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Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘Master Sommelier’ is simply a pretty label for someone that knows wine; The title was well earned.
What Victoria lives through to be able to share her love of wine with people will break your heart, only to leave you amazed and inspired by how she found a way to thrive in a world where most people want to pull you down.
Like any good meal paired well, this memoir made me want to experience more.
I absolutely loved this powerful, could-not- put- down wine adventure.
An affecting memoir from the country’s youngest sommelier, tracing her path through the glamorous but famously toxic restaurant world
At just twenty-one, the age when most people are starting to drink (well, legally at least), Victoria James became the country’s youngest sommelier at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Even as Victoria was selling bottles worth hundreds and thousands of dollars during the day, passing sommelier certification exams with flying colors, and receiving distinction from all kinds of press, there were still groping patrons, bosses who abused their role and status, and a trip to the hospital emergency room.
It would take hitting bottom at a new restaurant and restorative trips to the vineyards where she could feel closest to the wine she loved for Victoria to re-emerge, clear-eyed and passionate, and a proud leader of her own Michelin-starred restaurant.
Exhilarating and inspiring, Wine Girl is the memoir of a young woman breaking free from an abusive and traumatic childhood on her own terms; an ethnography of the glittering, high-octane, but notoriously corrosive restaurant industry; and above all, a love letter to the restorative and life-changing effects of good wine and good hospitality.
Victoria James has worked in restaurants since she was thirteen. She was certified as a sommelier when she was twenty-one, making her the youngest sommelier in the country. She was Food & Wine’s Sommelier of the Year in 2018, and has appeared on both Forbes and Zagat’s “30 Under 30” lists. She has worked at some of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City, including Marea and Aureole. Currently, she is the Beverage Director and partner at Cote, a Michelin-starred hot spot in the Flatiron district. She is the author of Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, which Harper Design published in 2017.