International Women’s Day

I once tried doing themed stories and it just didn’t feel comfortable running with the pack, and not from the standpoint that I am different, but the writing felt forced and not flowing from my voice.  There are many “days” and themes that occur, and I would venture to say that there might be several happening on the same day.  I was just thinking last night about women in wine.  As I have said often, and I am rather proud to say that I learned about wine in the dark ages in a city that was not known for wine, but not proud of how women were treated in business per se.  Detroit back in the Sixties was really an automotive town and there really was not much frou-frou, as I always like to call it. 

What I have learned about wine, is next to nothing compared to a woman in the Detroit area that I have met a few times, in the course of her business, but she would not say that she knows me, because she doesn’t, but she is very spectacular in her what she has achieved.  Madeline Triffon was born in Connecticut, lived in Greece, but is known best for her accomplishments in Michigan.  She attended and graduated from the University of Michigan and worked for the Westin Corporation.  There used to be a restaurant in the Renaissance Center called La Fontaine and Madeline was named Sommelier there, which was very impressive, and as I seem to recall, she was the first female with that title in Michigan.  Later she became the Sommelier at the London Chop House, the most famous of the Old Guard restaurants and known across the country.  In 1987, she passed the exam, the first time she tried for the title of Master Sommelier.  At that time, she was only one of nine Americans to hold that title and she was the first woman in America to have that title, and she was only the second woman in the world.  I had met her a couple of times at the London Chop House, as a diner.  She eventually left and became the wine director for a couple of different restaurant chains after that.  I had met her a couple times a during these points in her career, at different wine tastings that she would conduct at restaurants.  She is now the Master Sommelier for the Plum Market chain and I have even attended a couple of wine tastings that she had conducted there.  I might also add that she serves on the board for the United States chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers. 

The other woman that I am always proud to see at anything that has a wine connection is my Bride, and between the two of us, what we may know, maybe less than Madeline Triffon has forgotten.  I mention my Bride for all of her personal accomplishments that she has persevered at, and has struggled as she has always worked in what for years was a “good old boy” industry and it wasn’t automotive.   When we first met, she only drank white wines and basically only ate fish.  We had actually gone to a lot of the same restaurants and clubs and never met each other back then.  After we met, she discovered that she could enjoy red meat and that she could really enjoy red wine.  It has been fun to watch her evolve both in her professional career and in her wine experiences.  I sometimes think that she has more of a stance on some wines than I do, but it is fun.  I also know that she is the one, that all the merchants enjoy to see, and I sometimes think that they just endure me.  As for me, I just want to salute all of the women that are in the wine industry and I will also like to acknowledge all the women that enjoy a well-made bottle of wine.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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1 Response to International Women’s Day

  1. Neat post for this day, John, with great words for these two special ladies. Oh, I enjoy a good bottle (glass?) of wine, too, so I guess I’m included? Have a good week!

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