’re truly passionate about Petite
    • The next image is from the new wineries who joined us, who commented in high abundance that it was amazing
  • A venue planner, who had developed a lot of history with us, left two weeks before our event.
    • Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go, and the opportunity for him was an offer he couldn’t turn down.

Add new elements…

  • Another (very capable) person and I interacted for the first time.
    • She did a great job.
    • The learning curve for both of us was tremendously steep.
  • An unprecedented amount of new wineries joined the event for the very first time.
    • From the usual two or three, there were 15.
  • The Alameda County Environmental Health Department became my new best friend.
    • We had only four days to comply.
    • This is the back story to their food safety guidelines.
    • Food vendors dropped out one to two days before.
    • Those who were used to the bounty were stunned and disappointed.

At the end of the event, exhausted from the hoops that had to be jumped through, when I should have been putting a lot of finishing touches on our event, Louis Foppiano came to me and said, “I want to tell you something. ”

I thought, “Oh, oh, what have I done, n-o-w?” I had just jumped through Alameda County’s unexpected $3,000 expenditure in a two day swoop…

Louis said, “I came to your event last year for the first time and it was organized.” (Others from Louis’s staff have always attended in his place.)

I thought, “That’s nice.” I just didn’t know what to expect. “Thanks, Louis.”

Then he said, “I’m back again this year, and…”

He paused and I could only think, “Oh-oh, here it comes…”

Louis, “And it’s also well organized this year.”

I thought, “If you had only been with me for the last two days as I was jumping though hoops.”

As an organizer, I’ve never had to work with a Health Department before. I do understand what they bring to the plate, I just wasn’t expecting a crash course, so close to when the curtain went up… It was one minute before the doors opened to allow our guests to enter the venue, as I held my breath.

When it’s all said and done, water pitchers and dump buckets are now all sanitized and put away. Where it goes from here will be decided in a Board of Directors meeting. Until then, I keep wondering how to regain the momentum that we had. I imagine this is something any organizer must do, after nine years of creating the perfect ® storm…

At the end of D&D, I wrote the following, to help me stress release:

The Wizard Behind the Curtain

Pulling strings, just so high… just so.

So much to show,

And nice, like snow is a gentle dusting.

Too much to all come out at once and overwhelm…

Just a touch, not too much, just a touch.


2 Responses to “Dark & Delicious Petite Sirah® 2015, as the dust settles”

  1. Joanne Saliby says:

    Few people understand what goes on behind the scenes of an event of such magnitude as this. Your last minute roadblocks were almost unbelievable, yet you made it through and put on a wonderful evening. And it’s always good to see new wineries represented.
    We have become friends and patrons of several new wineries over the years we have attended this event, as have some personal friends, and look forward to our annual visit to try even more new ones.
    We have a son who has a business (m2onstage.com) in Atlanta, which puts on huge events all over the world, so we have some understanding of the effort that goes into doing what you did here. Congratulations on another job well done.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Joanne. Your comments are very appreciated.

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