| 24.01.2020

Somm-antic Drift

I am an Asian American business woman, in the food and beverage industry for 15 years. Up to this point, I never felt the need to labeled myself. I am first and foremost known as, “Mrs V” to my team and my patrons, and just “ V” to my colleagues. I have three loves & three passions in my life. The love for our industry, food & family. Wine, travel and golf are my three passions. Wine more than the others. I am on a mission to learn and aspire to be the best wine professional possible.

In 2014, I was awarded Business Woman of the Year by N.A.W.B.O (National Association of Women Business Owner) Tucson chapter for my restaurant , V Modern Thai. In 2011, the Thai Authority of Tourism, awarded me with a trip to Thailand, for cultural and culinary education. The trip to Thailand consisted of 50 Thai restaurant owners, educators, & the press. It was an incredible, life changing trip, that I will forever cherish. I got to taste Thai wine for the first time, from Monsoon Valley Winery, ride the elephant at Mae Rim Elephant Sanctuary, and attended the Chiangmai Culinary Festival, which was amazing. Upon my return from the trip, I added Monsoon Valley Wine to our restaurant’s wine list. We were progressive at the time, pairing wine with Thai food. To learn more about wine, I enrolled in the introductory class with the Court of Master sommelier.

I closed my restaurant after receiving the NAWBO award and worked for various companies as food & beverage manager, and general manager, running their fine dining restaurants and overseeing their wine lists. I worked for the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. After the Greenbrier , I worked at Nemacolin Woodlands resort, in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Overseeing their Italian Restaurant was a great opportunity for me to learn Italian wine. Both resorts, catering to affluent clientele. I also had the privilege of working for three tribal casinos, in Arizona and Durant Oklahoma. Overseeing the daily operations of their food & beverage department. I learn, adapt, and quickly embrace the gaming hospitality, which is an entirely different business model, from their corporate structure, to their clientele.

In all of my career, wine has been my constant companion, and I realized that I need to study wine in order to continue feeding my soul. So here I go, the Greenbrier invested in my WSET level 2, the SommFoundation invested in my current WSET 3 study, and thank you to TEXSOM Retreat, selected me to participate again. I am grateful and proud to represent the Asian American business women in our industry.

These educations & scholarships are valuable to my wine training, and I will continue to push myself towards achieving that goal and represent our industry with integrity, passion and care.
I feel it’s my responsibility as a leader in our community to speak out and be proactive in combatting the cultural challenges that we are facing as a nation; racism, sexism, and social injustice. I am now empower to examine my reality, be the change in the conversation, educate, and share our story. I am ready to be an advocate for positive change, starting with the unifying beauty of wine culture. Thank you for the opportunity to share my voice. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone.