Kilolo Strobert, 43, Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Yes. My parents were into dining out. We had to travel outside of our neighborhood most of the time to do so but that never stopped us. My father especially loved to dine out. We also cooked a lot at home. BBQ was a big thing and we tried to eat dinner together most nights until I was about 15 or so.
Neighbors making it with concord grapes that grew in the backyard. Beer and brown liquor were more things that I remember from childhood. My father didn't drink, smoke or curse and my mom drank an occasional beer while watching football so I honestly don't know where I got my wine curiosity from. In high school, I remember drinking real champagne for the first time and learning how to make a proper Martini. That was a big deal.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that people all enjoy the same things. Palates are as varied as the color spectrum. If you want to own your own wine store or run wine programs make sure there is a little something for everyone and at least 20 percent geared toward what you love. Hopefully you like a little of everything! ;)
That having thick skin is imperative. The amount of obstacles thrown into your path are vast, varied and extremely tiresome. There were many times I tried to give up and move into a different career path but I was pulled back in by fate or destiny or whatever you want to call it. Each time I was astonished that I went back "into the fire" but now I see why. At least for this moment in time I see why. Who knows what the future holds.
Right now the selection is growing, expanding and contracting in multiple different ways but I found a demi sec champagne made by Piper Heidsieck called Cuvee sublime. It tasted so delicious we all smiled and nodded our heads. Also, I just started putting sake back on the shelf. I am not into sake but these three pick ups from Joto Sake are very good quality and one is a cup that is in the fridge. Also, on the spirits side I'm so happy to have Sorel liqueur on the shelf and Uncle Nearest bourbon. Two spirit brands made by African Americans.
Too many to name. Also, it's NYC, the world is my oyster. When I lived in other cities I would feel comfortable naming a few but that just isn't fair here. And right now, I am an owner and operator on Vanderbilt Ave. The amount of food on my avenue alone is enough to fill up my week. What I can say is that I have been up to Contento a number of times in Harlem. The food and wine list are sick. I'm dying to go to Clay in Harlem as well. That is the next place on my have to go to list!
That doesn't apply to me because I own a wine store but if I were to go back to that side of the business I would need a pot, spoon, a knife, a whisk and a cutting board.